Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June17, 2017
Weather: After an inch of rain overnight, it was cloudy with temperatures in the mid-80s. SW wind at 8-16 mph.
Brian Harman 67-70-67—204 (-12)
Justin Thomas 73-69-63—205 (-11)
Tommy Fleetwood 67-70-68—205 (-11)
Brooks Koepka 67-70-68—205 (-11)
Rickie Fowler 65-73-68—206 (-10)
Si Woo Kim 69-70-68—207 (-9)
Note: Most Strokes Under Par at U.S. Open, 72 Holes
16 under (268), Rory McIlroy, Congressional C.C. (Blue Course), Bethesda, Md., 2011
12 under (272), Tiger Woods, Pebble Beach (Calif.) G.L., 2000
9 under (271), Martin Kaymer, Pinehurst R. & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C., 2014
Through 54 holes, 115 sub-par rounds have been recorded (44/R1, 39/R2, 32/R3). The record for most sub-par rounds in a single U.S. Open is 124 at Medinah in 1990.
The last six major champions are first time winners of major championships (Sergio Garcia/2017 Masters, Jimmy Walker/2016 PGA, Henrik Stenson/2016 The Open, Dustin Johnson/2016/U.S. Open, Danny Willet/2016 Masters, Jason Day/2015 PGA).
Major Championship Starts (counting this week) among Top 16 (6-under or better) on Leaderboard
The top 16 players on the leaderboard account for zero Major Championship victories in 273 overall starts.
Brian Harman 8 (T26 – 2014 The Open)
Justin Thomas 8 (T18 – 2015 PGA)
Tommy Fleetwood 8 (T27 – 2015 U.S. Open)
Brooks Koepka 15 (T4 – 2014 U.S. Open, 2016 PGA)
Rickie Fowler 30 (T2 – 2014 U.S. Open, The Open)
Si Woo Kim 3 (MC – 2016 PGA, 2017 Masters)
Patrick Reed 14 (T12 – 2016 The Open)
Russell Henley 18 (T11 – 2017 Masters)
Charley Hoffman 24 (T9 – 2015 Masters)
Bill Haas 31 (T9 – 2016 The Open)
Brendan Steele 11 (T12 – 2015 PGA)
Brandt Snedeker 39 (T3 – 2008 Masters, 2012 The Open)
Xander Schauffele 1 (first major appearance)
Bernd Wiesberger 16 (T15 – 2014 PGA)
Hideki Matsuyama 19 (T4 – 2016 PGA)
J.B. Holmes 28 (3rd – 2016 The Open)
Savannah, Georgia native Brian Harman recorded six birdies and a lone bogey (No. 3) for a 5-under 67 to take the solo lead into the final round. Harman shared the lead with three other players through 36 holes in his third U.S. Open appearance.
This marks the third 54-hole lead/co-lead for Harman on the PGA TOUR.
Year Tournament Finish
2014 John Deere Classic Won
2015 Travelers Championship 3rd
2017 U.S. Open
Harman is seeking to become the first left-hander to win the U.S. Open, the only major championship without a left-handed winner. Harman was the first left-handed winner of the Wells Fargo Championship this year and first left-hander to win on the PGA TOUR since Greg Chalmers at the 2016 Barracuda Championship. Other left-handed major champions are;
Phil Mickelson (4 – 2004 Masters, 2005 PGA Championship, 2006 Masters, 2013 The Open)
Bubba Watson (2 – 2012 Masters, 2014 Masters)
Mike Weir (2003 Masters)
Bob Charles (1963 The Open)
Should Harman win this week, it would mark his third PGA TOUR victory in his 176th start at 30 years, 4 months, 30 days.
At 12-under, Harman joins Tiger Woods (R4, Pebble Beach, 2000) and Gil Morgan (R3, Pebble Beach, 1992) as players with the second-most strokes under par at any point during the U.S. Open. Rory McIlroy reached 17-under during the final round at Congressional in 2011.
Harman, 30, recently claimed his second career PGA TOUR win with victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in May with birdies at the final two holes to win by a stroke at 10-under 278 over Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez. Harman is also the winner of the 2014 John Deere Classic.
Harman has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs in each of his five years on TOUR. At No. 11 in the current FedExCup standings, Harman is seeking to reach the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career.
Harman, No. 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is making his third start at the U.S. Open, with missed cuts in both previous starts in 2012 (77-72) and 2015 (69-79).
Harman is making his eighth start in a major championship. His best showing is T26 at The Open Championship in 2014.
