It also put him squarely in the mix to capture his first major.
But Fowler's 65 from Thursday was old news by Saturday night when Justin Thomas, who is sharing a house with Fowler this week at Erin Hills, shot a 9-under-par 63, setting a US Open record for low round in relation to par.
With the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth missing the cut at the U.S. Open, the final two rounds of the major from Erin Hills looked like it would be a tiresome affair.
Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204.
The round was littered with some wonderful approach shots and long putts as Thomas took advantage of overnight rains to move to 11-under, one shot off the lead by Brian Harman.
There were 18 rounds in the 60s, starting with one for the record book. Gaining nearly as much attention as his round was Thomas' pink trousers.
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Fowler was among those who wouldn't mind seeing the conditions toughen up for the final 18 holes.
"Oh gosh, Jimmy, be good", he said to caddie Jimmy Johnson when the ball was in the air.
American Justin Thomas led a charge by early starters up the U.S. Open leaderboard on Saturday, grabbing a share of the third round lead.
"I obviously needed to nuke it", Thomas said of his 3-wood, which he later called his best of the round. It would have been the round of the day had Thomas not shot 63.
"I'm very excited and very happy with the score", the Japanese star said. Matsuyama is part of the group at 5 under (that also includes Open rookies Si Woo Kim, Xander Schauffele and amateur Cameron Champ) and had a simple explanation why: "The biggest difference was I putted very well today".
And he still has a long way to go.
With little wind, no rain, and greens that Fox Sports analyst Paul Azinger called the best he's ever seen, the world's best golfers tore up the course leading to the lowest cut line in U.S. Open history at +1.
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Casey birdied five holes in a row after the rough stretch and was the first player in the clubhouse at seven-under. He got that up-and-down for a bogey and a 68.
Thomas made six birdies and one bogey on his front nine in the third round, and capped the round with an eagle, three birdies and a bogey on the back nine. He was 10 under.
With the past six majors going to players who have never won one before, there is a good chance that run could be extended this weekend.
"I'm looking forward to my shot at it, and I know it's not going to be an easy day".
"I felt the most calm I have in a major in a long time this week", said Day, who arrived last Friday. I got out of position, but it's the attitude, it's the grit that matters at the end of the week.
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.
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