Justin Thomas shoots record-equalling 63 at US Open

Ross Houston
June 20, 2017

It was all part of a dizzying day at the U.S. Open where at times the leaderboard resembled a game of musical chairs with names moving up and down.

In fact, that's 15 more than the top 18 players on the leaderboard going into the weekend.

But that's not all that makes the possibilities so limitless Saturday. He shot 68 and was only three back. That's the lowest differential after 36 holes in the U.S. Open, mainly because until 2012, everyone within 10 shots of the lead made the cut at the U.S. Open.

"It looks as though the weather conditions are going to be a lot more challenging today at Erin Hills", said Tom Kite, who shot an even-par 72 in howling winds in the final round at Pebble Beach to win the 1992 U.S. Open.

Keep in mind, Thomas was also battling it out on one of the most insane leaderboards you'll ever see. In fact you have to look down to 17th place on the leaderboard before you find a major victor in South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion.

While Reed played his way into the limelight during last year's Ryder Cup victory by the United States, he has struggled this year.

Thomas delivered, and now he has a shot at capturing his first major championship, as he's only a shot behind leader Brian Harman. His third round featured six birdies and an eagle (par-five 18th) and two bogeys.

Winds gusting up to 25mph were making scoring conditions hard and had forced tournament officials to change the pin position on the par-three 13th before play began.

The putt ran past the hole and settled at the bottom of a collection area 70 feet away.

The long-haired Englishman started the third round in a four way tie for the lead at seven under par, and even though it was new territory for him there were no signs of nerves.

For all his good work, the Englishman needed a flawless pitch shot to save his round.

McIlroy finished eight shots ahead of Jason Day, whose score of 8-under 276 would have been enough to win 26 of the previous 30 U.S. Opens.

Harman, who had begun the day in a four-way tie for the lead, carded a five-under-par 67 which included six birdies and one bogey.

The Savannah native won practically everything worth winning in Georgia's junior golf ranks - capped with a victory at the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur. He is the biggest hitter among them, averaging 307.6 yards on his drives, and that ranks fifth on the PGA Tour.

He dropped another shot at the fourth, and despite showing his battling qualities with a birdie at the eight, another bogey at ten kept him down among the also-rans.

Brian Harman reacts on the 18th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Saturday, June 17, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

"I don't think I could play any different or score any better than I have done", said Fleetwood, who won his second European Tour title earlier this season at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

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