UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — The latest from the U.S. Open (all times local):
Everyone will be chasing four front-runners in the final round of the U.S. Open.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth missed a 12-footer for birdie on the finishing hole Saturday, leaving him 4 under for the championship. He is tied with Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace and Jason Day, who overcame a bout of vertigo to shoot a memorable 2-under 68 at Chambers Bay.
Spieth is trying to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2002 to win the first two majors of the year. He shot a 1-over 71 in difficult conditions.
Louis Oosthuizen shot the day’s best round, a 4-under 66. He is at 1 under along with J.B. Holmes, Cameron Smith and Shane Lowry. Six others are 1 over.
Jason Day’s caddie says he had reservations about his charge playing in the third round of the U.S. Open after his bout of vertigo the previous day.
Then Colin Swatton watched Day shoot 2-under 68 on Saturday and called it “a superhuman effort” and the “greatest round of golf I’ve ever watched.”
Swatton says Day is most affected by his illness when he turns his head, along with having to deal with the massive elevation changes at Chambers Bay.
Day finished with three birdies in his final five holes in the third round.
Jason Day says he felt “pretty groggy” from drugs given to him to treat vertigo in comments posted by the USGA after his 2-under 68 left him tied for the lead in the U.S. Open.
Day says the drugs seemed to be flushed out by the back nine, but that the vertigo came back a bit on No. 13. He felt nauseous all day and also started shaking on the 16th tee before making par, but still went birdie-birdie to finish his round.
Day had to withdraw at Firestone last year after a similar episode. He says this one was worse and “the goal was just to get through today and see how it goes.”
Jason Day declined to speak to broadcaster Fox after his 2-under 68 left him tied for the lead at the U.S. Open, leaving player partner Kevin Kisner to answer questions about him.
Which was a little bit awkward.
Day experienced a bout of vertigo near the end of his round Friday, and he was a bit wobbly at times Saturday. But he sure looked steady down the stretch with a birdie-birdie finish.
Rather than stop to speak to a group of reporters, though, Day headed for his motorhome. So Fox had to ask Kisner about Day’s performance — but never asked Kisner about his own.
Kisner is 2 over for the championship, six shots off the lead.
Jason Day made five birdies on the back nine Saturday and shot 2-under 68, moving into a tie for the lead at the U.S. Open one day after succumbing to vertigo.
Day weathered a pair of bogeys on the front nine and seemed to steady himself on the back, making his first birdie on the par-4 10th. He made bogey at No. 11 before making four birdies in his final seven holes, the last of them generating a roar from the grandstand at No. 18.
Many wondered whether Day would even play on Saturday after his scary fall near the end of his second round. Now, there is a good chance he will be playing in the final group on Sunday.
Calling it a “dream come true,” 21-year-old Australian Cameron Smith will be in one of the final groups on Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Smith came into the weekend even-par and shot 1-under 69 on Saturday, putting him within three shots of leaders Dustin Johnson and Branden Grace, who were still on the course.
Smith is playing in his first major championship. Asked whether he thought he might be in contention in the final round, he replied: “No, not really.”
Smith had missed the cut in five of his nine events on the PGA Tour this season.
The day is getting late and the shadow is getting long at Chambers Bay.
Yes, shadow. Singular.
There is only one tree on the entire course at the U.S. Open, a fir near the 12th green that doesn’t really come into play. But with the sun starting to drop over Puget Sound, that lone fir cast its defiant shadow right over the hole as the leaders were putting.
As if the tree hadn’t received enough TV time this week.
Shane Lowry is no doubt glad his game is making the headlines at this U.S. Open.
The USGA tends to make its early groupings based on themes, such as putting the last three Masters winners together. But the organization irked many last year when it put the husky Lowry in the same group with fellow heavyweights Kevin Stadler and Brendon de Jonge.
USGA officials refused to acknowledge the grouping was based on weight, but they did not deny it, either. Lowry said he was “pretty annoyed” by the situation.
The two-time European Tour winner wound up missing the cut, but he is faring a whole lot better this year. He was 2 under for the championship and alone in fourth midway through the third round.
There is a thick plume of black smoke rising just north of Chambers Bay, providing an ominous backdrop to the third round of the U.S. Open.
What appeared to be a warehouse near Narrows Marina in Tacoma caught fire Saturday. Fire trucks were attempting to douse the blaze, but it left a tower of black smoke climbing hundreds of feet into the sky.
Fans on the course had no idea what was causing the smoke.
Jason Day answered all those questioning whether he could continue in the U.S. Open, and is now raising a better question: Could he win it?
Day collapsed after getting hit with vertigo late in Friday’s second round. He needed medical attention and some thought he might not be able to continue this weekend.
Day has been shaky at times, and has been careful when he bends over to tee his ball or pluck it out of the hole. But so far he is hanging in there, a birdie at the par-4 12th getting him back to 1 over for the third round and 1 under for the championship.
