Unexpected leaders at the end of the third round, the American and the Briton are in the process of a first title on the PGA circuit.
The unexpected Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick occupy the lead of the US Open, after the 3rd round disputed on Saturday, in windy conditions on the course of Brookline (Massachusetts) still as difficult to tame, as Jon Rahm and Scottie lamented Scheffler. The co-leaders, in search of a first title on the PGA circuit, were not always in charge during this eventful day, but they were the most regular, where the exceptional edition of the Ryder Cup in 1999, when the United States team beat the Europeans.
The American 14th in the world and the Briton 18th, who remain on remarkable performances at the PGA Championship last month, 2nd and 5th, are indeed part of the rare entries to have remained under par, at the end of this third round, which Probably sounded the glass of chances for Colin Morikawa, leader the day before and who unscrewed in 17th place by making a card of +7 (+2 in total).
“I knew it was going to play out and that we had to be patient. I knew if I made a bogey or two early in the game, not to change the game plan, not to try to be too aggressive because that’s how you cause damage“, reacted Zalatoris, who only made one mistake, in the middle of four successful birdies, rewarded with a jump of 14 places.
Rahm finished sanded
“The wind was blowing really hard. This made things difficult. You had to be mindful of how you hit the ball, where you were going to miss it. It was a big challenge today. I’m really happy with my scorecommented Fitzpatrick, who had a busier day, but his five birdies made up for the three bogeys conceded.
Here they are with a total of -4, still quite thin after 54 holes of a Grand Slam. They took advantage of a failure at the very end of the course of the defending champion, the Spaniard Jon Rahm, who remains as the day before in third position. He had however taken the lead in the ranking at N.17, thanks to a third consecutive birdie, his fourth in total.
But the world number 2, who had known how to be patient after two early bogeys, cracked on the last hole, committing a double-bogey, after having reached the two bunkers on his way. However, he is only one unit behind Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick, who are two lengths ahead of a trio in 4th place, made up of Canadian Adam Hadwin, American Keegan Bradley and world No.1 Scottie Scheffler.
ten in par
The latter started strong with two birdies and an eagle at N.8. Seeming to fly over the windy day, he was in the lead halfway through, one with a -6 total, two strokes ahead of the competition. Then, boom. A double-bogey at N.11 followed by three bogeys in a row brutally brought him back down to earth. However, he limited the breakage with a birdie at N.17, which also allows him to stay in the game.
Just behind is Rory McIlroy who never really recovered from the three bogeys committed at the start of the day. The Northern Irishman, winner of the Canada Open last week, still remains negative (-1), alongside the Americans Joel Dahmen and Sam Burns. And in 10th position, Nick Hardy is the last to be in par (0). The other 54 competitors are above.
Among them, Morikawa, 7th in the world, winner of the USPGA in 2020 and the British Open last year, who spent a nightmarish day, notably weighed down by two double-bogeys at N.7 and N.13. With him in 17th place (+2), are the Japanese Hideki Matusyama, winner of the 2021 Masters, and that of the previous edition Dustin Johnson, who is one of the players banned from the PGA Tour, for having succumbed to the sirens of LIV Golf , but cleared to compete in the US Open this week.