Rickie Fowler shoots third round 84 at US Open

Aubrey Yates
June 17, 2018

Poulter trimmed Johnson's lead to one with three birdies in the space of four holes on his inward run, keeping the momentum going with a par save from a tough lie below his feet in a bunker.

"You don't win major championships by kind of slapping all around the place and missing putts". Those who would not make the cut now include Tiger Woods (+10), Jordan Spieth (+10), Bubba Watson (+13), Rory McIlroy (+13) and Sergio Garcia (+14).

McIlroy covered the back nine in just 31 shots in a second round of 70, but the damage had already been done by an 80 on Thursday and a front nine of 39.

As for Woods, Shinnecock's first and second holes again did him in, as he played them in 3 over par Friday after playing them 4 over on Thursday.

McIlroy finished strongly on Friday with four birdies on the back nine, but he still fell two shots short of the cut mark.

Dustin Johnson, however, will be the man to beat and he opened up a four-shot advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

"I'm not very happy the way I played and the way I putted", said Woods, who had been eyeing a round in the 60s after his opening 78. His birdie miss took off on the other side of the cup, leaving him a long par putt and a tap-in bogey to finish the day with a 73.

Woods, now 42 years old, has not captured a major since the 2008 U.S. Open when he was 32, though he continued to win regular tournaments until 2013, when a chronic back problem reared its painful head.

"You were seeing shots that were well played and not rewarded", said Mike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA. His path to a 78 began bogey-triple bogey.

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Mickelson jogged after the ball after it curled around the hole, realizing it was about to head down the other side of the green. Saturday was Mickelson's 48th birthday, and there were good vibes everywhere early in his round.

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"Shoot something in the 60s tomorrow, and I'll be just fine", he insisted.

"Absolutely", he said. "Have you seen the way I've been swinging?"
"I just haven't putted well". If you're Phil Mickelson, you know this all too well. Woods had made the turn at even for the round and 8 over for the tournament when that two-hole stretch effectively made his fight to make the weekend a long shot.

The scoring average of 75.33 was the highest for a third round in the U.S. Open since 2000 at Pebble Beach.

Playing in a chilly, misting rain Friday morning, Woods put his tee shot in flawless position - middle of the fairway, 157 yards out. If I can shoot that or anybody who just made the cut, I think there's potential.

"I'm expecting it to be very tough; the greens will speed up because I don't think they would have liked the scores they saw this afternoon", Leishman said. He took three shots to get up the slope and onto the 10th green, making double bogey.

"So, you know, coming in this week, feeling good about my game, feeling good about the course, I kind of love it. you know, I hated it and (now) I love it".

"Dustin is playing great golf - anyone who is going to catch him is going to have to play really, really well."
Rose said. "I enjoy the battle".

At the last U.S. Open here, Shinnecock Hills gained notoriety for slick greens that had to be watered between groups. "Around here, it seems like when I do get out of position, I'm just trying to do everything I can to get it back into position, not try to push it, and just give myself a decent look ... something on the green where I can have a look at par".

Odd never had to deal with a potentially career-ending injury in the way Woods has, but nonetheless battled for consistent excellence after falling short in his quest in 1990 to become the first player to win three straight U.S. Opens.

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