Day has finished second in the U.S. Open twice.
Joost Luiten spent his formative years in the Netherlands splitting his time between playing golf in the summer months and ski jumping in the winter.
Then he fractured his elbow and nose and decided ski jumping was overrated.
Good thing Luiten stuck with golf. The 29-year-old has won four times on the European Tour, and is now in contention at the U.S. Open, where he has made the cut for the first time.
Luiten followed a bogey at the par-4 seventh with an easy birdie at the eighth to keep him even-par for his round Saturday. He is 3 under for the championship, two off the lead.
Asked whether he gave himself a chance after shooting a 7-over 77 in the opening round of the U.S. Open, Louis Oosthuizen replied: “Well, no.”
At least he is honest.
Then he went out and shot back-to-back rounds of 66 to climb into contention, and is now 1 under for the championship. Oosthuizen even missed a couple of makeable putts in his third round Saturday that kept his round from being better.
Oosthuizen says he was playing so badly in a group with Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler that “you just want to work on something the next round, or the last few holes, to take into next week. It just goes to show you never give up, especially on a course like this.”
There are plenty of birdies to be had at Chambers Bay on Saturday.
There are even more bogeys. And worse.
After back-to-back birdies pushed him into the lead, Masters champion Jordan Spieth came right back with back-to-back bogeys. Then he followed with another birdie.
Dustin Johnson also had three birdies and two bogeys in his first six holes.
These rounds are about as much of a rollercoaster as the greens.
A few years ago, Charlie Beljan had just shot 64 in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney when he needed to be wheeled out of the scorer’s tent and taken to the hospital.
He felt as if he was dying. It turned out he was having a panic attack.
That is no flippant diagnosis, either. It is something that Beljan has dealt with for years, and something that affects millions of people. But Beljan has been able to keep it under control, and his steady nerves have been on display this week at Chambers Bay.
Beljan shot a third-round 69 at the U.S. Open on Saturday to post one of the few rounds under par. He also shot 69 in the opening round before a 75 on Friday.
Jordan Spieth is one of the best on the PGA Tour when it comes to long putts, and it gave him a boost early in the third round of the U.S. Open.
After hitting his approach to about 35 feet on the par-4 second, the Masters champion calmly rolled in the putt for birdie. Then on the par-3 third, he ran in another about the same length.
That moved Spieth to 7 under and gave him a three-shot lead.
Just six players were in red figures on Saturday, and only Louis Oosthuizen was better than Spieth. Oosthuizen was at 4 under for the day with two holes to go.
Think playing in one of the final groups at the U.S. Open is pressure?
Try doing it with your future father-in-law watching.
Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky was following Dustin Johnson as he teed off for the third round at Chambers Bay on Saturday. Johnson is engaged to The Great One’s daughter, Paulina, and the two of them have a baby boy, Tatum.
Johnson was the first-round co-leader before stumbling a bit on Friday. He was still 4 under for the championship, one shot off the lead, as he prepared to tee off Saturday.
Henrik Stenson expressed his displeasure with the bumpy greens at the U.S. Open on Friday, likening them to “putting on broccoli.”
On Saturday, Rory McIlroy went with another suggestion from the salad bar.
“I don’t think they’re as green as broccoli,” he said after missing a number of putts but still shooting even-par 70 in his third round. “I think they’re more like cauliflower.”
McIlroy was diplomatic, though, saying that “they are what they are. Everyone has to putt on them. It’s all mental. … But it is disappointing that they’re not in better shape.”
Jason Day began his third round at the U.S. Open with a massive, sympathetic crowd following him around Chambers Bay, one day after collapsing because of vertigo.
There was doubt whether Day would be able to play this weekend after falling on the ninth hole Friday, his final hole of the round. Day finished his round and signed his scorecard before he was treated by medical personnel at his on-site motorhome. He has dealt with vertigo for the past year.
He drove his opening tee shot right down the middle Saturday. He hit a solid approach into the green and two-putted for par.
Day began the day 2 under, three behind the leaders.
USGA executive director Mike Davis is coming to the defense of Chambers Bay, saying “it wouldn’t be a U.S. Open if there wasn’t a little muttering.”
Players, fans and pundits alike have ripped everything from the condition of the greens to the design of the course this week. But Davis, who was consulted throughout the design of the course, said Saturday the putting surfaces are “better than they look.”
He says the mixture of fine fescue and poa annua grasses leave them looking splotchy, and that the poa annua tends to get bumpy later in the day.
Still, Davis insists, “a lot of it is your eye telling you it doesn’t look like it’s going to be smooth.”
Nobody is finding Chambers Bay easier than Louis Oosthuizen right now.
The South African shot 77 in the opening round of the U.S. Open, struggling around with playing partners Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler. But he bounced back with a 4-under 66 on Friday and had birdies on three of his first six holes in Saturday’s third round.
