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Zalatoris-Fitzpatrick, co-leaders before a last round which promises to be daunting

Two of the seven players to return a card under par this Saturday at Brookline, Will Zalatoris (67) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (68), occupy the first place of this 122nd US Open in history with a total score of -4 ( 206). They are one point ahead of defending champion, Spaniard Jon Rahm. Winner of the Masters last April, Scottie Scheffler is fourth at -2 (208) with Canadian Adam Hadwin and veteran Keegan Bradley, 36.

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A U.S. Open pure butter ! With very fast greens, still abyssal roughs and then, above all, a wind that completely drove almost the entire field crazy in this Moving Day on the side of the Brookline Country Club. Gusts timed at times at almost 40 km/h which contributed to a redistribution of the cards before a final lap which inevitably promises to be daunting.

They were thus still 23 under par after 36 holes. They are only 9 to display a score in the red. Among them, the American Will Zalatoris and English Matthew Fitzpatrick (Photo). The first, author of the best card of the day (67), will also share the last part this Sunday (from 8:45 p.m. in France) with the second, 68 for his part. Let’s just remember that it was here, in 2013, that the Briton won theAmateur US Open !

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These two had already distinguished themselves a month ago in Tulsa (Oklahoma) at the PGA Championship. Zalatoris had lost in the play-off against his compatriot, Justin Thomaswhile Fitzpatrick was completely missed on his last lap when he was in the last part with the Chilean Mito Pereira. Livid and unrecognizable, the golfer of Sheffield finished 5th.

What will happen this Sunday in the inner suburbs of Boston? With a score of -4 (206), the duo only have a small point lead over the defending champion, Jon Rahm. Still alone in the lead at the start of par 4 of 18, the Spaniard nevertheless conceded a bad double-bogey after a big mistake in a fairway bunker (see below).

Furious with himself coming out of this very frustrating third round, the current world No. 2 nevertheless keeps all his chances of walking in the footsteps of Ben Hogan (1950, 51), Curtis Strange (1988, 89) and Brooks Koepka (2017, 18), the three who have managed since the end of the Second World War to retain the trophy.

We were treated to extreme playing conditionsexplains Jon Rahm. The wind blew much stronger and especially in a different direction the last few days. The course was a little firmer too. But overall, despite this 71 (+1), I played golf pretty well. It’s quite infuriating to end my day like this but if I had been told that I would sign a +1 after 13 holes (Editor’s note, he was then at +2 before aligning three birdies from 14 to 17), I would have rushed directly to the clubhouse to validate my card as it was difficult to play golf today. »

The former world No. 1 is not the only one who can aim for victory this Sunday in Massachusetts. Keegan Bradley (69), winner of the PGA Championship 2011 in Atlantathe Canadian Adam Hadwin (70), leader Thursday night, and Scottie Scheffler (71), winner of the Masters in April and who even found themselves alone in the lead after 8 holes today thanks to a sublime eagle at 8, are only two points off the lead.

Morikawa explodes mid-flight

Same thing for Sam Burns, Rory McIlroy and Joel Dahmen. These three are seventh at -1 (209) and can also claim the overall victory. ” It was one of the toughest days on a golf course I have played in a long time. “Blowed McIlroy, in the hard with his 73 (+3) with only a successful birdie for four bogeys conceded, including three between holes 2 and 6.

The big loser of the day is without dispute Collin Morikawa. Co-leader at -5 (with Joel Dahmen) at the start of this third round, the winner of the 2021 Race on the DP World Tour totally exploded, posting a horrible 77 (+7) card with two doubles, four bogeys for a single birdie. The two-time Major winner drops to 17th place at +2 (212). Imagining him winning a third Major after the USPGA 2020 and The Open 2021 is now akin to Science Fiction…

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Photo: David Cannon Collection/Getty Images via AFP

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