US Open underdog makes history with torrid final round

"It was a tale of two different golf courses", admitted Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA. Finau will tee off in the final group at 12:24 p.m. MT with Berger, who also shot a 66 as he looks to win his first major championship. "Back where I come from we call that weeds", Bubba Watson said. He played in the afternoon wind tunnel Thursday, the spitting morning rain Friday and then the baked-out moonscape late Saturday.

At least he still has a chance.

Fleetwood, who started the day at 9 over, became just the sixth person to shoot a 63 in U.S. Open history Sunday with a 7-under par round.

The U.S. Open is traditionally the toughest test in golf, but this iteration has drawn ire from almost everyone who has played it (or sat in hours of traffic trying to reach it).

But then there was Ian Poulter, who more than anyone was robbed on 15 and after playing what seemed to be the flawless bunker shot on 15 but only to look on in total amazement when his ball kept rolling, and rolling, and rolling before coming to rest some 60-feet beyong the flag and now off the green from where "Poults" took bogey on route to a round of 76 for a share of 10th place at seven-over.

"Is that an apology?" he tweeted. "You don't get mulligan's in business at this level. how can this team keep doing this without consequences".

Mickelson brought plenty of attention to the 13th hole, where anything that ran by the cup was headed off the green. You are kind of taking away from what you did the first two days. Yes, with mistakes I made, some of this could have been avoided.

Berger's postround news conference started with a question that began like this: "There's a lot of birdies out there today".

The U.S. Open is built on difficulty.

Here's how tough: Among those in the final six groups to tee off, the average score was 76.6. "If they'd have shot 4 under this afternoon, it would probably have been the best round of golf anybody's ever seen".

Henrik Stenson made one birdie and picked up three shots on the leader. Both had three straight bogeys. Stenson had a 74 and was another shot back.

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"Be care what you wish for", Rose said.

Johnson, who won the 2016 US Open, was asked his opinion of the course set-up. "So I guess we got one for sure this week".

And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints. I could have been going back and forth. When is enough enough?

In what was simply chalked up to a bad read, Fleetwood's putt broke right just inches from the hole.

Not all the statements were verbal. Koepka made only two birdies in a hard-earned round of 72, leaving him in position to become the first back-to-back victor of the US Open since Curtis Strange in 1989.

Mickelson's incident occurred on the 13 green, where he faced a downhill putt of eight metres for bogey.

Fowler tapped in for birdie on the 18th hole for a 5-under 65. The greens are still holding up except for a few spots. Mickelson was penalized two strokes for hitting a moving ball and made a 10 on the hole, on his way to a third-round 81.

Playing alongside Andrew "Beef" Johnston Saturday, Mickelson and his playing partner chuckled about the incident walking to the 14 tee. You never know what's going to happen. "I mean, for the most part, we all had to play this afternoon". I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. I feel for the spectators because they are seeing pure carnage-unless that's what they want. He was levied with a two-point penalty for his impatience and took a ten on the hole.

Purists were understandably outraged by Mickelson's actions, though he defended what he did by citing the golf adage that the rules should be used to a player's advantage. I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that. But after a three-putt on the 18th, Johnson had dropped back to three-over and tied with Berger, Finau and Koepka.

All four Americans are at three over par after the end of Round 3 Saturday, with Justin Rose of England rounding out the top five at +4. He was back in the lead when everyone around him couldn't hang on.

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