Then, he nearly aced the par-3 ninth, his approach shot hitting the flagstick.
As just about everybody else backs up on the firm, fast course, Oosthuizen has quietly played his last 25 holes in 9 under to climb into contention.
There has been plenty of grumbling from players about the bumpiness of the greens at the U.S. Open, but that is often the case whenever the tournament comes to the West Course.
Former USGA executive director David Fay, now an analyst on Fox, pointed out that greens were often a topic of conversation when the U.S. Open went to Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines.
Fay says he remembers “Tiger Woods was very upset about the condition of the greens at Pebble Beach. The reality of it is this, it is a game played on natural surfaces.”
Sergio Garcia remained critical of the green conditions after finishing his third round Saturday, saying: “To me it’s like playing the NBA finals on a court that has holes and slopes and no backboard. It just doesn’t feel right.”
Jordan Spieth arrived at Chambers Bay more than three hours before his U.S. Open tee time.
Spieth was on the practice green in anticipation of his third round before lunch, with more than a dozen groups still to tee off before him.
Phil Mickelson and others tend to show up early for their rounds at major championships, but most players will arrive at the course about 90 minutes before their tee time.
Spieth won the Masters earlier this year. The co-leader with Patrick Reed, he’s trying to become the first player since Tiger Woods to win the year’s first two majors.
Jason Day will try to play the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday after collapsing with a case of vertigo on his final hole of the second round.
Day was walking to his ball in a greenside bunker when he toppled over. He was still shaky as he finished the hole and received treatment from medical staffers at his on-site motorhome.
Day was 2 under for the championship, three shots off the lead. He tees off with Kevin Kisner at 1:55 p.m. local time.
Day has had trouble with vertigo in the past. The condition forced him to withdraw from the World Golf Championship event at Firestone last year and from the Byron Nelson last month.
Sergio Garcia is not exactly feeling chummy with some of the fans at Chambers Bay.
Playing early Saturday after barely making the cut, the fiery Spaniard has been pestered most of the way around the course in the third round of the U.S. Open.
At the par-4 fourth, where he left his approach shot well short of the green, a fan sarcastically shouted to him, “Hey, nice shot!” Garcia shouted back across the fairway in less than decorous language.
When he made it to the back nine, another fan shouted to him that “chicken dinner is at my house.” It was a reference to the derogatory “fried chicken” remark Garcia made about Tiger Woods a couple years ago during the European Tour awards dinner.
Those with early tee times at the U.S. Open have taken advantage of easier conditions at Chambers Bay, the greens more receptive and the wind blowing a little more gently.
So far, nobody is taking advantage of it in the third round.
That could be scary for those starting late. The course was already starting to bake as noon approached, and some tricky hole locations have made for difficult scoring.
Phil Mickelson is still hoping that he can go low enough to put himself in contention for his first U.S. Open title. He was at 3 over heading into the weekend, eight off the lead.
Morgan Hoffman nearly holed out for double eagle in the U.S. Open and didn’t even know it.
The eighth hole at Chambers Bay is so far up the hillside on the far side of the property that the gallery can’t get there. It creates an eerie quiet for a major championship.
So when Hoffman hit a long iron into the lumpy green in the third round Saturday, he thought it might be good. Only when he hiked the 270-odd yards to the green did he realize his ball had stopped a couple inches from the hole.
Hoffman was off to a rocky start with bogeys on four of his first five holes, but the tap-in eagle lifted his spirits. He even acknowledged the crowd.
Even though out there it was merely imaginary.
Unpleasant. Terrible. A tragedy.
These were the words used to describe the U.S. Open by someone who isn’t even playing.
Gary Player used an appearance on Golf Channel to deliver a rant on Chambers Bay and the U.S. Open. He called it the most unpleasant tournament he’s ever seen in his life and took a shot at the architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. “The man who designed this golf course had to have had one leg shorter than the other,” he said.
Player later referred to the course as terrible.
As for the tragedy?
He rambled so much it was hard to keep track, though it appeared he was talking about the maximum length of 7,900 yards and how much water it requires. Actually, USGA executive director Mike Davis says fescue doesn’t need as much water as other grasses.
Nick Hardy began the third round of the U.S. Open on Saturday about 10 hours after finishing his second, and one has to wonder if he got any sleep at all.
He was probably busy receiving “thank-you” text messages.
Hardy made bogey as the sun was setting over Chambers Bay, and that moved the cut line from 4 over to 5 over and allowed a slew of others to play the weekend. Among them: Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter, Jimmy Walker and Camilo Villegas.
Hardy was first on the course Saturday, playing with Bryson Dechambeau as a marker.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth is tied with Patrick Reed for the lead at 5 under. They will go off at 2:50 p.m. local time. Dustin Johnson and Branden Grace are a shot back.