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Six-way tie atop US Open leaderboard

20 June 2017

J.B. Holmes. And Rickie Fowler.

There's plenty of golf left to be played and Mother Nature will dictate what the course will tee up.

He was not the only big name to miss the cut as Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, world number two and three respectively, also crashed out. As full as the leaderboard was, however, most of the usual suspects at golf's majors were missing.

Then, inexplicably, he lost his putting touch. He bogeyed the 11, 12 and 13 holes and missed an easy birdie putt on the par five 14.

"I had been swinging it well and it felt really, really good a couple holes later to be picking the ball out of the hole for a birdie. So, all in all, not bad". No harm, no foul.

But his stay was short-lived, giving the stroke right back with a bogey at the next hole followed by a triple bogey at par-five 14th. His second shot drifted off the fairway, and his third was over the green in the fescue.

Kaymer got the good end of the draw when rain arrived at Pinehurst No. 2, and he opened with rounds of 65-65 to reach 10-under 130 and build a six-shot lead going into the weekend. So there he stood at two under and seemingly out of the picture.

Casey started eagle-birdie and finished with two birdies over the final four holes for his 66.

A rattled Casey added another bogey at the 15th to extend his miserable run before hitting back with birdies at 17 and 18.

"Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I'm a pretty happy man", Casey said after his one-under round. "But you don't really know until you put a card in your hand and you're under the gun a little bit", said McIlroy, who said goodbye at 5 over. Get through the tough pin and get to the next hole ... But I'll play a lot, I just won't practice too much.

The biggest surprise at this U.S. Open was not who was leading, but who was leaving. His best finish came in his first start at the event in 2013, when he tied for 10th at Merion. He has won one tournament on the PGA Tour.

Fowler, who shared the 36-hole lead at the Masters in April, never came seriously close to bogey because he was never in trouble. Then his game flattened out on the front nine, bogeying one and six.

"Showed up for the last six holes, anyway, " he said.

"I was a little anxious going out there", McIlroy said. "I got in a hazard on one".

Four others are within three shots as the third round winds down. "If you do that you're going to deserve a bogey out there".

"It was a good day for me", Stricker said.

Chez Reavie did what he thought couldn't be done at a U.S. Open.

Most players said it was very fair and playable the first two days.

"There are always ups and downs out there". He two-putted for birdie, and he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

Harman has a lot of spunk, though, and that victory got him high enough into the world ranking to secure a spot in the U.S. Open.

Jason Day was walking away from Erin Hills with his wife and son when he managed to find one positive about this U.S. Open.

"The only expectation I had was to be low (amateur)", Champ said.

There is no telling what the weekend will bring - starting with the weather, which includes a possibility of thunderstorms that could delay play and make the greens soft again.

And Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (T-8) is ranked fourth in the world.

"Just when you think you've got the thing figured out, it turns around and hits you in the face".

"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 said. It's looking as if that streak could grow to seven.