Hoo doggy, we got ourselves a golf tournament. There are plenty of big names on the first page of the U.S. Open leaderboard, but the guy at the top is not one we expected.
Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau started Saturday with the U.S. Open lead, but Matthew Wolff went out and took it from them. He tied the round of the week (65) to move himself from T-7 to the solo lead. Wolff was remarkable on Saturday. Although he hit just two of 14 fairways, he pulled off some incredible recoveries with his irons and ended up leading the field in proximity to the hole. He will enter Sunday with a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau. U.S. Open Leaderboard
Even more remarkable than Wolff’s performance itself is the fact that this is just his second career major championship. He finished T-4 at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park and now holds the 54-hole lead at Winged Foot. But while his early success is certainly surprising, Wolff has shown many times that he can handle big-time venues. He won at Pebble Beach and Olympia Fields during his sophomore year at Oklahoma State and finished in the top five at the 2018 Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills during his freshman season. The kid isn’t intimidated by big ballparks.
Sunday will mark the 107th anniversary of 20-year-old Francis Ouimet’s victory in his first career U.S. Open at the Country Club. In the second ever September U.S. Open, 21-year-old Matthew Wolff will attempt to do the same (via Justin Ray).
Other U.S. Open tidbits
Matthew Wolff will play alongside Bryson DeChambeau on Sunday. Despite a shaky start to his third round, DeChambeau managed to turn in an even-par round on Saturday. He’s currently two shots back of Wolff, but on a course as exacting as Winged Foot, that gap can close quickly.
Winds made it difficult to score in the morning on Saturday, but a few players did put together great rounds, including Alex Noren (67), Rory McIlroy (68), Louis Oosthuizen (68), and Zach Johnson (68). Only Rory and Oosty, however, will enter the final round within six shots of the lead.
World No. 3 and 18-hole leader Justin Thomas struggled for the second straight round on Saturday. After his 73 on Friday, Thomas continued to drive the ball poorly on Saturday. His third-round 76 dropped him to T-17.
We mentioned him in our preview newsletter, but get familiar with Will Zalatoris. The Korn Ferry Tour points leader has lost nearly four shots to the field on the greens this week and is still T-17. The man is a ball-striking fiend.
The European Tour continues to battle weather and, at the time of publication, has gotten only partway through the third round at the Open de Portugal. Leaderboard
There’s a star-studded leaderboard in Portland on the LPGA Tour. Mel Reid, Hannah Green, Georgia Hall, Céline Boutier, and Gaby López are all in the top five at the Cambia Portland Open. Leaderboard
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Tilly’s Scarsdale/Mamaroneck foursome – As hard as it is to believe, Winged Foot isn’t A.W. Tillinghast’s only masterpiece on the block. There’s also Fenway Golf Club and the two courses at Quaker Ridge Golf Club. Read more about this great golf neighborhood in the latest from Jaeger Kovich.
Shotgun Start: Shane Bacon joins to set up Sunday at the U.S. Open
This Saturday night episode reacts to the third round at Winged Foot and ponders what’s to come Sunday in the final round of the U.S. Open. Brendan and Andy begin by discussing Matthew Wolff’s outrageous 65 and the increasingly hot topic of not having to hit the fairway to lead a U.S. Open at Winged Foot. What does this say about the modern game and the present championship, if anything? They also discuss Pat Reed getting blown out to sea (and also possibly fluffing his lie on camera again) and the extremely impressive grind by Thicc Boi to get back on track and take a spot in the final tee time of the final round. They also address some of the odd setup critiques that the USGA went too easy. Then they are joined by Shane Bacon, who is on the ground this week broadcasting the event. Shane provides some insights on what changed with the conditions in the third round and his impressions of watching Wolff, Bryson, Reed, JT, and Rory. Then the three go through a lightning round of predictions and thoughts for Sunday, including winner, winning score, and the likelihood Bryson will be put on the clock. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
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