Thomas makes US Open history with stunning 63 at Erin Hills

Instead of a return to the norm, to a time when when par is the goal and bogeys can feel like moral victories, Saturday's action turned out to be more of the same with another barrage of low scoring and a championship record round that did nothing to break the gridlock.

As Justin Thomas became the 29th golfer to shoot 63 in a major championship, fellow American Harman came in with a 5-under-par 67 to sit at 12-under following the third round.

But only for a couple minutes.

Brian Harman stood on the podium with hands on hips, giving answers in the kind of matter-of-fact voice expected from someone used to the spotlight of a major championship. Spieth, who won the 2015 event, dropped away with a 76 leaving him in 59th at four-over while 2014 victor Kaymer fell to even-par after a 75.

"Justin played a great round, but he was two, two-and-a-half hours before me". "Someone could get out there early and shoot a low score".

Thomas started his record round with birdies on the first two holes.

Justin Thomas played two seasons for the Alabama men's golf team before turning professional in 2013. Vijay Singh was the last player to accomplish the feat in 2003 at Olympia Fields.

Johnny Miller shot a 63 in the final round at Oakmont 44 years ago on this date in 1973.

Rickie Fowler's housemate just had to show him up on Saturday.

It didn't work all that well.

The bogey save on 18 certainly changed his day.

The 'board was so bunched, players could spend the entire day within a few shots of the lead and hardly get a whiff of screen time on the Fox telecast.

While Fleetwood was enjoying himself, fellow Englishman Paul Casey saw his title hopes nosedived as he crashed to his second double bogey of the tournament. He is listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds.

Fowler has been one of the leading stories of this week's US Open, firing an opening-round 65 and following it up with a productive 68 in the third round.

"The give-a-(bleep) factor was pretty low at that point, which made it a lot easier", he cracked. "This went totally against the tradition of the U.S. Open". "That's why I play, to get myself in this position".

Casey started eagle-birdie and finished with two birdies over the final four holes for his 66.

The U.S. Open doesn't just turn the screws on course setup. His best finish was a tie for 37th a year ago at Oakmont.

Whether this has been a good USA open so far seems to be in the eye of the beholder.

The highest former major winners are Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen at 4 under, tied for 17th. And he's giving the fans something to cheer. He birdied the fifth with a 19-foot putt. Nor had Johnson had a relative-to-par round of better than 2-under 69, in 2011 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

The way this third round is going, odds are against him becoming the first player since Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008 to win a U.S. Open in his home state. Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Russell Henley (8-under) all have a chance to make a move, as do a number of guys below them on the leaderboard. He just has to listen to the crowd.

The USGA brands the U.S. Open as golf's ultimate test.

No, Erin Hills might not be your typical US Open. He's one shot back of the lead shared by four golfers who tee off later Saturday. Thomas rolled in an 18-footer that went right to left from the edge of the green. He grabbed his putter and pointed it out to his left just as the ball dropped into the cup.

That was the day Tony was named the Cowboys starter and Chip Shots was sent to Romo's hometown of Burlington, Wis., although he wasn't known as Chip Shots at the time. In other spots, it's reminiscent of Pinehurst No.2, which some players contend had the ideal U.S. Open setup three years ago when Martin Kaymer vanquished the field. But the wind hasn't kicked up over three rounds, and overnight rains have kept things soft, allowing shots to hit the green and hold, the way Thomas' 3-wood did from 310 yards out on the 18th hole. With not a single major champion inside the top 16 through three laps, the biggest question going into Sunday Funday is how far back is too far back? Champ tees off later Saturday.

As ever, Fleetwood, one of the best ball-strikers on the European Tour, used his powerful and consistent long game as the basis for his fine score.

  • Julie Sanders