Brian Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204.
ERIN, Wis. — Justin Thomas managed to stand out in a U.S. Open where par is going out of style.
All it took was a 9-under 63, the lowest round to par in a major long known as the toughest test in golf. Thomas capped off his record day on the 667-yard 18th hole at Erin Hills with the prettiest 3-wood he ever hit, stopping 8 feet away on a green where some players struggled to land a wedge.
He made the eagle to get his name in the record book Saturday.
At a glance
The leader: Brian Harman shot 5-under 67 to get to 12-under 204.
Close behind: Justin Thomas eagled 18 to get to 9-under 63, matching the major scoring record and breaking Johnny Miller’s U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par. Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood are tied for second at 11 under.
Noteworthy: None of the top 18 players on the leaderboard have won a major.
TV today: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Ch. 13
The lead, however, belonged to Brian Harman.
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Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204.
“Yeah, 12 under, I’d have about a 10-shot lead in most Opens,” he said.
Not this one. Not even close.
Erin Hills again lacked enough wind to be the stern test the U.S. Open wants, and it showed. There were 18 rounds in the 60s on Saturday. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par.
“Usually when you shoot even in a U.S. Open and you’re one off the lead, you’re not six down afterward,” J.B. Holmes said.
In the 116 previous U.S. Opens, only six players had ever reached 10 under par or better, never in the same tournament. By the end of a wild and wide-open Saturday, five players were double digits under par.
Brooks Koepka made three birdies over his last seven holes for a 68…