On the third day of competition, the Boston course of The Country Club became an inferno. The golfers suffered greatly during Saturday’s day at the US Open, and only a handful of them were able to resist the harsh conditions of the course, marked by a changing wind and the high ‘rough’. One of the few who stood out positively throughout the day was the current champion of the tournament, the Spanish Jon Rahm, who knew how to suffer during his return while the rest of the favorites sank little by little. Although he also had moments of weakness, especially on the last hole, which prevented him from going to sleep as the solo leader. The one from Barrika finished the day with 71 shots, one over par for a total of -3, which makes it to the last day in third position and just one shot from the two leaders, Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick.
The day invited to resist the harsh field to continue in the fight. He understood perfectly Jon, who, Despite a bogey on hole 2, he did not allow himself to be swallowed up by The Country Club. Rahm knew that today was not a day in which the US Open could be won, but it could be lost. Tell that to the two men who finished Friday as the -5 leaders. Morikawa, with a return of seven over par, fell to +2, while Dahmen gave up another four shots and went -1. Saturday started with 23 men under par, while at the end of the third round, only nine are in the red. After the initial bogey, Rahm chained several pairs that tasted like birdie, and it is that not falling in the classification was already a success. The first blow of the day hit him on the 7th hole, with a good putt of four meters that earned him a birdie. Nevertheless, Rahmbo fell victim to the toughness of the course on the next hole. His exit went to a tree that made a normal blow impossible. This forced the Basque to hit the ball backwards to advance a few meters, although he ended up getting a valuable bogey. While Jon was a fixture in the top-5, Scottie Scheffler threatened to blow up the tournament. The number one in the world achieved an eagle on the 8th hole after hole from the fairway, and with it he was in first position with two shots ahead. The American made his rivals tremble, who saw that, once again in this 2022, Scheffler played superlative golf.
However, even the world number one succumbed to the harshness of the route. Scottie entered the 11th hole two shots ahead of his pursuers and, after the 14th hole, was three shots off the lead. A double bogey and three bogeys doomed the American, who was destabilized after this bump and finished the day at 71 shots, one over par for a total of -2. He hasn’t lost all of his options, because if anyone has shown this year that he can play a perfect last lap, it’s Scheffler. Before the sinking of the leader, two men emerged capable of calming the storm. Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick were two of only seven golfers to post a third-round under par. The first of them finished on Saturday in 67 strokes, the best lap of the day, and confirms once again that the majors are his specialty. Despite being only 25 years old, the lanky Zalatoris already knows what it’s like to be second in Augusta and in the PGA Championship (he lost the tiebreaker against Justin Thomas this year), and once again he is back in the fight to lift his first major tournament.
He is accompanied with -4 by the Englishman Fitzpatrick, who is playing in a fetish field for him. In 2013, he won the US Open Amateur at The Country Club. Now, nine years later, he can raise his first major in the same place. As a curiosity, Fitzpatrick is staying these days in the same place as in that 2013, the house of the Fulton family. During the amateur tournament, the Englishman’s family was left without a place to sleep because Matt’s father booked a hotel only until the quarter-finals, assuming his son would not make it that far. However, Fitzpatrick surprised everyone, and the organization of the tournament had to find a place for the golfer in a hurry. Since then, Englishman has a good relationship with the Fulton family, whom he has visited on numerous occasions. And it is that, after spending these days with them, it is obvious that they bring luck to the golfer. Today, Fitzpatrick signed a round of 68 shots, two under par, that allow him to face Sunday as a co-leader. The Englishman, a seven-time winner on the European circuit, has never won an event on the PGA Tour, and has only two top-10 majors in his career.
As a few fell and a few shot up, Rahm held on. On the 13th hole, the Basque took out a slightly bitter bogey, and that is a long putt was left that could have triggered a double bogey. Perhaps because of this scare, Barrika woke up, who in the next four holes achieved three birdies. Rahmbo began to play perfect golf, dominating his drive and recovering a surgical putt. The current champion of the tournament was placed as the solo leader with -5 in the absence of a hole, but once again suffered in his meat the crudeness of The Country Club. In the 18th, his tee shot went into a bunker, and as he was trying to get out of the sand, his ball hit a bank and returned to the spot where he started. These problems led to a double bogey that prevented Jon from going to bed as the solo leader, although the Spanish maintains all the options of victory. Among the first three, he is the only one who already knows what it is to win a major, and today’s mole on the last hole does not tarnish a great round, in which Rahmbo has proven once again to be one of the best players in the world. There are 18 holes to go this Sunday (Rahm will start at 20:34) and the Basque has not yet said his last word. He wants to be the US Open champion for the second year in a row, and he has shown enough golf to do it.