ERIN, Wisconsin, June 18 (Reuters) - The final round of the 117th U.S. Open is being played on Sunday. Following are highlights from the second major championship of the year at Erin Hills.
Long-hitting Brooks Koepka has a two-shot lead with four holes left. The American sinks a slippery four-foot birdie at the par-five 14th to go 14-under.
Koepka looks in total control but has some tough shots still to negotiate.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama has finished at 12-under, while American Brian Harman and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood trail by three.
Long-hitting Brooks Koepka and diminutive fellow American Brian Harman are tied at the top heading into the back nine.
Koepka has tamed tough conditions to pick up three birdies but a bogey at the 10th leaves him at 13-under with Harman, who has been steady rather than spectacular through nine holes.
Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama are two behind, while Tommy Fleetwood trails by three.
The wind has abated a touch, as the forecast predicted.
World number five Jordan Spieth completed a disappointing championship on a positive note by posting a three-under par 69 on a difficult, windy day at Erin Hills. Spieth finished at one-over 289.
LIVELY WINDS CLOUD FINAL-ROUND PLOT
Winds blowing up to 25 miles per hour (40 kph) greeted the early starters for the final round on the links-styled layout.
Birdies figured to be more scarce in the tight battle atop the leaderboard with Brian Harman carrying a one-shot lead into the last 18 holes with five players within three shots.
Brian Harman is the 54-hole leader, but he is not the betting favourite to win a wide-open Open.
One betting site has Justin Thomas the slight favourite at 7/2, followed by Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka at 4/1, with Harman 5/1 and Tommy Fleetwood 7/1.
Englishman Fleetwood shared the lead playing the par-five 18th, but made a complete mess of it and does well to salvage a bogey, falling back to 11 under par and into a tie for second with Americans Thomas and Koepka, with Fowler two behind leader Harman.
Thomas, a three-time winner this season on the PGA Tour, eagles the 18th to complete a 63 and tie the all-time low round at any major and set a U.S. Open record in relation to par with his nine-under round.
Thomas joins Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller and Vijay Singh as players to fire 63s at a U.S. Open. But Thomas is the only one to do it on a par-72 course.
Thomas also is the 29th player to shoot 63 in a major. Greg Norman and Vijay Singh did it twice, for 31 rounds of 63 in total.
“That means I’m a part of history,” he says. “It means I have a lot better chance to win the tournament than I did when the day started. I felt like I’ve been playing pretty well all week, and didn’t have quite the numbers to show for it. Obviously, today I definitely had something to show for it.”
Winds whip up intrigue for final round
Fleetwood riding momentum at Open - McGinley
Thomas has record nine-under, Harman leads
Fowler back in the thick of it
Players Championship winner Kim in hunt
Blimp at U.S. Open golf tourney crashes
Officials expect smooth rulings at U.S. Open (Compiled by Larry Fine and Andrew Both, editing by Gene Cherry/Ken Ferris/Ian Ransom)