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


Following are some snippets from the third round of the U.S. Open on Saturday.

But only for a couple minutes.

Despite his epic day, Thomas is one shot behind Brian Harman, who shot a 67. The other four 63's were all shot on par 71 courses.

Walking to the 18th green, Justin Thomas knew he had a chance for history. I wanted to experience our first U.S. Open more than anything here in our state.

Thomas broke the U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par.

With a record number of scores under par in Round 1, it's no surprise the course was set up tougher for Round 2.

"It is always cool to be part of some sort of history in golf", Fowler said.

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said.

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In the previous 116 U.S. Opens, only six players had ever reached 10-under par or lower, never in the same tournament. And the 63 tied the Open mark set by Johnny Miller at Oakmont in 1973, and equaled by by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf (1980) and Vijay Singh (2003).

But Thomas is no stranger to records.

Harman, bidding to become the first left-hander to win a U.S. Open, is a victor on the PGA Tour this year while Thomas is the world number 13, a three-time victor this season and a member of the exclusive "59" club after breaking 60 at the Sony Open this year. Or at your home course. J.B. Holmes. And Rickie Fowler.

It didn't work all that well.

Oosthuizen, whose sole major title to date came at St Andrews in 2010, birdied the first, fourth, seventh and eighth to move to four under par, while 2015 victor Spieth had covered his first 11 holes in level par. On No. 8 he put his 154-yard approach shot to about two feet. Fowler shot a 73 and was still very much in the hunt at a second straight major. He is listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds.

Fleetwood was alongside Reed after a birdie on the first, but Casey tumbled down the leaderboard after following an opening birdie of his own with a triple-bogey on the third.

Just about everything already has at Erin Hills.

The 117th U.S. Open was supposed to be a big hitter's major. That led to a double bogey, which hurt him as badly as making only one birdie. He missed a short birdie putt on 18.

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Up to that point, Fleetwood pretty much couldn't find trouble if he tried.

The U.S. Open should wrap up on Sunday - unless there's a tie.

Thomas had 300 yards to the hole for his second shot at the 18th. The Canadian shot a second round two-over 74 but is still in the mix heading into the weekend at two-under par.

The 40-year-old Hoffman is playing in his sixth U.S. Open. His best finish was fourth in 2014 at Pinehurst.

A whopping eight players are at 6 under, including world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama and Louis Oosthuizen.

"I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach", Jamie Lovemark said. And he's giving the fans something to cheer. Then he picked up a birdie on 12 with a nine-foot putt.

He floated a wedge shot to three feet to escape with his only bogey of the round.

Harman, who is playing his first major since missing the cut in all four in 2015, fired six birdies and one bogey in a 67 to claim pole position in his bid to become the first left-handed victor of the US Open. Results are not what will make this a great week at Erin Hills for the 50-year-old Stricker.

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However, the youngster was able to seize the advantage in set two, moving a double-break up at 5-2 before play was suspended. The second started in similarly nervy fashion, with both exchanging breaks, before the Swiss broke for a 4-3 lead.