UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Most believed Saturday would deliver the most difficult scoring conditions at the 115th U.S. Open. It may have, but it was also the most exciting day of the championship. Here is how things look with only 18 holes remaining at Chambers Bay:
Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-4), Jason Day (-4), Dustin Johnson (-4), Branden Grace (-4), Louis Oosthuizen (-1), Cameron Smith (-1), Shane Lowry (-1), J.B. Holmes (-1).
What it means: Realistically, it seems like only eight people (the only eight people under par, by the way) have a chance to win the U.S. Open but a jumbled leaderboard at the top means that anything can happen in the final round. Keep in mind, if there is a tie at the end of Sunday, there will be an 18-hole playoff on Monday.
Round of the day: It has to be Jason Day’s 2-under 68. After he collapsed and hit the ground Friday because of dizziness if wasn’t clear if Day would even be able to play the third round. He did, appeared woozy and wobbly for most of the day, but mustered enough strength to play well and birdie three of his last four holes to share the lead heading into the final round.
Best of the rest: Honorable mention goes to Louis Oosthuizen, who shot an opening-round 77 but shot 66 on Saturday and is tied for fifth place. Oosthuizen had the spotlight on him in the first round because he played alongside Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods. Since that first day he’s played the last two rounds in 8 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed was in the last group and played horribly. He bogeyed the second and fifth holes, then made double bogey on the seventh hole to quickly fall back. He shot 76 and is five shots behind the leaders.
Storyline heading into Sunday: One man has a chance to win a second consecutive major championship, three more have a chance to win their first. Only one has a chance to win his first while battling vertigo-like symptoms. Stories aplenty.
Shot of the day: There were many good ones, but J.B. Holmes made a spectacular eagle on the par-4, 372-yard 16th hole that produced a huge fist pump and sent the gallery into a frenzy. Holmes hit his drive into a back right fairway bunker and then splashed his second shot out well past the hole. The ball checked up and rolled back about 20 feet and into the hole. Said Holmes: “That’s pretty awesome. I’ll definitely log that in the memory bank as a great moment in my career.”
Quote of the day: “The vertigo came back a little bit on the 13th tee box and then felt nauseous all day. I started shaking on 16 tee box and then just tried to get it in, really. Just wanted to get it in.” – Jason Day