Six under par for the day, with a drivable par 4 ahead, Bourdy needed one birdie in his last three holes to equal Miller’s hallowed mark at Oakmont. Instead, he bogeyed the par-3 16th, made par on the short 17th and doubled the home hole, after flubbing his pitch shot just short of the green.
It still added up to a 67, but the Frenchman will now begin the third round of the U.S. Open at 2 under, two shots behind Johnson.
“At the end, I could think maybe,” he said afterward of shooting 63, “but I stayed focused and played shot by shot.”
Bourdy’s stay atop the leaderboard left many to scramble for any possible information. The 34-year-old is playing in just his second major, but he entered the week with three consecutive top-15s on the European Tour. He has four wins overall on that circuit.
“I knew at the beginning of the week, I could do something well,” he said. “I feel very good about my game the last few weeks, and I really love the difficulty of this course. I can play some great tee shots, good irons.”