US Open: Fowler and Clark Tied for the Lead Heading into Final Round
It was a wild third round at the US Open as Rickie Fowler led by two strokes heading into the final hole, only to see his par putt lip out while Wyndham Clark birdied to tie him for the lead. Both players shot their highest rounds of the tournament so far, with Fowler carding an even-par 70 and Clark shooting one-under 69.
The sun-drenched fairways and greens were firmer on Saturday, leading to higher scores across the field. However, this didn’t faze Clark who rebounded superbly after back-to-back bogeys threatened to send him sliding down the leaderboard. The 29-year-old has never made it past the cut in previous outings at this tournament but remains unfazed with a chance for his first major title.
Fowler was disappointed not to have closed out his third round better, but he remained positive going into Sunday’s final round. “That’s when the tournament really starts,” said Fowler after sinking a stunning 69-foot putt on Hole 13.
Rory McIlroy within Striking Distance
A stroke behind both leaders is Rory McIlroy who looked dialed in from start to finish during his third-round play. The Northern Irishman hit a mammoth drive that traveled over 380 yards on Hole One – setting up what could be an exciting showdown between him and American duo Fowler and Clark.
“Felt like I played really smart, solid golf,” commented McIlroy.”Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens.”
Scottie Scheffler is also within reach of the top spot, sitting three shots behind Fowler and Clark. A strong finish to his third round saw him card an impressive 68 with a closing eagle and birdie.
Xander Schauffele, who set a record-breaking pace in Round One alongside Fowler, had a difficult day on Saturday. He shot three bogeys across his first five holes and another three in the closing six.
“I felt like I was fighting all day,” said Schauffele after finishing with a disappointing 73.”
The seven-time champion scrambled brilliantly to escape with just one bogey at Hole One after taking three swings to get out of a bunker – it could have been much worse for him otherwise.
Matt Fitzpatrick sits nine strokes back from the leaders, making it unlikely that he will defend his title from last year. Brooks Koepka’s chances of winning back-to-back majors are also slim as he struggles to keep pace with the leaders. With only one non-American inside the top six players currently competing at this tournament, tomorrow’s final round promises to be an exciting showdown between some of America’s best golfers.