US Open golf 2022: third round – live!

McIlroy rolls in his 12-foot par saver on 17! He really is clinging onto the leaders by the fingertips! His sheer determination is as impressive as his general play has been poor. If he can get home without any further damage, he’d be entitled to consider this a masterclass in damage limitation. Eight one-putts in his last nine holes! Meanwhile on 18, Scheffler flips out of the sand to 12 feet and sets about the ground beneath him with some irritated downward axe chops … but he calms down, rolls in the saver, and clenches his fist in celebration. Despite an awful run on the back nine, he’s steadied the ship and will be right in the mix tomorrow! He joins the group in the clubhouse at -2.

“Keep your head, Rory! Keep your head, man! Keep your head!” Some beneficial advice issued by someone in the gallery as McIlroy thins his approach to 17 over the green, then fails to commit to his next chip, leaving a long par putt. He considers burying the hosel of his wedge into the turf; thankfully the aforementioned self-appointed head doctor talks him out of it. Meanwhile par for Rahm at 16, and a poser for Scheffler on 18, as he doesn’t get the distance with his second and finds himself in Fitzpatrick’s Bunker.

Jon Rahm only just finds the front of the 15th green … but he pours the 25-foot birdie putt into the centre of the cup, and the defending champion grabs himself a share of the lead!

-4: Zalatoris (F), Fitzpatrick (F), Rahm (15)
-2: Bradley (F), Hadwin (F), Scheffler (17)
-1: Burns (F), McIlroy (16), Dahmen (14)

Finally, some joy for Scottie Scheffler! Since holing out from 100 yards at the par-five 8th for eagle, nothing’s gone his way. Three bogeys and one double later, he makes birdie at 17 after crashing a big drive down the middle, then executing a textbook chip and putt. He’s back to -2, and despite all the travails of the back nine, is still only two shots off the lead!

A big up and down from the sand at 15 by Rory McIlroy. Another pump of the fist. He isn’t on it at all today, but this is all about keeping within striking distance of the leaders. See also 16, where he again finds greenside sand, only to whip up over the huge face of the bunker to kick-in distance. He remains at -1.

An awful break for Sam Burns, who clips a delicate chip down the 18th green. It looks like heading in, but clips Matt Fitzpatrick’s marker, slowing it up, three feet short. Happily he makes the par putt that remains. A decent 71 and he’s -1. Fitzpatrick meanwhile can’t tickle his par putt in, and closes with a bogey, but he’ll be thrilled with his second 68 of the week nonetheless. He’s got a share of the clubhouse and tournament lead with Will Zalatoris at -4.

The defending champ Jon Rahm bounces back from that disappointing bogey at 13 with birdie at the par-five 14th. He moves back to -3. Meanwhile up on 18, Fitzpatrick lobs high out of the bunker, hoping the bank towards the rear of the green will bring his ball back towards the hole. It does a bit, but not by much. He’ll be left with a 25-footer to save his par.

Matt Fitzpatrick sends his tee shot into the gallery down the right of 18. He gets a decent lie, but doesn’t take advantage, his ball dunking into the bunker guarding the front of the green. Sam Burns is just over the back in two. Back on 15, McIlroy – who could only par the par-five 14th after hitting the branches of a tree from the centre of the fairway – plops his approach into greenside sand. Will Zalatoris and Keegan Bradley will be feeling pretty good about life at the moment.

Par down the last for Adam Hadwin, and he signs for a very acceptable 70, something that didn’t look too likely after bogeys at 2 and 4. The 18-hole leader is in good nick going into Sunday at -2.

Collin Morikawa plays the 13th much like Jon Rahm before him. A wild drive, a lay-up, an overcooked approach, an overly excitable par putt rolled a few feet past. But unlike Rahm, he can’t make the bogey one coming back, and it’s his second double bogey of the day. Most unMorikawaian. He’s +1, and maybe thoughts will turn to defending his Open Championship next month.

Sam Burns can’t find the green from the awkward position he’s found down the right of 17. He can’t get up and down, and slips back to -1. But going the other way, his partner Matt Fitzpatrick, who pitches to eight feet and rolls in to take sole ownership of the lead! Three birdies in four holes for Fitzpatrick, who is one solid hole away from surely playing in the last match on Sunday for the second major in succession!

-5: Fitzpatrick (17)
-4: Zalatoris (F)
-2: Bradley (F), Hadwin (17), Rahm (13)

Nothing’s going right for Scottie Scheffler. A roll across 15 looks like dropping for a much-needed birdie, but it turns to the right at the very last inch. Just a par, and he rolls his eyes, but at least he’s snapped that run of double bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey. He remains at -1.

A wild drive by Jon Rahm on 13. He’s forced to lay up, then when he wedges into the green, the wind drops and his ball flies 30 feet further than intended. He indulges himself with a minor club-bothering tantrum, slamming them in and out of his bag while saying the word “freakin’” a lot – remarkable linguistic constraint, considering – then races his par attempt six feet past the hole. He calms himself down and rolls in the bogey putt, limiting the damage but dropping back to -2. He’s joined there by Adam Hadwin, coming the other way after rolling in a 25-footer for birdie at 17.

