Fowler fires 65 as officials put brakes on Shinnecock Hills
Fowler fires 65 as officials put brakes on Shinnecock Hills
20 June, 2018, 22:17
The U.S. Golf Association (USGA) acknowledged that its latest gamble of a tough course set-up backfired, claiming that unexpectedly strong afternoon winds were responsible for the third round carnage at the U.S. Open on Saturday.
Defending championBrooks Koepka and world number one Dustin Johnson - the 2016 victor - were among four sharing the lead heading into the final round.
Johnson, who started the third round with a four-shot lead, barely nudged his 17-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole. "But, I mean, with the greens the way they got this afternoon, they were very, very hard".
However, the course setup information sheet issued at the start of the day said the breeze would average 10 to 15 miles an hour "with a high wind gust around 20 mph possible near 5 p.m".
Tommy Fleetwood gave Koepka a run for his money, ultimately finishing at 2-over 282 for the weekend after posting an outstanding 7-under 63 on Sunday - the best score for anyone on the weekend and a Shinnecock record. In fact, the only other round under par was a 68 by Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
He arrived at Shinnecock Hills in fine fettle after winning the PGA Tour event in Memphis last Sunday, a result that lifted him back into the world number one position.
"I felt like I played pretty well", said the No. 1 player in the world. "I definitely had a chance", Reed said.
There were nearly as many birdies as bogeys at Shinnecock Hills among the early starters, with approach shots landing softly and often imparting some backspin.
Brooks Koepka has the game to win a U.S. Open on any course. He couldn't quite close in the final holes, missing too many long birdies, and finished at +4 for the week.
Davis said the grounds crew has been instructed to do what it can to slow the course for the final round, mostly by watering the surface as much as possible without negatively affecting play.
Mickelson's incident occurred on the 13 green, where he faced a downhill putt of eight metres for bogey. For the first time all tournament, DJ is over par, and now Henrik Stenson is the leader.
"I think knowing the rules is never a bad thing".
Mickelson suggested he would not have finished the round if he had to play from where the putt on the 13th green was headed before he hit it while moving. "Today's round, I didn't feel like I played badly at all, seven over, usually is a awful score, but with the greens the way they got this afternoon they were very, very hard". Koepka took 14 fewer putts than Johnson on the weekend. And three three-putts, that doesn't help. Watching the ball trickle past the hole and headed off the green, the veteran literally trotted up to his ball and hit it back toward the cup while it was still in motion. "It was just a moment of madness but nothing disrespectful", said Johnson. In true Happy Gilmore putting back and forth at the Waterbury Open fashion, Mickelson wound up with a 10 on the par 4.
After one fan near the 8th green blurted out, "Nobody likes you, dude!" the response was tenfold, with a chorus of "Everyone loves you, Pat!" and "I love you Patrick!" drowning out the naysayer.
And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints. Both players said the course was set up too hard for professionals.
However, that cut little ice with Ian Poulter, who responded angrily to Davis's comments following a 76 which left him four shots off the lead.
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