US OPEN 2017: Brian Harman leads as Thomas sets scoring record on day three


Brian Harman holds a one-shot lead heading in to the final round of the US Open while England's Tommy Fleetwood is one of three players that sits just a single shot back.

When you think of the US Open, it's hard not to have imagined that the first left-handed golfer to win the tournament would have been Phil Mickelson. After all, he has finished runner-up at this tournament six times.

But having shot a five-under 67 on day three in Mickelson's absence, it's Brian Harman that is in with a chance of claiming that title as he bids for his first major victory.

It had been a tightly packed leaderboard throughout the third day with six or seven players regularly holding that top spot.

Then came Justin Thomas' astonishing nine-under 63, which would have led the way at a normal US Open if it hadn't been for the quality of golf at Erin Hills on day three. 

Harman, who won the Wells Fargo Championship in May, put on a calm display during his bogey-free back nine to edge ahead of the rest of the field. 

He began the day with a birdie, and although he dropped a shot on the 4th, Harman responded with a gain at the next to put himself back in to contention.

Another birdie rolled in on the ninth for Harman to make the turn in 34, and he went on to pick up three more shots at 11, 14 and 15 to find himself one-shot clear heading in to Sunday.

 “I’ve got plenty of thoughts in my head. Plenty of emotions. This is where I’ve always wanted to be," Harman said.

"I’m getting to do exactly what I wanted to do since I was 10 years old. For me, I’m going to be super nervous. But so is everyone else tomorrow. I’m just going to try and enjoy the moment as much as I can and stick to my gameplan.”

Tommy Fleetwood suffered a final-hole mishap that left him scrambling for a bogey and dropping out of the joint-lead he had shared with Harman - instead posting a four-under 68 to lie one back after 54 holes. 

Until that point he had recorded five birdies, saving his solitary blemish for the par-5 18th. Fleetwood was just off the green in three, and sent his fourth shot sliding past the hole and down a huge slope before producing what he called his 'shot of the day' to get up and down for bogey.

“You could keep knocking it back and forth over that green,” said Fleetwood, “staring seven or eight in the face.”

He shares a spot in second with Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka, who birdied the final-hole and is the only player in the top six without a victory this season. 

Elsewhere, it was a nightmare of a round for Paul Casey. He started the day with a share of the lead and ended up eight shots back. He carded his second triple-bogey of the week and failed to recover, ending with a three-over 75 to lie tied for 17th at four-under par. 

Sunday's tee times... 

Thomas sets low scoring record

By the end of day two the 117th US Open at Erin Hills had already proved itself to be record-breaking, and the low scoring only continued during moving day. 

Prior to Saturday's round, it had already become the first US Open in history with three players to post seven-under-par rounds in the same tournament thanks to Rickie Fowler, Chez Reavie and Hideki Matsuyama.

Patrick Reed joined them after his own 65 during the third round to get to nine-under for the tournament, but it was Justin Thomas who stole the show by placing his name in the record books and overtaking Johnny Miller's record, which had stood since 1973.

With nine birdies, two bogeys and a final hole eagle, Thomas recorded a nine-under 63 to shoot the lowest round in relation to par in US Open history and book his spot in Sunday's final group with Brian Harman. 

Read more about his round here...