Leishman lurks behind leaders at US Open

Posted June 20, 2017

Rory McIlroy hit back at suggestions he was "bored" with golf after missing the cut in the US Open for the second year in succession.

American Justin Thomas equalled the lowest score in major championship history in stunning fashion to surge into contention for the US Open at Erin Hills.

Nobody in the top 16 on the leaderboard has won a major.

But that's not all that makes the possibilities so limitless Saturday.

Fleetwood had been tied for the lead after birdies on the first, eighth, 12th, 14th and 15th, only to bogey the last after following up a poor pitch by putting his birdie attempt off the green. 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.

Marc Leishman has surged up the leaderboard with a hot front nine during the third round of the US Open on Saturday.

U.S. Open storylines abound and Justin Thomas joined the crowd Saturday.

"I've never done this before", Fleetwood said. 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.

After 54 holes, he is one stroke behind surprise leader Brian Harman.

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

Rickie Fowler is 1 under through four holes and tied for third with Tommy Fleetwood at 11 under.

He is in strong form and was poised to win two FedEx Cup playoff events a year ago, losing to great finishes to Dustin Johnson (him again) and Rory McIlroy.

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

It's the most players tied after 36 holes of the USA since 1974 at Winged Foot, only the names from 43 years ago resonate more than today - Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer. Smiles are rare at a U.S. Open when a player finishes before the leaders tee off.

The little lefty from Georgia has a chance to make a little history at Erin Hills.

The par-four third hole proved the toughest on day three, with a tricky pin position at the back of the green contributing to 20 bogeys, two double bogeys and just two birdies for a scoring average of 4.368.

The world's fifth-ranked player is well off the lead.

Kaymer made it back to 10 under on the back nine Sunday, but a late bogey for a 69 meant he would finish at 9-under 271 for an eight-shot victory.

Tom Kite knows a little something about hard conditions for the final round of the U.S. Open.

"I wish he was calling it just to hear what he would have said", replied the 24-year-old.

That was a 10-shot improvement on his second round and left the 26-year-old on eight under par as he seeks to turn his Ryder Cup heroics into individual success.

"It looks as though the weather conditions are going to be a lot more challenging today at Erin Hills", Kite said.