Fowler back in the thick of it at US Open

Fowler back in the thick of it at US Open

It's a long haul.

Thomas, decked out in shocking fluorescent pink trousers, produced a no less electric performance signing for nine-under 63 to equal the lowest numerical score in a major and the best ever in the 117 year-history of the US Open in relation to par. To dent the field full of red numbers, it had to be. "But it isn't a U.S. Open course that I'm familiar with the way it was set up". That's for the Quad Cities Open.

Hoffman has opened his third round at Erin Hills with two birdies to move into a four-way tie for second at 6 under.

None of the leading 16 players have won a major before, making it likely that a run of six consecutive victories by first-timers will extend to seven this weekend.

But now it's a record setting place, and so the golf world will remember the old cow pasture fondly even if the Open never returns here. They are all seeking their first major championship and barring a miracle comeback by someone like Louis Oosthuizen or Sergio Garcia (who both fall under "The Field" at 25/1), we will have a first time major victor for the seventh consecutive major.

The 18th hole at Erin Hills has a special flag for the final round of the U.S. Open. "Usually the roars are for pars and stuff like that". "I was just happy that I was the one that was able to take advantage of it today". More than likely he was awake when the sun rose because to lead the U.S. Open is a dream but also a nightmare.

"I'm just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament". But I can't do that yet because I haven't figured out the other part. It's all pretty self-explanatory in terms of what it means. I've been putting it pretty good.

"I'm proud of the way I hung in there today". I wish he was calling it just to hear what he would have said. And you can't do anything about what anybody else is doing. Yesterday he had the latter in spades and he needed it to climb so far up that red-stained leaderboard. And at the end of the day add them up and see how you do.

Justin Thomas may have had one of the more entertaining birdies of the afternoon at the par-4 fifth. "I feel like my game has been good enough to compete in the majors this year", Thomas said. "That was definitely a bonus".

Dougherty struggled in the third round, with five bogeys, two double bogeys and just one birdie in an 8-over 80. He bogeyed 10 but then was at it again with birdies on 12, 15 and 17 and that eagle on 18. With two of his best friends - Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas - in contention, Spieth plans to catch some of their rounds.

"It was an awesome day", Thomas said.

Fowler came back to birdie the par-3 ninth to get back to one shot back.

"Obviously if it's going to be blowing 25 [miles per hour], I think it will be tough. I just happened to be in the flawless spot".