US Open notebook: Jordan Spieth falls out of contention

Lynette Rowe
June 18, 2017

"As long as it's a good tournament, it's good for the U.S. Open and the USGA".

Most years, the U.S. Open has been played on courses where the fairways are as slender as Rickie Fowler's waistline and the rough is deep enough to hide a basketball.

On Saturday, American Justin Thomas became the 29th golfer to shoot 63 in a major championship.

"Normally, 12-under would be a 10-shot lead at most U.S. Opens", Harman said jokingly.

Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood and Brian Harman were at 67, with Patrick Reed and Adam Hadwin in the group at 68.

Until 1992, no player had reached 10 under par in the U.S. Open, not even for a split second. Brian Harman sits in first at -12 but course conditions have shown that nearly anyone in the top 10 could win the U.S. Open with a strong Round 4.

It's Sunday at the U.S. Open and the top six golfers are separated by three strokes. There never have been nine straight Opens without a playoff.

The wide-open tournament has already seen some big names drop out of the competition, including the top three-ranked golfers in the world, and others who have managed to survive to the weekend are struggling to put themselves into contention on moving day.

"It was close and my dad called me and said 'do you want to go?' And I said 'heck yeah!'" Perschke said. "And I'm kind of going out there and just doing it, and letting it go". Tomorrow's going to be fun.

"I'm going to enjoy my time tonight with my little girl and my wife".

Fowler said he knew low scores would be attainable but was impressed by the U.S. Open record-setting round of nine-under carded by Justin Thomas, his friend and room mate this week.

And it is another milestone in a remarkable start to 2017 for Thomas. The boyish 24-year-old shot a first-round 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii to become the youngest among the eight players who have broken 60 on the PGA Tour.

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"I got a massive break", he said.

"It doesn't matter how long, how whatever the course is", Thomas said about the longest course in major championship history.

"I obviously needed to nuke it", Thomas said of his 3-wood, which he later called his best of the round. "I've just got to keep going". "I'm like, 'Let's get to 8, let's get to 9, ' whatever it is".

Yesterday, Fowler exploited the benign conditions at Erin Hills to haul himself back into the frame.

Here at this soft, receptive, birdie heaven of a course, the top five scores look like a hallucination: -12, -11, -11, -11 and -10.

Golf purists, of which there are many, prefer their U.S. Opens the way they prefer their Masters.

Thomas finished in style, and it had nothing to do with his hot pink trousers. On the 8th hole, with his ball on the bottom of the multi-tiered green, Fowler elected a wedge over his putter and chipped his ball over a mound.

Except, of course, on the leader board at Erin Hills. There were 18 rounds in the 60s on Saturday. A mere hiccup. On Saturday, he got to 14 under, then on Sunday, he widened the gap versus par to 16 under.

There's no reason to complain about Erin Hills unless you prefer extra starch in your shorts.

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

Low scores were available. "We're definitely in good position for tomorrow".

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