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Johnson shares lead in a US Open that plays like one

17 June 2018

England's Justin Rose emerged from a chaotic and controversial third round at the US Open one shot adrift of a four-way tie for the lead. He steadied himself on the back nine but three-putted the closing hole to fall into a tie with Berger, Finau and Koepka at 3-over-par 213. He had four bogeys through 10 holes Friday and a double bogey on No. 12 before rallying with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes, but he was done in by a double bogey on the 18th.

McIlroy followed up his 10-over 80 in the first round with an even-par 70 on Friday, resulting in a score of 10-over after 36 holes. He opened with a 78, then shot 72.

"I feel like my game is built for championship golf just because I make a lot of birdies and I hit it with length and the putter can get hot", Finau said after his round. "You always want to use them in your favour.", said Mickelson. Koepka made only two birdies in a hard-earned round of 72, leaving him in position to become the first back-to-back victor of the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1989. He explained that the wind and rain made the conditions hard to play in, early on Friday. "It's going to be tough (for the leaders)". He hit more grass than ball.

He found the fairway off the tee, but his second shot landed in deep, rain-soaked rough. McIlroy then tied for fifth in 2016 and tied for fourth past year. Rose wound up with a 73 and was one shot behind at 214. It trickled over the green and down the slope, and Spieth didn't get back on the green until he played three more shots.

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Defending champion Brooks Koepka made six birdies over his last 11 holes for a 66, matching Tommy Fleetwood for the low round of the tournament.

Johnson was more than equal to all of it, his two-round total of four-under 136 putting him four ahead of Americans Charley Hoffman and Scott Piercy. So did Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, all of whom were mostly concerned about first making the cut.

Johnson looked serene on the course.

Mickelson apologized if anyone was offended by his act, even after saying he knew the rules for hitting a ball in motion and was happy to take a two-shot penalty instead of playing a crude version of tennis. That putt dropped Johnson to four under par, three shots clear of the field.

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"I like golf courses where par is a really good score and here, on every hole, par is a good score", he said. They were two of only three players to be under par for the day, along with Kiradech Aphibarnrat after a 68 moved him up into the top 10.

Also, DJ is having stress free putts when 10 of his 14 par putts have been from five feet or less.

For sure, if nothing else, Tiger has every right to feel encouraged about how his back has responded to those four serious operations he underwent in recent years, enabling him to drive the ball successfully off the tee again, even comparing favorably distance-wise on a few occasions with the monster long balls consistently clubbed by Johnson.

"I'm not very happy the way I played and the way I putted". Johnson has three top-five finishes at the U.S. Open, and that number will likely jump to four after 2018.

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It was too late for one of the wildest Saturday shake-ups at the U.S. Open. Sergio Garcia is playing in his 19th consecutive U.S. Open, the longest active streak. "Or it might not". Mickelson said he thought it would have taken him more than two strokes if he had let the ball keep rolling.

Johnson shares lead in a US Open that plays like one