A staunch up and down from a greenside bunker at the par-three 16th for Sam Burns. That keeps him at -2. Matt Fitzpatrick leaves a tentative 20-foot birdie putt short. He stays at -4, then bashes a long drive down 17 that leaves him a short pitch in. Burns sends a wild slice into trouble on the right.

McIlroy steers in his downhill right-to-left par putt on 13! He fist-pumps the air again. He knows how important these saves could be, especially when he’s not bringing his best stuff. He remains at -1. Double for his partner Aaron Wise, though, and he clatters back to level par for the championship.

Scottie Scheffler drops yet another shot! He’s all over the place at the par-five 13th from the get-go, hitting a tree down the right with his drive and zig-zagging his way up the hole. His last four holes: 5-5-5-6. Wow. He’s really struggling. Sam Burns however birdies 14 and 15 to haul himself back into the picture … and his partner Matt Fitzpatrick has done the same! He follows up his aforementioned birdie on 14 by arrowing his approach at 15 to five feet. He mops up, and he’s tied for the lead!

-4: Zalatoris (F), Fitzpatrick (15)
-3: Rahm (12)
-2: Bradley (F), Burns (15), Wise (12)
-1: Hadwin (16), Scheffler (14), McIlroy (12), Buckley (12), Dahmen (12), Morikawa (12)

Rory McIlroy hooks his tee shot into trees down the left of 13, and is forced to chip out sideways. He gives himself a chance of saving his par, though, whipping a 7-iron from 180 yards to ten feet. His partner Aaron Wise, having sent his drive into the thick rough down the right, squirts his second into the water guarding the green. This could be a costly hole for both players.

Jon Rahm trundles a birdie opportunity on 12 five feet past the hole. He takes his time over the one coming back. He pours it into the middle, and remains one off the lead at -3. Adam Hadwin, who had birdied 14 after holing a chip from a bank high to the left of the green, hands the shot straight back at 15; he’s -1.

A word on Bradley’s playing partner today. You’ll remember Xander Schauffele falling to bits on the front nine. Out in 42! And this from a player who’s never previously finished lower than seventh at a US Open. Well, he’ll suffer that fate this week, but he did a fine job of salvaging some pride on the back nine: birdies at 14, 17 and 18, and while he’s still signing for a ruinous 75, his supper will taste a little better this evening.

Par down the last for the local lad Keegan Bradley. The 2011 PGA champion signs for an excellent 69, soaks up the warmth from the gallery, and will be going out late tomorrow afternoon.

Rory McIlroy makes exactly the same mistakes as Scottie Scheffler on 12. Short with his second, a chip that doesn’t get up the false front, two putts for bogey. He’s back to -1, though having left himself well short with the first putt, he’s done well to hold firm and limit the damage. He’s back to -1.

An arch touch by NBC, who flash up the leaderboard and soundtrack it with a blast of More Than A Feeling. I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining why, though seeing they’re getting all literal about this, Gene Clark knocks Brad Delp and Tom Scholz’s hard-rock combo into a cocked hat.

Will Zalatoris smoothly rolls in the par putt on 18, and that’s a quite astonishing 67 in exceptionally difficult conditions, even by US Open standards. He’s out in the lead at -4 on his own … although Jon Rahm was inches away from joining him, nearly making a 15-foot birdie putt at 11. Rahm’s joined at -3 by Matt Fitzpatrick, whose eagle putt at 14 never looks like dropping, but nobody’s turning up their nose at birdies today.

-4: Zalatoris (F)
-3: Fitzpatrick (14), Rahm (11)
-2: Bradley (17), Hadwin (14), Scheffler (13), Wise (12), McIlroy (11), Morikawa (10)

Zalatoris splashes out of the bunker to six feet. He’ll have a good chance to save his par. Meanwhile yet another shot shipped by Scottie Scheffler – try saying that after a pint of wine – after a wayward drive at 13. That’s four shots gone in three holes, and the Masters champ is -2.

Will Zalatoris has a route to the green between two stands, and a decent lie. Not sure whether he got a drop or not, but here he is. He plays the percentages, and deliberately sends a stinger into the bunker guarding the front of the green. It would have been devilishly tricky to hold the green from where he was, and an up and down from sand seems less of a risk. Meanwhile on 17, Keegan Bradley drains a 20-footer for birdie, his third in his last five holes, and suddenly he’s -2!

I should have kept quiet. Zalatoris brings out the driver at 18 and sends a huge slice towards the grandstands down the right. Apologies to Will and all his fans for tempting fate. But the stuff about Rory wasn’t so wide of the mark. He finally makes a putt, and fist pumps in celebration. He moves back to -2 and walks off the green looking ten feet tall.

Rory may have turned a corner. He comes very close to chipping in from the fringe at 10, then guides a lovely wedge into the heart of 11. He’s left himself a ten-foot look at birdie, and if he knocks that in, he’ll be just two off the lead of Will Zalatoris, who has just parred 17 in an extremely measured fashion. He looks totally in control of his game and his emotions right now … and perhaps most importantly, he’s not waving his putter around like a divining rod.

