Friday, 17 November, 2017

US Open filled with limitless possibilities, few stars

Lucia Summers | 19 June, 2017, 03:28

Casey chopped his way to a triple bogey, only to respond with five straight birdies that carried him to a 1-under 71 and make him the first to post at 7-under 137.

Anyway, Thomas starts only one shot behind, but history is not on his side.

A three-time victor on the PGA Tour this season, Thomas also joined the exclusive "59" club by breaking 60 at the Sony Open, but he may have saved his best for Father's Day weekend and his quest for his first major crown. "It sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today".

Right behind was a trio of players that included Rickie Fowler, who went 28 holes before making his first bogey and then went three holes without making a par.

It was a much different scene than Saturday, when Thomas matched a major record with a 63.

Inspired by watching Rickie Fowler on TV tear up rain-softened Erin Hills in Thursday's morning wave, England's Paul Casey went out and fired an opening round six-under 66 to trail the American by one. His last victory came at the KLM Open in the Netherlands in 2014 and he still has only one PGA Tour title to his name. But I'm looking forward to getting the job done. Johnson is said to have texted a message of congratulations to Harman, who in turn thanked Johnson and wrote back, "I wanted no part of you in a playoff".

Johnson bogeyed the ninth and got the shot back at the 12th, but bogeys at the next two holes dropped him back to three over and another dropped shot at the 17th sealed his fate.

"I'm not going to delve into the things that I derive my motivations from, but I'm certainly motivated", said Harman on Saturday at the U.S. Open where he emerged from a crowded leaderboard to take a one-stroke lead. Thomas capped off his record day on the 667-yard 18th hole at Erin Hills with the prettiest 3-wood he ever hit, stopping 8 feet away on a green where some players struggled to land a wedge.

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The low scoring suggested the 11-year-old course was a cream puff, hardly the USGA's idea of the ultimate test in golf.

Brian Harman shot 5-under 67 to get to 12-under 204.

Matsuyama is two off the lead on five under after a brilliant seven-under-par 65 on Friday.

Harman, bidding to become the first left-hander to win a US Open, is a victor on the PGA Tour this year while Thomas is the world number 13, a three-time victor this season and a member of the exclusive "59" club after breaking 60 at the Sony Open this year. The crowd at Erin Hills erupted once again when he dropped the eight-foot eagle putt that remained a few moments later.

Thomas failed to make a birdie on the front nine. They each hit their first shot into the rough.

McIlroy finished eight shots ahead of Jason Day, whose score of 8-under 276 would have been enough to win 26 of the previous 30 U.S. Opens. He would two-putt for birdie, and he wasn't done producing highlights. "When you give us soft greens, good greens and not much wind, you know there are going to be some good scores". Then there was Tommy Fleetwood who was all over the Green. I missed another one on four from about three feet, but I didn't feel like I was hitting bad putts, I was just misreading them.

"We're all interested to see where the pin positions are going to be tomorrow and if there's a knee jerk reaction".

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