On wild Saturday, Berger and Finau come from 11 back to be among U.S. Open co-leaders

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On wild Saturday, Berger and Finau come from 11 back to be among U.S. Open co-leaders

PGA Tour

On wild Saturday, Berger and Finau come from 11 back to be among U.S. Open co-leaders

Here is a recap of Saturday’s third round at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.:

LEADING: If you say you predicted this top of the leaderboard at the beginning of the day, you’re a liar.

Yes, Dustin Johnson is still on top … despite a 7-over 77 in brutal afternoon conditions that puts him at 3 over for the tournament. And defending champion Brooks Koepka being tied for the lead at 3 over after a 72 isn’t a huge surprise, either.

But the other two co-leaders Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, though? Wow.

These are both promising young players, but they started Saturday 11 shots back. Then they played great rounds out of the morning, firing 4-under 66s to rocket into the top 10 at 3 over. But they were still seven back when they reached the clubhouse.

The tougher afternoon conditions (with some opining the golf course went over the edge) brutalized Johnson and Co., though, and by day’s end, Berger and Finau were miraculously tied for the lead.

They will constitute the final pairing, something that became official after Johnson three-putted from 17 feet on the final hole for bogey to drop into a four-way tie.

The U.S. Open record for a comeback over the final 36 holes is 11 shots. Berger and Finau somehow made up 11 shots in just 18 holes, so they are certainly in position to match that record (set by Lou Graham in 1975).

As we said, Berger and Finau were fortunate to get easier conditions early. But even on the better side of Saturday’s draw, those 66s are no joke. They deserve to be here.

CHASING: Justin Rose fired a 73 to sit solo fifth at 4 over and Henrik Stenson is in sixth at 5 over after a 74. Kiradech Aphibarnrat was another one with a stellar round, posting a 68 to jump to a tie for seventh at 6 over. He’s there with Patrick Reed, who still keeps his hopes alive of winning the year’s first two majors. Jim Furyk is also at 6 over.

SHOT OF THE DAY: We feel it’s appropriate on this horrifying day for scoring that the shot recognized is Koepka draining a 60-footer for par…

QUOTABLE: “They’ve lost the golf course.” – Zach Johnson, who did not temper his thoughts on Saturday’s set-up

SHORT SHOTS: In his pro debut, Dylan Meyer remains in contention. A third-round 71 puts the former Illini star in a tie for 10th at 7 over. … Zach Johnson may’ve thought the course was lost, but it wasn’t sour grapes from a bad round. His Saturday 72 has him T-16 at 8 over. … Justin Thomas is also 8 over. … Scott Piercy becomes undone from the final pairing. A third-round 79 sees him plummet from T-2 to T-23 at 9 over. … Matt Parziale, a Massachusetts firefighter, shoots 74 and is T-33 at 11 over. He currently leads the low amateur race by a shot (over LSU’s Luis Gagne). … You want us to explain Phil Mickelson’s day? Oh boy, how much time do you got? Probably best to just direct you here. One of the more bizarre sequences ever leads to a sextuple-bogey 10. Mickelson fires 11-over 81 on the day to drop to T-64 at 17 over.

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