RUSSELL Henley has company atop the leaderboard through three rounds of the US Open and there are plenty of contenders with star power in pursuit.
Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes (68) and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (70) used spectacular finishing stretches to move into a tie with Henley (71) on Saturday at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
They are all at 5-under-par 208 through 54 holes going into Sunday’s final round. Hughes and Oosthuizen will play in the last pairing.
Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau (68) and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (67) are lurking just two shots back in a tie for fourth place.
Henley needed a par-saving putt on the last hole, the par-5 18th, to remain a co-leader. He has called the tournament difficult, but he describes it as a fair challenge. He also has held a different perspective as a leader for much of the time.
Hughes made his move with an eagle on the par-5 13th hole — using a putt from about 60 feet — and then was steady until a birdie on his final hole of the day at 18.
Yet he might have gained another degree of confidence by sinking that eagle putt.
Oosthuizen posted an eagle on the par-5 18th hole, making a 52-foot putt for a quick climb to the front. He was 2 over for the day through 12 holes before making a move.
Still, he needed some good fortune. On the par-3 11th, his tee shot went into a bunker. His response was sinking the next shot for a birdie.
DeChambeau was without a bogey in the round, sinking three birdies. He seems to have bided his time throughout the week.
McIlroy was bogey-free other than the par-4 15th hole on his way to his lowest third-round score in US Open competition.
Scottie Scheffler posted 70 to sit 2 under along with Matthew Wolff (73) and Spain’s Jon Rahm (72).
Dustin Johnson, who holds the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings, shot 68 to move to 1 under for the tournament and shares ninth place with Collin Morikawa (70), Kevin Streelman (72), Xander Schauffele (72), and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout (70). — Reuters