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Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Staying that deep into the red might not prove as easy.

Justin Thomas, coming off his record-tying 63, and Tommy Fleetwood were starting to fade.

The previous lowest score in relation to par was the eight-under 63 shot by Johnny Miller in the final round of the 1973 Open.

And yet, Thomas won't even walk to the first tee box Sunday with the lead.

The U.S. Open didn't seem to faze him, and he delivered a variety of big shots that led to his sensational finish.

This isn't like most Opens.

Justin Thomas sunk a pretty remarkable putt for birdie during Round 3 at the U.S. Open.

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World No.9 Rickie Fowler, who held the halfway lead, earned solo fifth with a 68, with Players Championship victor Si Woo Kim a shot back alone in sixth after also carding a 68. It led to an eagle to close out his 63.

Bolstered by a delicate, bogey-saving chip shot at the 18th green, Fleetwood posted a four-under-par 68 on Saturday to stand 11 under par, just one stroke back of American lefthander Brian Harman heading into Sunday's final round at Erin Hills.

Scheffler birdied No. 18 for a 1-over 73 in the final round.

Thomas failed to make a birdie on the front nine. And he wasn't through.

A pair of birdies on the back helped him shoot 74 on the day and 3 over for the tournament.

NOTES: Patrick Reed, who shot a 65 on Saturday, wore a red, white and blue ensemble that included the blue trousers he wore during the 2016 Ryder Cup, when the United States captured its first title since 2008. And then Morgan came undone.

Spieth had a nice day considering how the winds have picked up at Erin Hills. Tom Kite won his only major. He still built a six-shot lead through 36 holes, despite hitting his tee shot into the ocean on the 18th hole and salvaging bogey.

Australian Marc Leishman had raced up the leaderboard through his opening 10 holes before a double bogey at the par-4 12th saw him let slip a chance to catch the leaders. No one had a chance.

Marc Leishman plays his shot during the second round of the 2017 U.S. Open.

"Yeah, first cut made, too (at the U.S. Open)", Harman said.

He's -5 for Round 3 through nine holes, and he's not showing any signs of slowing down.

"It will be exciting", said Spieth, who has spent the annual Spring Break holiday with Thomas and Fowler for the last two years.

Thomas lined up his putt facing away from the hole, putting off the green and letting the slope carry his ball down toward the hole.

Those are words rarely uttered at a U.S. Open. And he kept right on going early in the third round, rolling in a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fourth hole to reach 11-under par. He didn't win, either, closing with a 76 to finish at 2-under 278, two behind Lucas Glover.

He was at 14-under par at the turn. The tournament was never really in doubt after that, though the wind arrived and Kaymer couldn't maintain the pace.

Rickie Fowler, on the verge of being left behind, rallied with three straight birdies and shot 68. He shot 72 in the third round for an 8-under 202. Also in with a chance are American Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed and Si Woo Kim, the 21 year old Korean who became the youngest-ever victor of the Players Championship last month.