A rain-softened course was protected by some fearsome pin positions as the third round of the US Open got under way at Erin Hills on Saturday.
Left behind was the biggest 36-hole logjam in 43 years at the U.S. Open.
Fleetwood loved the way he salvaged a bogey from the mess he was making at the last hole of the day. And then he made birdie on the next hole.
Rory McIlroy's second round was arguably more frustrating than Dustin Johnson's, as he birdied four of his last six holes at Erin Hills but still missed the cut by four shots at five-over-par. Majority had to come from far back going into the weekend, and it was hard to put together two good rounds.
"This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I'll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish".
The top three players in the world will not play the weekend of a major championship for the first time since the Official World Rankings were introduced in 1986.
"The majors have a different feel and sound to the roars and to hear the crowd go insane when I holed that putt on 18 was really cool", said Thomas, whose back-to-back wins in Hawaii in January included an opening 59 in the Sony Open.
Brian Harman and Justin Thomas were the last players to tee off at Erin Hills.
Just about everything already has at Erin Hills. Southpaws have won every major except the U.S. Open.
Koepka also reached the green in two on the 667-yard closing hole for a two-putt birdie and a 68.
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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 have not heard one negative comment yet", University Place golfer Michael Putnam said. "I couldn't possibly shoot any higher than I did".
The 39-year-old was only able to move his fourth shot a matter of inches in heavy rough over the back of the green on the par five, before hacking out sideways and taking three putts from just off the green. A birdie at the 11th hole took him to seven-under, and it looked as though he would build on an excellent opening score of 66 with another strong day.
Despite a flurry of late birdies it was not enough to turnaround an erratic round littered with errors and missed opportunities.
Fowler has the best chance, even though he lost so much ground over the final two hours.
With only eight shots separating top to bottom going into the weekend, someone from way back has a chance to make up ground in a hurry.
McIlroy, however, who had come into the tournament from an injury layoff after a niggling rib problem, said he was encouraged by his performance. "Looking forward to the next two days".
Spieth says he asked Ellie on Saturday night what she wanted him to do in the final round of the U.S. Open.
Rickie Fowler of the United States was alone at the top of the standings overnight and was nine under for the tournament until three successive bogeys from the 11th saw him fall to joint fifth at six-under.
His inward nine began with a further bogey on the long par-five first, which was followed by another bogey on the second which left him at eight over.
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