This is Harman’s 20th start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season. He owns five top-10 results and 10 top-25 finishes, matching his career-high 10 top-25s last season. His most recent top-10 was T7 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
Third-Round Statistics at the U.S. Open
Number of times the third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win: 51.
Largest come-from-behind victory at the U.S. Open in the final 18 holes: Arnold Palmer (7 strokes/1960/Cherry Hills).
Dating to the 2009 Masters (33 majors), the 54-hole leader/co-leader has won 15 times, including the three most recent majors: Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters), Jimmy Walker (2016 PGA Championship), Henrik Stenson (2016 Open Championship), Jason Day (2015 PGA Championship), Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open), Rory McIlroy (2014 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, 2012 PGA Championship, 2011 U.S. Open), Martin Kaymer (2014 U.S. Open), Bubba Watson (2014 Masters), Darren Clarke (2011 Open Championship), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship) and Angel Cabrera (2009 Masters).
Dating to 2005, the 54-hole lead/co-leader has won four of the last 12 U.S. Opens: Woods (2008), McIlroy (2011), Martin Kaymer (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015).
32 sub-par scores were recorded in the third round.
On the PGA TOUR this season, the third-round leader/co-leader has won 10 times in 30 stroke-play events, most recently Kevin Chappell at the Valero Texas Open.
Justin Thomas began the third round in T24 position. After recording nine birdies and two bogeys, Thomas reached the 667-yard 18th green with a stellar 3-wood from 310 yards and holed a seven-foot putt for eagle to shoot 9-under 63, matching the low 18-hole scoring record set by Johnny Miller in the final round at Oakmont in 1973.
Lowest Score, U.S. Open Any Round
63 (-9), Justin Thomas, R3, Erin Hills, 2017
63 (-8), Johnny Miller, R4, Oakmont, 1973
Lowest Score, U.S. Open Third Round
63 (-9), Justin Thomas, R3, Erin Hills, 2017
64 (-7), Loren Roberts, Oakmont, 1994
64 (-6), Keith Clearwater, The Olympic Club, 1987
64 (-6), Ben Crenshaw, Merion, 1981
Justin Thomas’ career low PGA TOUR rounds;
59 (-11), R1, 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii
61 (-11), R2, 2015 CIMB Classic
61 (-9), R2, 2015 Sony Open in Hawaii
62 (-8), R4, 2016 Travelers Championship
63 (-9), R2, 2015 CareerBuilder Challenge
63 (-9), R3, 2017 U.S. Open
63 (-8), R1, 2015 John Deere Classic
Thomas’ 63 was the 31st 63 recorded in major championships. Last year, three players recorded 63 in majors (Phil Mickelson/R1/The Open, Henrik Stenson/R4/The Open, Robert Streb/R2/PGA Championship).
Thomas hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, 11 of 14 fairways and had 25 putts.
Should Thomas win on Sunday, it would mark his fifth PGA TOUR victory in his 85th career start at the age of 24 years, 1 month, 20 days. Justin Thomas’ PGA TOUR victories (4): 2015 CIMB Classic, 2016 CIMB Classic, 2017 SBS Tournament of Champions, 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii.
Thomas, making his third U.S. Open appearance, missed the cut with 75-73 in his debut at this event in 2014. Last year, rounds of 73-69-73-73 left him T32.
Thomas is making his eighth major championship start with T18 at the 2015 PGA Championship his best showing.
In his most recent start, Thomas shot an even-par 72 on the final day to finish T4 at the Memorial Tournament, four shots behind winner Jason Dufner. Thomas, a three-time winner this season, recorded his seventh top-10 in 15 starts. He also earned enough FedExCup points to move into second in the standings, 293 points back of Dustin Johnson’s lead.
Thomas is one of two players who have a chance to surpass Dustin Johnson in the FedExCup standings with a win at the U.S. Open. No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama (TXX) is the other. Having led the FedExCup the last 12 weeks and 23 total weeks in his career, Johnson (MC) is now third in all-time weeks leading the FedExCup behind Tiger Woods (85 weeks) and Jimmy Walker (48 weeks).
With a win Sunday, Thomas would pass Dustin Johnson on the money list. Johnson has occupied the No. 1 position since winning the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play 12 weeks ago.
In winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, Thomas opened with an 11-under 59, becoming the seventh player (eight times) to record a sub-60 round on the PGA TOUR. Thomas’ 72-hole winning total of 253 at the Sony Open in Hawaii set a new PGA TOUR record, previously held by Tommy Armour III at the 2003 Valero Texas Open at 254. His seven-stroke victory is the largest winning margin this season (with Hideki Matsuyama at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions).
