Justin Thomas shoots first 9-under round in US Open history

Justin actually recorded the lowest round under par in U.S. Open history. McIlroy could only take some optimism away from his finish.

Now the reigning Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion is two rounds shy of earning a whopping $2.1million first prize windfall. He dropped nine shots over the next seven holes - three double bogeys, three bogeys and one par.

Harman now stands at 12-under-par for the tournament but is being followed closely by Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood.

"I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week", said Day, who arrived last Friday. "And I'm kind of going out there and just doing it, and letting it go".

Tommy Fleetwood called his fifth shot from over the green on the closing par-5 18th "the best shot of the day". He had 310 yards to the hole when he hit a 3-wood that could have led to big trouble if he went too far long or left.

"Oh gosh, Jimmy, be good", he said to caddie Jimmy Johnson when the ball was in the air, and it was close to ideal. "It sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today".

Rickie Fowler wave to the gallery after putting out on the first green during the first round of the US Open golf tournament at Erin Hills, Wisconsin June 15, 2017. "I was excited to shoot 63. The guys at the scoring table told me that, so I was pretty pumped".

The 39-year-old world number 14's roller coaster round included two bogeys and a triple-bogey eight against six birdies. That belongs to Brian Harman at 12-under, the leftie who's been the most consistent competitor this weekend. He got down in three from there.

In the final round at Oakmont a year ago, his golf ball moved slightly as he positioned himself for a short putt on the fifth hole.

Then he had a run of three birdies. He is listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds.

Around 70 minutes earlier, compatriot Patrick Reed had faced a similar length putt to Thomas on the 18th to shoot eight under but missed his birdie attempt and had to settle for a 65. And on No. 9, he made a 21-foot putt. In the hay left of the 12th fairway, he gouged it out with a 9-iron and watched it roll to 10 feet. A few years later, Thomas won two junior tournaments in one day. In the Sony Open, he became the seventh player to shoot a sub-60 round with a 59. No one ever has had a lower score in any major.

Nearly an inch of rain fell on the course overnight, but scoring conditions were far from easy as the likes of former champion Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood tried to move into contention.

"It will be just fine", said Fowler, who plays in the third-to-last group on Saturday.

"We're in a good spot", Fowler said. The rain leading into the start of the US Open only softened the greens, and they already were slightly softer than usual because of the wind that could lead to unplayable conditions.

"This week I've been working with my coach, just sitting there and thinking, all right, let's go out and try to make a good golf swing and try to make a good putt".

The 44 players who broke par in the opening round set a US Open record that had stood since there were 39 subpar rounds at Medinah in 1990. "Two yards either way, I would have been stuck". "Obviously I have no idea what [Sunday] holds, but I'm more motivated by the way I'm striking the ball". "Nine-(under) is pretty darn good".

"It doesn't affect the game plan one bit, and it doesn't really affect the mindset", he said. "I just knew he was going to make it".

"I'm sure mama's waiting for me to get home so I can help her out", Johnson said of his girlfriend, Paulina Gretzky.

The last six majors have crowned first-time champions and that trend looks poised to continue at Erin Hills where you have to look way down the leaderboard to 19th before finding a major victor in U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain.

The highest former major winners are Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen at 4 under, tied for 17th. It would have been the round of the day had Thomas not shot 63. I've been there a handful of times and had some good finishes.

  • Zachary Reyes