Kite looks back on windy final round at Pebble


At least not yet, anyway.

Justin Thomas, clad in pink trousers that would make cotton candy jealous, shot a historic 9-under 63 during the third round of this week's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

World number nine Rickie Fowler, runner-up in the US Open in 2014, is two off the lead on 10 under. It took a hard turn to the right and rolled in.

In the first 116 stagings of the US Open, only six players had reached 10 under par at any point. There are more red numbers on the leaderboard than on a Las Vegas roulette table, which goes against just about everything America's national golf championship is supposed to be about.

"I'm hungry. So I was - honestly, I was a little mad at myself because I could feel I was hungry on 14 and 15, I didn't have anything", he said. For me, I'm going to be super nervous. Justin's a streaky player, he's a lot like me, I was a streaky player. I still expect to play well and compete at a high level out here.

Fowler won't carry as much baggage into the final round as Garcia did at the Masters, where he ended a string of 73 majors without a win. At Erin Hills you barely would have made the cut at 1-over, and if Sunday is anything like the previous three days, someone is going to have to shoot in the low 60s to win, unless Mother Nature decides to rear an angry face. There were five after Saturday's round.

"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.

The leaderboard is so packed and the scoring conditions so ripe that Harman, who's making his first major start since missing the cut in all four in 2015, wouldn't be surprised if he's trailing when he steps on the first tee at 3:54 p.m. ET.

With only eight shots separating top to bottom going into the weekend, someone from way back has a chance to make up ground in a hurry. "I'd love to have another one of those", Thomas said.

"I'm proud of the way I hung in there today". I can't be doing that. But it's a tough course. He made an eagle on his final hole at the Sony Open in January to shoot 59, and he went on to break the PGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record.

There were early clues that the wind could level the playing field in some of the first groups to tee off on Sunday. Still, it was encouraging for Stricker to get his best weapon - his putter - going on the back side. "Four of those gains were from inside five feet, his longest conversion a 21'4" birdie putt at 9.

He had the touch all day.

Henley finished on five-under for the day after sinking five birdies after an indifferent start. I was exhausted today, too. I mean, I knew what it was score-wise.

Not too exhausted to hang in there against golf's younger generation.