Kentuckian Justin Thomas uses record round to grab US Open lead
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 17:20
He also becomes just the 29th player to register a 63 in one of golf's four majors.
Positioned 299 yards from the pin on the par-5 18th, and needing to hole out the shot to make the weekend, he lashed at a 3-wood that hit about pin high, then rolled off the back of the green. Brain Harman has a one-shot lead at 12 under.
Harman had one bogey Saturday, at the par-4 third hole, to go with six birdies.
On the longest course ever for a major, the cut was the lowest at the U.S. Open since 1990.
"U.S. Opens aren't supposed to be played under par!" they'll scream right before telling the neighbor kids to get off their lawns. By the end of a wild and wide-open Saturday, five players were double digits under par. Thomas, 24, set the record despite shooting two bogeys and missing a short eagle putt after driving the green of the short par-4 15th hole.
World No.9 Rickie Fowler, who held the halfway lead, earned solo fifth with a 68, with Players Championship victor Si Woo Kim a shot back alone in sixth after also carding a 68.
"It was a really good round of golf and you don't realise until you start talking about it that I hardly missed a shot all day". "But I'm looking forward to getting the job done".
"I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week", he said. "When I get it going, I don't fear it like I used to of stalling".
Thomas finished in style, and it had nothing to do with his hot pink trousers.
"Oh gosh, Jimmy, be good", he said to caddie Jimmy Johnson when the ball was in the air. -Thomas on the meaning of his record-setting 63. When I get it going, I don't fear, like I used to.
He might need one at this rate. About all that might save Erin Hills from another onslaught was a forecast for the strongest wind of the week.
But Thomas is no stranger to records.
QUOTEWORTHY: "I'm not here on the weekend, so it's unfortunate".
His nine-under tour of rain-softened Erin Hills eclipsed the eight-under-par 63 carded by Johnny Miller in winning the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont, and matched the all-time low for any major of 63. "Obviously, today I definitely had something to show for it".
A memorabilia display in his father's pro shop is a tribute to Justin Thomas' skill, fearlessness and knack for the extraordinary. He followed with a victory at the SBS Tournament of Champions in January, then shot 59 en-route to another victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii the following week. No left-hander has ever won the U.S. Open.
The putt ran past the hole and settled at the bottom of a collection area 70 feet away.
With Father's Day on Sunday, a lot of families walked the fairways at Erin Hills Golf Course.
"If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason or Rory, this course sets up ideal for us".
But the work is not done. Majority had to come from far back going into the weekend, and it was hard to put together two good rounds.
The top three players in the world have never missed the cut in the same major dating to when the world ranking began in 1986.
The 26-year-old Englishman has never won on the PGA Tour, but he has won four times on the European Tour. On the 12th tee, they told him he might be penalized and he played the final seven holes not knowing how big his lead was.
The U.S. Open was only his sixth start this year.
Only eight shots separate the leaders from the players who made the cut on the number.