US Open: How Saturday unfolded at Shinnecock Hills
Three players broke par in the third round at the New York course.
Tournament organisers admitted they went “too far” with the set up of Shinnecock Hills after a day of “carnage” in the 118th US Open.
Only three players broke par in the third round and scores of 66 early in the day were enough to lift Tony Finau and Daniel Berger from a tie for 45th to a share of the lead on three over par with defending champion Brooks Koepka and overnight leader Dustin Johnson.
England’s Justin Rose is a shot off the pace after a 73, with Henrik Stenson a shot further back and Masters champion Patrick Reed and Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk on seven over alongside Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, whose 68 lifted him from joint last to a tie for seventh.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Rafa Cabrera Bello summed up the feelings of the majority of the players after a tough day on the course.
Painful finish with a 7 at the last that ruins a pretty decent day. Regardless, it was not a fair test of golf. Greens were unplayable, with unnecessary pin positions. @USGA found a way to make us look like fools on the course.A pity they manage to destroy a beautiful golf course— Rafa Cabrera Bello (@RCabreraBello) June 16, 2018
SHOT OF THE DAY
Defending champion Brooks Koepka looked certain to drop a shot on the 14th before holing from 60 feet for an unlikely par.
ROUND OF THE DAY
There has to be joint winners after Daniel Berger and Tony Finau both took advantage of good early conditions to shoot 66 and move from joint 45th into a tie for the lead.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We will admit there were some aspects of the set up where we went too far, in that well-executed shots were not rewarded and in some cases penalised.” – USGA chief executive Mike Davis takes the blame for the course set up.
STATISTIC OF THE DAY
Daniel Berger and Tony Finau started the third round 11 strokes behind.— RonGreenJr (@RonGreenJr) June 17, 2018
They will be the final pairing in the final round.
The 15th played as the toughest hole for the first time this week, thanks largely to a questionable pin position on the rock hard green. Justin Rose made one of just three birdies but 22 bogeys, 10 double bogeys and a triple bogey added up to a scoring average of 4.627.
For the third day in succession, the fifth hole played as the easiest with an average of 4.716, offering up one eagle and 26 birdies.
ON THE UP
Shinnecock Hill’s water bill after the carnage on day three led to extensive watering of the course ahead of the final round.
ON THE SLIDE
Phil Mickelson’s reputation after he admitted deliberately hitting a moving ball on the 13th green to gain an advantage – and then told critics of his move to “toughen up.”