-4: Zalatoris (17)
-3: Scheffler (12)
-3: Wise (10), Rahm (9)
-2: Fitzpatrick (13), Morikawa (8)

Scottie Scheffler is beginning to unravel. He batters a monster drive down 12, only to dump his wedge into the thick stuff guarding the front of the green. Then he chunks another chip, his ball only just reaching the green and toppling back down a small false front. He nearly makes an outrageous par save with a 25-foot putt from the fringe, but that’ll be another shot gone. The eagle at 8 suddenly seems an awfully long time ago.

Jon Rahm’s lid was threatening to flip. Having run up a bogey six at the inviting par-five 8th, his approach into 9 stopped by the side of a bunker, forcing him to play his third baseball style while standing in it. The improvised chip lands well short of the flag, but he rolls in the 15-foot par saver, and that may calm the defending champ – who has been effing and jeffing at some volume this afternoon – down a tad. He turns in 36, at -3 overall.

Will Zalatoris is this close to draining a long birdie putt across 16. He remains at -4, and if he can keep this up for two more holes, he could be in an extremely healthy position come the end of Moving Day. The conditions being what they are, that’s a big if, but you’d certainly rather be in his shoes than all of those players with six, seven, eight, nine, ten holes still to play.

How quickly everything can change. Seconds after Zalatoris makes his birdie on 15, Scheffler dumps his chip from the hazard at 11 onto the side of the bank, then gets a flyer with his second wedge shot. His ball sails 15 feet past the pin, and he can’t make the bogey putt coming back. Elsewhere, Jon Rahm can’t salvage his par at 8, slipping to -3, while Aaron Wise bogeys 9. Look at the leaderboard now … and all of a sudden, perhaps Rory McIlroy isn’t feeling quite so bad about himself.

-4: Zalatoris (15), Scheffler (11)
-3: Wise (9), Rahm (8)
-2: Fitzpatrick (12), Dahmen (7), Morikawa (7)
-1: Bradley (14), Hadwin (13), Rodgers (11), Hossler (10), McIlroy (9), Buckley (8)

Birdie for the aforementioned Will Zalatoris at 15! He moves to -4. Séamus Power meanwhile rattles in a long par saver on 18 to sign for a 70 and join Denny McCarthy and Gary Woodland in the cigar lounge at +1.

Scottie Scheffler gets up and down from a greenside bunker at 10 to scramble a brilliant par. It looks like he’s the only one out there – with the exception of Will Zalatoris – not losing his head in these testing conditions. But then he bounces a wedge over the back of the short par-three 11th and into the hazard at the back. He’ll have a job on to get up and down successfully from there. Tell you what, Denny McCarthy and Gary Woodland, for some time clubhouse leaders at +1, will have the cigars on right now. The way everyone’s going, they could be in the thick of it by the end of the day.

… not least because others are struggling too! Morikawa sends his second at 7 into a greenside bunker, from which he only finds the fringe. He then hits a hot putt six feet past the hole, and misses the one coming back. A double bogey, and he’s -2. On 8, Rahm’s drive finds the roots of a huge tree, and he’s forced to improvise a left-handed clip back into play. He whips an iron up towards the green, and will have to get up and down from nearby rough to save par. Then Rodgers misses 11 with a wedge, and requires three attempts to chip on. A double, and he’s -1.

McIlroy’s head isn’t on properly today. He screeches a world-class chip at 8 pin high to three feet, but then pulls a skittish putt that’s always missing on the left. He at least knocks in the par putt coming back. While he’s far from the only player going backwards at pace, he’s visibly suffering more than most. Heart always on sleeve. Keep going, Rory.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the eighth green .
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the eighth green . Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rahm rolls one in at last! He sends a left-to-right slider from 20 feet into the cup at 7, for his first birdie of the day. It moves him back into a share of second at -4. Meanwhile up on 8, McIlroy lands his second onto the green … but only just … and it topples off the false front and 50 yards back down the fairway. A big mistake, and one you may recall costing Xander Schauffele dear. Rory had better not get too cute with the chip up.

McIlroy sends his approach at 7 straight at the flag, six feet short. A great opportunity to check his downward momentum, but he pushes his birdie putt well to the right. He looks utterly sickened right now. He’ll need to snap out of it quickly, because it’s still only the front nine on Saturday, and there’s a big opportunity at a par-five coming up. Meanwhile bogey for Morikawa on 6, the punishment for sending his tee shot into a deep, tall-faced bunker. Inevitable bogey for Fitzpatrick on 10. And Scheffler pars 9 to turn in 32. This is looking very good for the world number one right now.

-6: Scheffler (9)
-4: Rodgers (9), Morikawa (6)
-3: Zalatoris (13), Wise (7), Rahm (6), Buckley (6), Dahmen (6)
-2: Fitzpatrick (10), Hossler (7)
-1: Hadwin (11), Burns (10), NeSmith (9), Hardy (8), McIlroy (7)
E: Power (16), Bradley (13)


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