Brooks Koepka opened with a birdie before his only bogey of the day came early in the round, at No. 3, the hardest hole on the course. Koepka’s 4-under 68 has him at 11-under and T2 headed into the final round.
Koepka is making his fifth appearance at the U.S. Open. After missing the cut in his first start in 2012, he was T4 in 2014, T18 in 2015 and T13 last year.
This week is Koepka’s 15th major championship appearance. He missed the cut in his first two major championship starts, the U.S. Open in 2012 and The Open in 2013. Since then, Koepka has made the cut in 13 consecutive major championships.
Koepka owns four top-10 finishes in major championships (T4-2016 PGA, T4-2014 U.S. Open, T5-2015 PGA, T10-2015 The Open).
En route to his lone PGA TOUR victory, Koepka came from three strokes back to win the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open by one shot. This year’s runner-up finish at the Valero Texas Open marked Koepka’s fourth runner-up finish on TOUR (2016 AT&T Byron Nelson, 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic, 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, 2017 Valero Texas Open).
In September last year, Koepka made his first-ever start at the Ryder Cup, going 3-1 in his four matches in the United States’ 17-11 victory at Hazeltine, including a dominating 5&4 singles victory over former Masters champion Danny Willet. His three-point total (tied with Brandt Snedeker) was second only to Patrick Reed’s 3 ½ points.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood reached 12-under and shared the lead during the third round before a bogey at the final hole dropped him to T2 heading into the final round in his second U.S. Open appearance. Fleetwood finished T27 with rounds of 74-69-73-69 in his only other U.S. Open start in 2015.
Fleetwood is seeking his first PGA TOUR victory in his 19th career start on the PGA TOUR.
This is the eighth appearance in a major championship for Fleetwood. Before today, his T27 finish in the 2015 U.S. Open was the only time he had advanced to the weekend at any major championship.
The two-time European Tour winner claimed his most recent title earlier this year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Fleetwood’s best showing in 18 previous starts on the PGA TOUR was T2 at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship earlier this year. Before that, he was T5 at the 2015 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (T5) when he lost to countryman Danny Willett in the quarterfinals.
After opening with a 6-over 78 in the first round of this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, Fleetwood posted rounds of 66-70-68 to finish T10. In need of just four non-member FedExCup points to qualify for Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR, Fleetwood easily achieved the points and earned Special Temporary Membership. He currently has 415 non-member FedExCup points.
Making his ninth U.S. Open appearance, Rickie Fowler was going backwards down the leaderboard after entering the third round with a share of the lead before three consecutive birdies late in the round (holes 14-16) lifted him to 10-under and T5 position.
Fowler’s opening-round 65 was his record low at any major championship. He previously posted 66 at the 2014 PGA Championship and The Open Championship in 2015.
Fowler owns two top-10 results in eight previous starts in the U.S. Open. He was T10 in 2013 and runner-up to Martin Kaymer at Pinehurst in 2014, the same year he recorded top-5 finishes in each of the four major championships, becoming the first player to perform that feat since Tiger Woods did so in 2005.
This marks Fowler’s 30th major championship appearance. He’s posted six top-10 results in 29 major starts.
Heading in to the U.S. Open, Fowler was one of just three players with a season scoring average below 69.50 (Sergio Garcia – 69.304, Jordan Spieth – 69.411, Rickie Fowler – 69.419). In advance of this week Fowler was ranked No. 1 in three statistical categories for this season – Total Driving (58), Sand Saves (72.37%) and All Around (197).
In February, Fowler won The Honda Classic for his fourth PGA TOUR title (212 Wells Fargo Championship, 2015 THE PLAYERS, 2015 Dell Technologies Championship, 2017 The Honda Classic). He also owns two European Tour wins (2015 Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open, 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Classic).
In 12 starts this season, Fowler recorded his fifth top-10 of the season earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide when he tied for second, three strokes behind Jason Dufner. He missed the cut at last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Fowler began this week at No. 8 in the FedExCup standings and No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Going into the week, Fowler was sixth in the Presidents Cup US Team points standings and is on track to qualify for his second Presidents Cup. He went 1-3-1 for the US Team in 2015 in Korea.
Si Woo Kim
Kim, making his 64th PGA TOUR start and first appearance at the U.S. Open, missed the cut in the only two major championships he has previously contested – the 2016 PGA Championship and this year’s Masters Tournament.
Kim won this year’s THE PLAYERS Championship to earn his second career PGA TOUR victory in his 61st PGA TOUR start. His maiden win came at the 2016 Wyndham Championship.
