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Justin Thomas shoots 63, trails Brian Harman by 1 at US Open

The final round at the U.S. Open is enough to give anyone the jitters.

Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204. In my day Andy North, who was from Wisconsin, won the U.S. Open twice. Johnny Miller's record stood for 44 years to the day, held up as one of those marks we'd never see broken. Thomas admitted that as he walked up the 18th fairway Saturday afternoon, he wasn't aware that he was on the verge of history. "I haven't felt this good in years", he said Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in an update on his website.

"It would be nice to see the course dry out a little bit and just make it to where it's going to take a quality round of golf", he said.

Thomas, however, is not alone in that pursuit.

Athletic-looking Brooks Koepka is very impressive, especially with his distance off the tee. By the end of the day, Oosthuizen was eight shots back of leader Brian Harman.

Koepka, Fleetwood, first-round leader Rickie Fowler and Si Woo Kim all shot 68s to stay in contention. He rolled a long birdie putt off the sixth green and made bogey, and he dropped two more shots with three-putt bogeys. On the back nine, a double bogey on the 10th and an 8 on the par five 14th with a wedge to the green for my third shot made me finish sixth to Jack Nicklaus, the victor.

Koepka, who finished at 16-under 272, became the seventh straight first-time victor of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years. "It could change in a heartbeat". That wasn't almost enough to put Stricker into title contention on the longest course in U.S. Open history, especially after the rain-softened greens led to a birdie-fest that pushed the third-round lead to 12-under par, but it did answer any questions about whether his game remains viable in a golfing world obsessed with youth and distance. Thomas said, "You can't have a 8,100-yard course".

"I actually hit a pretty decent drive at the 12th, nearly where I aimed it". "But you can't do anything about that stuff".

"I just get a little shaky and jittery on putts, and that's what happened on 15, " he said.

Thomas, who said he didn't expect anyone to get to 12-under on Saturday, will follow the same strategy. Englishman Paul Casey who had a share of the overnight lead, crashed down the leaderboard with a triple bogey to sit six off the pace with nine to play.

At one time seven players were tied for the lead at seven-under and then again at eight-under with nobody able to gain separation until Thomas ripped a mighty three-wood second shot and then drained his eight-foot eagle putt at 18 sparking thundering roars from the massive gallery. A double-bogey at the par-4 12th broke his momentum and three-putts for par at the drivable 15th was another setback, one compounded by one more dropped shot at the 16th. The tournament received $1 million boosts in 2014 (from $8 million to $9 million) and 2015 ($10 million).

But the bottom line is there will still be enormous pressure on Sunday. But much of it depends on the weather.

There were a lot of low scores Saturday. It's out there for sure.

"Yeah, it definitely can help, just because it's similar-type stuff, low round and history and stuff like that". I got off to a pretty good start, which I really haven't done yet, so that was nice.



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