U.S. Open. Phil is in Charge

Phil Mickelson is in charge, and the only player at the U.S. Open who is in red figures at Merion Golf Club, after three rounds have been completed.

Phil alone at the top

Phil Mickelson / Getty Images

Phil had an even par round today, which was good enough to elevate him to the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Open. He has recorded five previous second place finishes in this tournament, but is now in control at Merion, leading by one shot going into the final round. Saturday is usually referred to as moving day, but no one at  the top of the board moved forward today. The good thing for Phil is that this is the first time ever he has enjoyed having the 54 hole lead at a U.S. Open, that must auger well for him;

” It’s a hard challenge, but it’s a lot of fun, every shot requires such great focus because a penalty can bite you quickly. I can’t wait to get back and playing. I feel good ball-striking, I feel good on the greens. I think it’s going to take an under-par round tomorrow.”

One shot back at even par, and tied in second place for the tournament are; Hunter Mahan, Charl Schwartzel and Steve Stricker.

Another shot further back on +1 over par are; Justin Rose, Billy Horschel and Luke Donald.

Luke was cruising through his round, having had the outright lead until two equally poor swings on the last two holes. A 2-iron into the bunker on the par three 17th, that led to a bogey, and followed that with a shot into ankle-deep rough down the right side of the 18th green that led to a double bogey. And just like that, one of the best rounds of the day turned into a 71, and he was suddenly two shots behind. He also managed to miss three short putts as well earlier on, which in the end really hurt his final score.

Best round of the day went to Ricky Fowler, a -3 under par 67, but he is still at +3 over par for the tournament. It was tough going today for the players, but tomorrow will be even tougher, with some pins in the usual most difficult places. As I said a couple of days ago, the winner of this tournament may well not break par at the finish.

Asides;

Sad Sergio Garcia took a beating on the 15th hole, carding a 10 after going out of bounds with his tee shot,three times. He finished the round at +11 over par, when he could have been in contention.

World number one Tiger Woods had another disappointing day, a third round of +6 over par 76 has destroyed any ideas he may of had about making a late charge here on Sunday. He is currently at +9 over par for the tournament. Not fairing much better was his business buddy Rory McIlroy, the World number two finished one shot better at +8 over par, after his third round 75. The way these two are actually playing they may not be numbers one and two for too much longer.

Tiger Commented;

“It certainly is frustrating, I’m playing well enough to do it, and unfortunately just haven’t gotten it done.”

 

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