Koepka off to solid start at US Open

"I'll probably go back to the house, pack up and then I'll come back and have a beer and watch the closing stretch". Olin Browne and Jason Gore were part of a 36-hole tie at Pinehurst No. 2. As play unfolded in Saturday's third round at Erin Hills, the leaderboard was littered with non-major winners. It doesn't have much history, "but everybody had to start somewhere".

When Thomas joined the lead there were seven players packed tight at seven-under, including overnight leaders Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood and Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman. He became the first player to reach 13 under at the U.S. Open in the second round, but double-bogeyed 18 to close at 11 under and with a six-shot lead. They would combine for 23 majors by the end of their careers, but in 1974 they collectively had only 15.

"It looks as though the weather conditions are going to be a lot more challenging today at Erin Hills", Kite said.

Birdies figured to be more scarce in the tight battle atop the leaderboard with Brian Harman carrying a one-shot lead into the last 18 holes with five players within three shots.

Fowler and Reed will command plenty of attention, but do not discount Kim Si-woo, who sits between the American duo at nine under. Tom Kite won his only major. Download the latest podcast here. I can't see Harman taking this home (also, I'm trying to ignore the fact that he's No. 9 on the PGA Tour in Round 4 scoring average at 69.3). Thirty-two players had sub-par rounds, the most ever for the third round of an Open.

He must have a short memory.

"It was a good bogey though", joked Fleetwood, who regained his composure to hit a superb pitch from well below the putting surface.

Harman might be the surprise leader after three rounds at the U.S. Open, but there was nothing ordinary about his game.


"This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I'll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish". Koepka was a global golfer, though not by choice, when he left Florida State. He has, after all, won three of them already this year. He also played in the U.S. Open previous year at Oakmont and missed the cut. That locked up a spot on his first Ryder Cup team. Dustin Johnson dusted him.

He's also big on the word "chill", to describe his lifestyle.

"I don't really care". He said on Saturday he'll be nervous on Sunday but not Ryder Cup nervous. "You're not going to win it today".

The little lefty from Georgia has a chance to make a little history at Erin Hills. If somebody does it tomorrow to win the U.S. Open by one, that's the specialness of my round. The timing would be peculiar considering that Phil Mickelson couldn't make it this year.

The leaders are on the course at the U.S. Open. Koepka finally took the lead with a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 8.

"I'm looking forward to hearing about that when I get back to the house since J.T. and I are staying together", said Fowler.

"The U.S. Open is supposed to be very uncomfortable", he said.

Harman was hoping to become the fourth player in succession to convert a 54-hole lead into victory after Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker in the last two majors of 2016 and Sergio Garcia in April's Masters. That's more than Johnson can say this week. Two down, 14 to go.

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