At the age of 21 years, 10 months, 16 days, Kim is the youngest winner of THE PLAYERS Championship. Adam Scott was 23 years, 8 months, 12 days when he won in 2004.
Kim is seeking to join Martin Kaymer (2014) as the only PLAYERS champion to win the U.S. Open in the same year as his victory at TPC Sawgrass. With a win this week, Kim would become the fifth player to win THE PLAYERS and a major championship in the same year; Jack Nicklaus, 1978 (Open Championship), Hal Sutton, 1983 (PGA Championship), Tiger Woods, 2001 (Masters), Martin Kaymer, 2014 (U.S. Open).
Kim is the fourth-youngest player to win twice on the PGA TOUR in the last 25 years:
1996 Tiger Woods 20 years, 9 months, 6 days
2001 Sergio Garcia 21 years, 5 months, 15 days
2015 Jordan Spieth 21 years, 7 months, 16 days
2017 Si Woo Kim 21 years, 10 months, 16 days
Kim has a mixed bag of results this season on TOUR with eight missed cuts and five WDs. Along with his victory at THE PLAYERS, his only other top-10 showing was a T10 in his season-starter at the CIMB Classic.
Kim currently sits No. 25 on the FedExCup standings. Last season, Kim was one of two PGA TOUR rookies to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs finale, the TOUR Championship. He ended the season at No. 17 in the FedExCup.
Kim is No. 7 in the International Presidents Cup team standings and No. 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Kim is one of eight Korean-born players to win on the PGA TOUR and the fifth with multiple victories: K.J. Choi (8), Y.E. Yang (2), Sangmoon Bae (2), James Hahn (2), Si Woo Kim (2), Kevin Na (1), Seung-Yul Noh (1), Danny Lee (1).
Si Woo Kim will turn 22 on June 28 this year. A player of Korean-descent in their 20s has won on the PGA TOUR each of the last six seasons:
Anthony Kim – (2010 Shell Houston Open/24 years, 9 months, 16 days)
Kevin Na – (2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open/28 years, 17 days)
John Huh – (2012 OHL Classic at Mayakoba/21 years, 9 months, 5 days)
Sangmoon Bae – (2013 AT&T Byron Nelson/26 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Seung-Yul Noh – (2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans/22 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Sangmoon Bae – (2014 Safeway Open/28 years, 3 months, 21 days)
Danny Lee – (2015 The Greenbrier Classic/24 years, 11 months, 11 days)
Si Woo Kim – (2016 Wyndham Championship/21 years, 1 month, 24 days)
Si Woo Kim – (2017 PLAYERS Championship)/21 years, 10 months, 16 days)
Kim remains the youngest player to graduate from PGA TOUR Q-School. He finished T20 at the 2012 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at PGA West in Palm Springs at the age of 17 years, 5 months, 6 days. Kim’s rookie season on the PGA TOUR was in 2013, but only made eight starts because he did not turn 18 until June 28. Kim returned back to Web.com Tour until he locked up his PGA TOUR Card for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season by finishing 23rd on the 2015 Web.com Tour priority list.
Kim won the 2015 Stonebrae Classic on the Web.com Tour.
Patrick Reed lipped-out a four-foot putt for birdie at the final hole to shoot 7-under 65 and sit T7 after starting the day in T33 position. Reed’s round included eight birdies, with two stretches of three-in-a-row (holes 6-8, holes 14-16), and a lone bogey at No. 5.
This is Reed’s fourth U.S. Open appearance. He finished T14 in 2015 after holding a share of the 36-hole lead with eventual champion Jordan Spieth. Reed was T35 in his U.S. Open debut in 2014 and missed the cut at last year’s championship.
Reed’s best finish in 13 previous major championship starts is T12 at last year’s Open Championship at Troon.
Reed is one of five players to have shot 7-under 65 or better this week, marking the first time five players have achieved the feat in a single U.S. Open;
65, Rickie Fowler – R1
65, Chez Reavie – R2
65, Hideki Matsuyama – R2
65, Patrick Reed – R3
63, Justin Thomas – R3
Reed owns five PGA TOUR victories with the most recent coming at THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2016.
2013 Wyndham Championship; 2014 CareerBuilder Challenge, WGC-Mexico Championship; 2015 SBS Tournament of Champions; 2016 THE NORTHERN TRUST.
In 18 events this season, Reed has recorded just one top-10 result – T6 at the SBS Tournament of Champions.
Last season, Reed advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, making it to the TOUR Championship for the third consecutive time. Reed entered the Playoffs finale in the No. 2 position in the FedExCup standings and finished T24 at East Lake to end his season a career-best No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.
