Mackenzie Hughes and Louis Oosthuizen introduced the reminiscences of Tiger Woods roaring again to life Saturday within the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Just like in 2008, when Woods made eagle putts throughout the inexperienced on Nos. 13 and 18, it left this U.S. Open up for grabs.
First it was Hughes, rolling in a 60-foot eagle putt from the again of the inexperienced to the entrance pin at No. 13 that obtained him into the combination. Next got here Oosthuizen with an eagle putt from 50 toes to a entrance pin on the 18th.
That led to them being tied for the lead with Russell Henley, who was hanging on for pricey life at the top of a 3rd spherical that set the stage for a Sunday crammed with potentialities.
Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau had been two pictures behind. McIlroy has gone seven years with no main, whereas DeChambeau can get the final chuckle by becoming a member of Brooks Koepka with back-to-back U.S. Open titles.
A U.S. Open that for two days lacked pleasure got here to life in an enormous manner.
Hughes, coming off 4 consecutive missed cuts, birdied the 18th for a 3-under 68. He was the primary participant to succeed in 5-under 208.
Oosthuizen made subsequent to nothing till he holed 80 toes price of putts over the ultimate three holes, a 30-foot birdie on the sixteenth and his huge eagle at the final.
“The only thing you see is … you can actually putt this in the water,” Oosthuizen stated.
Woods is recovering from his February automotive crash that badly injured his legs and isn’t again at Torrey Pines. In his absence had been replays of the eagles he made on the thirteenth and 18th gap within the third spherical in 2008 that gave him the 54-hole lead.
It took two gamers to do this this time, however it was equally spectacular.
(*7*) Hughes stated. “The cost that goes by your physique when the ball goes within the gap and the group erupts is why we play. It provides me goosebumps now desirous about it.”
And he’ll have loads of nerves Sunday enjoying within the last group with Oosthuizen, who has had 5 runner-up finishes within the majors — two in playoffs — since profitable the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews.
Henley holed a bunker shot on the par-3 eleventh for birdie for a two-shot lead and made an incredible par save from the cabbage behind he twelfth inexperienced. But he confirmed indicators of cracking over the past hour, dropping pictures on the fifteenth and having to flee with par on No. 18.
Thirteen gamers remained below par going into the ultimate spherical. Eight gamers had been separated by three pictures on a tricky course that may not be as accessible because it was Saturday, when all three par 5s had been set as much as be reachable in two.
McIlroy began the day six pictures behind and did his finest work to save lots of bogey. He ran off three birdies in 4 holes to begin the again 9, solely to drag his tee shot right into a ravine. He took a penalty drop as an alternative of going into the ravine — a good move contemplating tv confirmed a big rattlesnake within the space — and restricted the harm to a bogey.
A birdie on the 18th for a 67, matching the low rating of the week, gave him an opportunity to win a significant for the primary time for the reason that 2014 PGA Championship. McIlroy hasn’t had lots of these alternatives these days.
“This is the only tournament in the world where you fist-pump a bogey,” McIlroy stated. “Only losing one there was a big deal, and getting it up-and-down out of the bunker on 16 and making that birdie on 18 just to get that shot back that I lost, really big.”
DeChambeau performed it huge, too, going with driver nearly in every single place and lacking some fairways by such a large margin that he had good lies in fan-trampled grass. It led to his first time in 67 rounds at the majors with no bogey on his card, and his 68 gave him an opportunity to affix Koepka and Curtis Strange as the one back-to-back Open winners within the final 50 years.
Koepka, in the meantime, was amongst those that lost a very good alternative. He shot 71 and was solely 5 pictures behind, however with 13 gamers forward of him.
Jon Rahm, slowed by a double bogey on No. 14 and never practically sufficient birdies, had a 72 and was within the group at 2-under 211 together with Scottie Scheffler (70) and Matthew Wolff (73).
Dustin Johnson shot a 68 and was amongst these at 1-under 212, 4 behind and really a lot within the recreation on this main and on this golf course.
“It’s a golf course where anything can happen,” Oosthuizen stated.