MAMARONECK, N.Y. (Reuters) - There were few superlatives left unused on Saturday after Matthew Wolff seized control of the U.S. Open lead by a two-stroke margin, putting up a five-under par 65 in the third round in just his second-ever major appearance.
Asked what went right with his game, it was scarcely an exaggeration when the 21-year-old responded, “everything.”
“My putting was by far the best it’s felt in the last two or three months. I feel like I’m really hitting the ball well,” the American said. “My irons were really good, and even though I only hit two fairways, my driver was -- it was just barely off, but that’s the U.S. Open.”
On a wicked Winged Foot that has vexed some of the best golfers in the world -- including world number one Dustin Johnson (72) -- it was Wolff who dazzled on-air commentators and fellow competitors in Round 3.
After shooting five birdies on the front nine, a notoriously tricky stretch in Mamaroneck, Wolff stumbled only once, bogeying on the par-four 16th, before sinking yet another birdie on the final hole.
If he can fend off fellow American Bryson DeChambeau (70) and South African Louis Oosthuizen (68) -- who are back two and four strokes, respectively, headed into Sunday’s action -- Wolff could become among the youngest players ever to win a major and the first in over a century to triumph in a U.S. Open debut.
“I’m ready to win out here and win a major,” said Wolff, who turned pro last year and won his first PGA Tour event -- the 3M Open -- in July 2019.
“It is a major. It’s really important, and yes, it is really early in my career,” said Wolff, who tied for fourth at last month’s PGA Championship. “But I mean, I put myself in a really good spot, and obviously I’m feeling really good with my game, so I’m just going to keep on doing what I’m doing and whatever happens, happens.”
Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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