Making his second Ryder Cup appearance, Reed went 3-1-1 in his five matches last year to lead the American team to a 17-11 victory over Europe (the first win for the Unites States since 2008). He and Jordan Spieth were the only Americans to play in all five matches at Hazeltine. Reed went head-to-head with Rory McIlroy in one of the most thrilling matches (particularly on the front nine) in Ryder Cup history, eventually making birdie on No. 18 for a 1-up victory. Reed wore his Ryder Cup team uniform pants in Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Open.
Additional player notes
Wisconsin native and U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Steve Stricker, 50, qualified for his 20th U.S. Open, a week ahead of competing and hosting the American Family Insurance Championship, a PGA TOUR Champions event outside Madison. Stricker, who finished fifth in both 1998 and 1999, shot 73-72-69 to sit T30 through 54 holes. Stricker is seeking to join Tom Kite (T5-2001) as the only player since 2000 age 50 or older to earn a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open.
Amateurs at the U.S. Open
Fourteen amateur participants teed it up in the 2017 U.S. Open and two – Cameron Champ (4-under/T17) and Scottie Scheffler (2-underT30) – made the 36-hole cut. In 2015, 16 amateurs were in the field and six advanced to the weekend.
Champ, playing in his first U.S. Open, teamed with PGA TOUR Champions professional Steve Pate to compete in the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach in 2012.
Scheffler was 4-under and bogey-free for the day heading to the 18th tee when disaster struck in the form of a triple bogey, leading to a 71. Scheffler is making his fourth start on the PGA TOUR. In 2014, he finished T22 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The last amateur to finish inside the top 15 at the U.S. Open was Spencer Levin (T13) in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills.
The U.S. Open has been won by an amateur eight times (five players): Francis Ouimet (1913), Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916), Robert T. Jones Jr. (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930), John Goodman (1933).
The lowest score at the U.S. Open by an amateur is 65: James McHale (6-under, R3, 1947, St. Louis CC), James Simons (5-under, R3, 1971, Merion GC) and Nick Taylor (5-under, R2, 2009, Bethpage Black).
Five of the 11 past U.S. Open champions (12 wins) in the field advanced to the weekend. Here’s a look at where they stand: Dustin Johnson (MC/2016), Jordan Spieth (T59/2015), Martin Kaymer (T43/2014), Justin Rose (MC/2013), Webb Simpson (T43/2012), Rory McIlroy (MC/2011), Graeme McDowell (MC/2010), Lucas Glover (MC/2009), Angel Cabrera (MC/2007), Jim Furyk (T26/2003), Ernie Els (T64/1994, 1997).
Ten major champions advanced to the weekend at this week’s U.S. Open. Here’s a look at how they performed in round three;
Webb Simpson 71
Zach Johnson 68
Keegan Bradley 75
Jordan Spieth 76
Stewart Cink 76
Jim Furyk 69
Louis Oosthuizen 68
Ernie Els 79
Martin Kaymer 75
Sergio Garcia 71
Erin Hills Notes
The par-72 Erin Hills measured 7,845 yards during Thursday’s opening round, the longest course in tournament history. At 7,839 yards in the second round, it was the second-longest course in U.S. Open history. In Saturday’s third round the course played 7,818 yards, becoming the third-longest course. The previous-longest layout for the U.S. Open was 7,695 yards in the second round of 2015 championship at Chambers Bay.
The longest and shortest holes of the third round were the par-5 18th hole (667 yards) and the par-3 ninth (123 yards).
Erin Hills is the first par-72 setup in a U.S. Open since 1992 when Pebble Beach Golf Links hosted and ninth since World War II.
Erin Hills is the third course in the last decade to host a U.S. Open for the first time (Torrey Pines/2008/won by Tiger Woods, Chambers Bay/2015/won by Jordan Spieth)
Round 1 – Rickie Fowler (65), Xander Schauffele (66), Brian Harman (67), Tommy Fleetwood (67).
Round 2 – Hideki Matsuyama (65), Bill Haas (68), Kevin Chappell (70).
Round 3 – Russell Henley (67)
Scoring Averages at the par-72 Erin Hills:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Round 1 36.897 36.487 73.385 —
Round 2 36.535 36.690 73.226 73.305
Round 3 36.059 35.956 72.015 73.074
The par-4 15th hole, which measured 288 yards, gave up three eagles in the third round and just four bogeys to play the easiest in round three at 3.515. The hardest hole was the 516-yard, par-4 third hole which averaged 4.368.