And eventually, matching scorecards of 4-under 66 shot early Saturday at Shinnecock Hills got both of them into the final group going into Sunday, joining a four-way tie with stumbling leaders Dustin Johnson (77) and Brooks Koepka (72), all at 3-over par for the tournament. It's really unfortunate, because in my opinion, some of the best land and certainly one of the best venues in all of golf, especially in this county, is Shinnecock Hills.
The course was very playable in the morning, as attested by matching rounds of 66 by Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, but it was a different beast in the afternoon after the winds and low humidity baked the greens to a crisp. Finau led the field in strokes gained on approach shots, strokes gained around the greens and strokes gained overall on Saturday.
Brooks Koepka (+3, odds: 11/4): He's trying to become the first golfer to go back to back since Curtis Strange did it in 1988-89 at The Country Club and Oak Hill. He has not had a top 10 in the U.S. Open since he tied for fourth at Pebble Beach in 2010.
"Look, everybody has to play it; I'm not saying either way, " he said.
However, that cut little ice with Ian Poulter, who responded angrily to Davis's comments following a 76 which left him four shots off the lead. Stenson had a 74 and was another shot back. Today, I did that. But a sizzling run to victory at Shinnecock (he's only three shots out of the lead!) would make a timeless story, don't you think?
Johnson, the world's top-ranked player and rock solid through the first two rounds, bogeyed six of his first eight holes in the third round and found himself trailing a championship he had dominated.
The 2018 U.S. Open is officially off the rails. Visit SportsLine now to see the full U.S. Open projected leaderboard - from the model that's nailed four of the last five majors heading into the weekend previous year - and find out. "I expected it to be a hard week, and I guess it's lived up to those expectations and beyond".
Berger teed off almost five hours before the final group's 3:10 p.m. tee time, while Finau started his round a little more than four hours before Johnson.
He went from behind the 13th green all the way off the front.
Putting for a bogey, Mickelson trotted after his ball when it got past the hole, then stroked it back toward the hole in the other direction as it was rolling.
With the two-stroke penalty Mickelson took a sextuple bogey 10. At that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over. I wanted to get to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time without the two shots.
Playing partner Andrew Johnston laughed off the incident as "a moment of madness".
"I know the rules".
Johnson didn't have anything that wild, rather more of a slow bleed that began with a shot off a sandy path and three putts on the par-3 second hole for his first double bogey of the championship. Thomas goes at 12:34 p.m. ET, which is two hours before the leaders.