Sports

Brian Harman looks for major breakthrough at US Open

Brian Harman looks for major breakthrough at US Open

A dizzying day of action could be topped on Sunday with six players within three shots of the lead all eyeing their first major.

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

This isn't like most Opens.

AMERICAN Brian Harman has taken a dramatic third round by the scruff of the neck to lead the US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. It led to an eagle to close out his 63.

Rickie Fowler's housemate just had to show him up on Saturday. His first-round 73 included a triple-bogey on the par-4 eighth hole and left him on the cut line. "It's sometimes nice being out front because you can afford to make a mistake".

The 30-year-old Harman has five top-10 finishes and two victories since joining the tour in 2012, most recently at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. And he wasn't through.

Paul Casey is one of the joint leaders after an up and down round of one under par, he took an eight on the par-5 14, but bounced back brilliantly with 5 birdies in his last 11 holes to save his round. At that point, he was leading by seven shots. And then comes Sunday.

They fearlessly attacked the pins and nobody was more ruthless than Thomas, who ripped apart the links-style layout carding nine birdies and two bogeys before capping his record-smashing effort by coolly rolling in an eight-foot putt for eagle at the par-five 18th. He shot 81 the next day in a blustery wind.

Fowler fell away badly after starting the final round of this year's Masters just one off the pace and belief will surely be key for a player who has regularly contended in majors without taking the prize.

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Thomas, who shot 59 en route to victory earlier this year in the Sony Open, hit one spectacular shot after another. No one had a chance.

Harman dropped back on the back nine after going bogey-free on the final nine holes over his first three rounds.

Brooks Koepka could be a star but his U.S. Open win had little intrigue for the average golf fan.

"Fun, I know that", Thomas said, and he said this at a U.S. Open, an event which, he said nearly poetically, "is known for making you kind of hate yourself and hate golf". Furyk closed with a 72. With a double bogey, a great round became just a good round. "And I feel like once the cannon gets open, I'll start pouring them in". He came up short at the par-4-15th, when a 23-foot putt stopped right on the edge of the cup.

Thomas also moved into the lead with his putt at 18. He didn't win, either, closing with a 76 to finish at 2-under 278, two behind Lucas Glover.

"It's going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow", said Fowler, who has posted six top-10 finishes in majors during his career, including a second place finish at the 2014 US Open. "But I'm looking forward to getting the job done".

His downfall began with an errant second shot on the par-four third into deep rough.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.

For starters, the golf course played far easier than the USGA anticipated, and for a governing body that is often accused of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment at the U.S. Open, it had to be painful watching birdies rule the week - all the way to Koepka's 16-under par tying the lowest score in tournament history.


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    Harman, who had begun the day in a four-way tie for the lead, carded a five-under-par 67 which included six birdies and one bogey. Amateur, he said he would "most likely" look to turn pro and prepare for the Web.com Tour qualifying tournament.
    Koepka in control and with a 1-shot lead at US Open

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    Thomas, who was tied for the lead at the time at 9-under, made a decision to go for the green from a little over 300 yards out. Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman are tied for second at 12 under, followed by Tommy Fleetwood another stroke back.
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