Thomas makes history in US Open third round

I've pictured winning the US Open a lot of times before.

The US Open will nearly certainly be the seventh major in a row to go to a first-time champion.

"This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I'll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish". He went from a tie for second at the beginning of the day to a tie for sixth.

On a big day highlighting University of Alabama men's golf success, former Crimson Tide star Justin Thomas made history in the United States Open at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc.

Morgan shot 77 and, remarkably, still had the lead at 4-under 212. On 18 he flirted with an albatross again. Still, it was encouraging for Stricker to get his best weapon - his putter - going on the back side.

Certainly, there is evidence to that effect: five scores of 65 or lower, including Thomas' 63 that tied a major championship record.

The lead, however, belonged to Brian Harman.

"It's hard to play well when you're not in them", Harman said.

While Wisconsin native Steve Stricker and 28-year-old superstar Rickie Fowler may be the fan favorites, native Texan and Ryder Cup standout Patrick Reed is earning fans this weekend with his play and his wardrobe.

The top echelons of the leaderboard are dominated by a number of Americans, including four of the current top five, as the home golfers excel at Erin Hills.

Compared to a lot of the up and comers, Rickie Fowler nearly seems like a Tour mainstay, having been around for a while now.

The thrilling finish vaulted Thomas into the clubhouse lead on 11 under par late in the third round but with numerous contenders still out on the course and threatening to catch him.

Fowler was all over the broadcasts from Rio. "We'll probably watch some TV and hang out", Harman said. Perhaps being around so many competitors fueled him to do something more. But it will be a pleasure to go out on a Sunday trying to win a major. On 18, he had an eagle putt for 9-under 63, and all he could think about was dinner.

With its great length, Erin Hills has played to the strength of the long hitters, especially Saturday after overnight rains softened the course.

Knowing this has made the players more aggressive as the week has gone on.

Walking to the 18th green, Justin Thomas knew he had a chance for history. McIlroy ran away from the field that year. But it's Harman, all 5-foot-7, 150 pounds of him, leading by one stroke entering Sunday's fourth and perhaps final round.

The soft, forgiving conditions created opportunity for major movement up the leaderboard for those players willing to take it.

On Saturday, this caused a wild moving day where the leaderboard got crowded for a moment before restoring order.

And he still has a long way to go.

Li turned professional at age 16 and won the Volvo China Open last year on the European Tour, securing a two-year membership and qualifying for the Rio Olympics. I usually don't. So I'm pretty much docking that for tomorrow and figure I have no chance to sleep in.

Golf may be looking for a new face of the sport, but it's not for a lack of stars. Neither of these guys are playing particularly above their heads this week, so it's only a matter of time before they too turn pro.

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