Birdies, bogeys and the eagle in Justin Thomas' 63

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 19, 2017

England's Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood shared the lead on seven under par alongside American duo Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman, the first four-way tie after 36 holes since 1974.

The 24-year-old Thomas eagled the par-5 18th for just the fifth 63 in U.S. Open history. Harman made a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to hold off Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez by a stroke.

There are 42 players under par at Erin Hills heading into Sunday and Justin Thomas put an exclamation mark on the day by making an eagle at the 18th hole to shoot a nine-under 63.

Thomas' record-breaking 63 lands him in the heat of contention heading into the final round on Sunday.

He finished at 12-under 272, the first player to complete a U.S. Open double digits under par.

He hit a bit of a rough patch in 2016, but he's since come through it.

At Erin Hills, all Johnson could do was go down swinging on a Friday.

Four others are within three shots as the third round winds down.

Talked to Johnny. "9 under is incredible with #USOpen pressure, but it isn't a US Open course that I'm familiar with the way it was set up".

The course had been softened by rain earlier in the week, and it finally played the way the USGA wanted in the final round. Spieth was at 4 over for the tournament - 16 shots behind leader Brian Harman. Still, without Miller on the broadcast, we were deprived of his opinions on Thomas's achievement, and forced to wonder just what line of reasoning he might take in an effort to maintain his personal fiefdom, as Miller was famous for dropping in his accomplishment at any possible moment. It was the lowest third-round score in Open history.

"I was able to get to a few under by just accepting the fact that the putt might miss instead of having to have it be ideal".

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Just don't mention that to some of the best players in the world.

Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and twice major victor Zach Johnson showed that birdies were still available at rain-softened Erin Hills. The soft Black Course allowed players to take dead aim, and Barnes opened with rounds of 67 and 65.

At one time seven players were tied for the lead at seven-under and then again at eight-under with nobody able to gain separation until Thomas ripped a mighty three-wood second shot and then drained his eight-foot eagle putt at 18 sparking thundering roars from the massive gallery. And he totaled five birdies, including one at his closing hole, the par-5 18th, which he followed by tossing his ball into the grandstands.

"Usually when you shoot even in a U.S. Open and you're one off the lead, you're not six down afterward", J.B. Holmes said. "I don't mean that in a bad way".

Of the early players, Jordan Spieth is one of the few that is under par for the day.

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