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October 21 2017, 07:12 | Sammy Rose
Tommy Fleetwood is in a share for the lead at the half-way stage
He made an eagle on his final hole at the Sony Open in January to shoot 59, and he went on to break the PGA TOUR's 72-hole scoring record.
That increased the likelihood of a seventh successive major producing a first-time victor, although the likes of Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer - who claimed U.S. Open glory in 2014 - were handily placed four off the pace. A dropped shot means Fleetwood, at 11 under, shares second with Thomas and Brooks Koepka.
Lovemark shot his second straight 3-under 69 on Friday to pull within a shot of the lead. The world No50 heads the leaderboard at 12 under after a third round of 67. Back in May, Harman won the Wells Fargo Championship in Wilmington, North Carolina. Accomplishing that feat with an eagle on the 18th provided additional juice for Thomas. "Maybe a reachable par 4, should be firmer and faster, barring any rain", he said.
Marc Leishman is among a host of US Open players benefiting from the most spectacular big-name collapse at the majors in world rankings history.
Thomas' 63 is the first 9-under-par round in U.S. Open history, eclipsing Johnny Miller's 8-under 63 in 1973. The total to par sets Thomas apart.
"It's not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said. "It was obviously an awesome day".
"I've made plan and I've stuck to the plan", he said. "I'm not going to delve into the things that I derive my motivations from, but I'm certainly motivated". "If I have to wake up with the same feelings tomorrow, I'm going to have a chance". "So I could feel a little bit again, but I just wanted to calm myself and just try to relax over that putt".
Leishman in touch in US Open second round
"Being out of position off the tee does not help", he said. This week marked his seventh U.S. Open; he'd never missed a cut, and counts five top-10 finishes.
While Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy of Ireland and Jason Day of Australia all failed to make the cut on Friday, the championship chase will begin in earnest on Saturday with the U.S. Open wide open and there for the taking. Harman will have to fend off a bevy of contenders to win his first major.
Without Spieth, McIlroy, Day or Johnson to compete with him at the top of the leaderboard, there will never be a better time than now for Fowler to win his first major.
Among the other notables who won't be there for the weekend are last week's champion Daniel Berger (+9) and major champions Bubba Watson (+4), Adam Scott (+3) and Jimmy Walker (+6). Fleetwood is making a mockery of the suggestion his best major chance of 2017 will come at Royal Birkdale, a short stroll from his Southport home. Casey walked from the 18th green at four under after posting 75. The scores are low, but we're playing well. "There were a couple of loose swings out there, but when you shoot 65, you can take those". "But you're talking polar opposites".
It's the most players tied after 36 holes of the USA since 1974 at Winged Foot, only the names from 43 years ago resonate more than today - Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
Matsuyama, at number four the highest ranked player still in the field, starts at five-under along with young South Korean Kim Si-woo, amateur Cameron Champ, PGA Tour rookie Xander Schauffele and veteran Brandt Snedeker.