US Open

US Open set for knife-edge finish

2015-06-21 09:37
Branden Grace at the US Open (Andrew Redington / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Tacoma - Four players will share the lead at the start of the final round of the US Open on Sunday, just the second time that has happened in the tournament's history after 1973 Oakmont.

Americans Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, Australian Jason Day and Branden Grace of South Africa are the pace-setting quartet at four under par 206.

They are three shots clear of the rest of the field and the odds are firmly that one of them will get the job done at demanding Chambers Bay golf course south of Seattle.

The potential storylines are strong and none more so that for Day, who collapsed at the end of Friday's second round with a vertigo attack, but, still suffering, came out to put together one of the most remarkable rounds in US Open history on Saturday.

At times he struggled to stay on his feet, looked distressed throughout, and even had difficulty glancing up to follow his ball flight.

But somehow he kept his game together as others around him came to grief on a golf course that takes no prisoners. Day on the contrary picked up shots.

"I didn't feel that great coming out early, and then I felt pretty groggy on the front nine just from the drugs that I had in my system, then kind of flushed that out on the back nine," the 27-year-old Queenslander said.

Spieth, the 21-year old Texan who is seen as the new face of American golf, replacing the fast-fading Tiger Woods, is on the cusp of doing something only five other players have done - winning the Masters and the US Open in the same year, thus getting halfway to pulling off an unprecedented calendar-year Grand Slam.

He would also be the youngest US Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923 and the youngest to win two career majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922

Age, however, he believes, does not come in to play.

"I don't think of age as having anything to do with it," he said.

"I think we're all peers tomorrow, and there's four of us tied for the lead. There's a lot of guys that can play a good, solid round from tomorrow and shoot two or three under and come from behind."

Johnson many believe is long overdue a major win having come close in all four Grand Slam tournaments in the past.

He is the biggest hitter on the PGA Tour and this year appears to have added a finesse around the greens to his game and a maturity to his approach.

"I've been in the situation a few times so I know how to handle myself," he said.

"I know what it takes to get it done. And tomorrow just need to go out there and focus one shot at a time."

The outsider among the leading foursome will be 27-year-old Grace.

But he is a proven front-runner having won on each of the six occasions he has been leading or sharing the lead afer 54 holes.

Grace, seeking to become the third South African to win the US Open title after Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, said that patience was the key.

"It's a tricky golf course. If you let it slip and you get the wrong bounce you're looking at making bogeys," he said.

"You just have to try to keep those things off the scorecard and make those pars. I think a good, level round tomorrow might just do it."

Scores in the third round of the US Open at par-70 Chambers Bay on Saturday:

206 - Jason Day (AUS) 68-70-68, Branden Grace (RSA) 69-67-70, Dustin Johnson (USA) 65-71-70, Jordan Spieth (USA) 68-67-71

209 - J.B. Holmes (USA) 72-66-71, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 77-66-66, Cameron Smith (AUS) 70-70-69, Shane Lowry (IRL) 69-70-70

211 - Andreas Romero (ARG) 71-69-71, Joost Luiten (NED) 68-69-74, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 69-72-70, Patrick Reed (USA) 66-69-76, Tony Finau (USA) 69-68-74, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 65-74-72

212 - Kevin Kisner (USA) 71-68-73, Matt Kuchar (USA) 67-73-72, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 73-70-69, Alexander Levy (FRA) 70-69-73

213 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-71-72, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 68-73-72, Adam Scott (AUS) 70-71-72, Jason Dufner (USA) 68-72-73, Charlie Beljan (USA) 69-75-69, Jamie Lovemark (USA) 70-68-75

214 - Ollie Schniederjans (USA) 69-73-72, Jack Maguire (USA) 73-68-73, Brooks Koepka (USA) 72-72-70, Kevin Na (USA) 70-72-72, John Senden (AUS) 72-72-70, Paul Casey (ENG) 72-69-73, Ian Poulter (ENG) 72-73-69, Justin Rose (ENG) 72-70-72, Marc Warren (SCO) 68-74-72, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72-72-70

215 - Jimmy Gunn (SCO) 72-73-70, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 70-75-70, Denny McCarthy (USA) 71-73-71, Daniel Summerhays (USA) 70-67-78

216 - Beau Hossler (USA) 71-72-73, Keegan Bradley (USA) 73-71-72, Webb Simpson (USA) 72-73-71, Brad Fritsch (CAN) 70-74-72, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 69-72-75, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 74-69-73, John Parry (ENG) 72-73-71

217 - Colin Montgomerie (SCO) 69-76-72, Luke Donald (ENG) 73-71-73, Billy Horschel (USA) 72-72-73, Ryan Palmer (USA) 74-70-73, Troy Kelly (USA) 72-73-72, Robert Streb (USA) 74-70-73, George Coetzee (RSA) 72-73-72, Kevin Chappell (USA) 69-75-73, Cameron Tringale (USA) 75-68-74, Jim Furyk (USA) 71-73-73, Jimmy Walker (USA) 72-73-72, Brian Campbell (USA) 67-72-78

218 - Mark Silvers (USA) 72-71-75, Ernie Els (RSA) 72-70-76, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 74-71-73

219 - Marcus Fraser (AUS) 71-71-77, Morgan Hoffmann (USA) 71-74-74, Lee Westwood (ENG) 73-69-77, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 70-75-74, Cheng Tsung Pan (TPE) 71-72-76

220 - Sam Saunders (USA) 72-72-76, Phil Mickelson (USA) 69-74-77, Brad Elder (USA) 76-68-76

222 - Nick Hardy (USA) 70-75-77, D.A. Points (USA) 74-71-77, Zach Johnson (USA) 72-72-78, Andy Pope (USA) 74-71-77

223 - Ben Martin (USA) 67-70-86, Chris Kirk (USA) 70-73-80

225 - Camilo Villegas (COL) 72-73-80

Read more on:    us open  |  golf


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