Brian Harman looks for major breakthrough at US Open

The yardage marker from he blue tees on the 18th hole at Erin Hills

The yardage marker from he blue tees on the 18th hole at Erin Hills

CINKING IN: Stewart Cink had a bad start to the third round of his 20th U.S. Open.

Walking to the 18th green, Justin Thomas knew he had a chance for history. "He's upstairs and I'm down in the basement area, so it shouldn't get too physical". "And to play well today on top of it was extra special".

Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to a 1-under 71 and make him the first to post at 7-under 137. He missed a short birdie putt on 18. Stricker tapped in for par. Thomas' 9-under 63 was one better than Johnny Miller's 63 in the 1973 final round at Oakmont.

He's not slowing down either. He's twice been sidelined this year due to a rib injury, and had played just the Players Championship since the Masters.

He's not sure if his wife, Nicki, will repeat as his caddie next week, though.

"But I can't do that yet because I haven't figured out the other part". "But she did well".

"We had a lot of fun out there", said Niebrugge, from Mequon, Wisconsin.

Jordan Spieth is not among them.

Spieth was well off the lead, but seemed to be feeling much better with his game after shooting 76 in the third round.

Eight of the top 12 players in the world won't be around for the weekend at Erin Hills, leaving a tournament as open as the land on which it was built.

"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up ideal for us", Johnson said.

When asked to rate his confidence level, Spieth assigned himself a "B", though he graded himself at an "A" with his putter.

"I feel once the can gets open, I'll start pouring them in". "I've been there a handful of times and had some good finishes, but I'm looking forward to getting the job done".

Thomas broke the U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par. With another round to go and the U.S. Open hanging in the balance, Harman wasn't about to let go of the chip on his shoulder a day early and had a message for the media at Erin Hills. McIlroy was 4 shots off the cut line and Day a whopping 9 shots removed. When the wind picked up Sunday, Ernie Els thought of another major championship.

Grass stains from forays into the rough and claustrophobia from narrow fairways have been replaced by grins and giggles, as a run-of-the-mill PGA Tour event has taken over what is typically one of the most exhausting tests on the golf calendar.

Scheffler isn't the only amateur making waves at Erin Hills, with Cameron Champ two shots back of the lead at 5 under.

Dana Fry, one of three designers of the course, told Postmedia that the greatest defence this course has is wind, which has been reduced to little more than a soft breeze so far.

The 47-year-old South African has played in just about every imaginable condition over a 23-year PGA Tour career.

Reavie is playing in his fifth Open, but first since 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

That victory five years ago at Royal Latham was his last tour win. If not, it's fine.

"No, not too many elbows", Fowler said. "It's been really good".

And for all the birdies and blunders at Erin Hills, the most compelling image Friday came from the parking lot, where one star after another left town after missing the cut.

No need to go through qualifying for Shinnecock Hills, after having to travel that route to arrive at Erin Hills.

The 39-year-old was only able to move his fourth shot a matter of inches in heavy rough over the back of the green on the par five, before hacking out sideways and taking three putts from just off the green. Mullinax qualified out of the Memphis, Tennessee, sectional. "We are surely glad that the state of Wisconsin and the media in Wisconsin have really ramped up their interest and get people jazzed up about the U.S. Open because it is in their backyard", said Pete Kowalski, USGA Championship Communications Director. Five players were two shots off the lead.

Over to you, Rory: "That's why jack designed 100's of golf courses. and it's knew. mustn't have taught grammar in the 50's".

Stricker birdied three of four holes going into the par-5 18th. Typically, a U.S. Open final round is one of attrition, last man standing.

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