Thomas lights up Erin Hills

Marc Leishman is just one shot off the lead midway through the third round of the US Open

Marc Leishman is just one shot off the lead midway through the third round of the US Open

Take it from no less an authority than Justin Thomas, who shot 63 and became the first ever to shoot 9 under par in a U.S. Open round.

It was, however, enough to get him into the final pairing of a major championship that remains wide open.

The muscular American, who started the day one back of overnight leader Brian Harman, was on the charge out of the gate collecting birdies on the opening two holes at a windswept Erin Hills. Rickie Fowler is confident of "getting the job done" after resurrecting his hopes of a maiden major at the US Open today.

In the 116 previous U.S. Opens, only six players had ever reached 10-under par or better, never in the same tournament. So far, there have been 49 rounds in the 60s.

Fresh off his record-breaking third round, Justin Thomas is tumbling down the leaderboard at the U.S. Open.

He added: "I'm not sure when it's going to sink in or when I'm going to realize what I did". "I'd love to have another one of those", said Thomas, who posted at 11-under 205. "I'm just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament".

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Thomas, however, is not alone in that pursuit. But Reed is in the mix heading into the final round, just four shots back of Harman at 8 under.

Fowler's seven birdies were from no more than 12 feet, including three in a row around the turn.

Fleetwood, who was hoping to become the third English victor since 1924 after Tony Jacklin (1970) and Justin Rose (2013), began the day in a tie for second and made an encouraging start with a birdie from eight feet on the second.

A lack of wind at Erin Hills, combined with greens softened by plentiful rain, has led to unusually low scoring throughout the week in Wisconsin. "When you give us soft greens, good greens and not much wind, you know there are going to be some good scores". "It could change in a heartbeat".

Thomas' dramatics happened on the 18th when he hit his second-shot 3-wood more than 300 yards on the par-5, 667-yard finishing hole. "That means I'm part of history, " he said.

"If someone shoots 9-under tomorrow in the top few (players), then I will have to shoot 10-under, I guess", Fleetwood said. But you can't do anything about that stuff.

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"I think since my dad dropped me off at football practice and told me to not be disappointed if I didn't get to play at all", Harman said, drawing laughs. And then he made birdie on the next hole. He birdied three of them on Saturday.

A few moment after Leishman's troubles, American Thomas, already riding a brilliant round as he stood on the 18 fairway, hit the shot of the tournament - a 273m three-wood second shot at the par-five that landed on the front of the green, nearly hit the flag and stopped less than 3m behind the cup.

The round saw him surge up the leaderboard in a tie for second alongside compatriot Brooks Koepka and England's Tommy Fleetwood on -11. 14 and 15 to get to 12-under.

"It just depends on the weather".

More startling than the low scores was smoke rising from about a half-mile away when a commercial blimp, not affiliated with the tournament, crashed into a field and burst into flames. There's just no telling how low. It's the best I've struck the ball in a long time. "That's a very real possibility".

208: Russell Henley (USA) 71 70 67, Charley Hoffman (USA) 70 70 68, Patrick Reed (USA) 68 75 65.209: Brandt Snedeker (USA) 70 69 70, Brendan Steele (USA) 71 69 69, Bill Haas (USA) 72 68 69, Xander Schauffele (USA) 66 73 70. The world number 13 said he was hungry at that point and that might have affected him.

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