On the strength of a third-round 69, Gary Woodland will take a one-shot lead over Justin Rose into the final round the 119th U.S. Open. Here’s how things stand through 54 holes at Pebble Beach, where the two-time defending champion lurks, four back.
Leaderboard: Woodland (-11), Rose (-10), Brooks Koepka (-7), Chez Reavie (-7), Louis Oosthuizen (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6)
What it means: Woodland, the 25th-ranked player in the world, is 18 holes from his first major title. He’s atop the leaderboard having only dropped two shots through 54 holes at a U.S. Open. The three-time PGA Tour winner has enjoyed a rock-solid-if-unspectacular career, quietly advancing to East Lake in six of the last eight seasons. A win on Sunday would recast the ball-striker as a true power player. Alongside Woodland in the final pairing for the second day in a row will be Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner and owner of three major runner-ups. He cut Woodland's advantage to just one with a closing birdie at the par-5 18th. In the groups ahead will be Koepka, the two-time defending champion hunting his third U.S. Open and fifth major victory in two years; Reavie, who last won on the PGA Tour in 2008; Oosthuizen, the 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year, who has already completed career runner-up slam; and McIlroy, the four-time major winner looking to end his nearly five-year drought.
Round of the day: Danny Willett worked his way inside the top 10 Saturday in 4-under 67. Even par in Rounds 1 and 2, Willett poured in six birdies in Round 3. The 2016 Masters champ arrived at Pebble having made the cut in only three of his last 10 major starts.
Best of the rest: Five players — Rose, Koepka, Reavie, Ben An and Patrick Cantlay — signed for 68. Rose leads the field in strokes gained: putting and is second in scrambling.
Biggest disappointment: Aaron Wise started Saturday at 5 under and ended it on the wrong side of par. He’s now 3 over for the championship after a round of 79 that included a snowman at the par-4 ninth.
Shots of the day: Woodland’s par saves at Nos. 12 and 14, keeping him bogey-free on the back nine this week.
Quote of the day: “I've got to hand it to the USGA for doing a great setup. It's the best I've ever seen.” – of all people, Phil Mickelson.