PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer maintained a record-setting 36-hole scoring pace and stayed atop the leaderboard (-10) with a six-stroke lead to begin third-round play in the 2014 U.S. Open on Course No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club on Saturday.
With 12 players in the field beginning play in red numbers, many possibilities exist as to who will best challenge Kaymer, and seek to shoot scores like he did during the first two rounds.
Contenders to watch closely during Round Three include Brendon Todd (-4), Kevin Na (-3), Brandt Snedeker (-3), Brooks Koepka (-2), Dustin Johnson (-2), Brandon DeJonge (-2), Keegan Bradley (-2), Henrik Stenson (-2), Matt Kuchar (-1), Rory McIlroy (-1), Chris Kirk (-1), and Jordan Speith (-1).
Even though not sitting in red numbers, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Adam Scott, leads the remainder of the field that currently sits far behind, but is comprised of individuals fully capable of going very low on Saturday.
Notables to watch in making a charge in addition to Scott include Rickie Fowler (+1), Jason Day (+1), Justin Rose (+1), and Phil Mickelson (+3).
Trying to claim a career major slam by earning his first career U.S. Open title, Mickelson knows he has his work cut out for him, following a disappointing 3-over par 73 finish on Friday.
“Well, I’m not overly optimistic,” Mickelson said.
“Obviously I’m not in good position, but more than that, I’m just — you know, you can’t fire at a lot of the pins. You got to make 25-, 30-footers, I’m just not doing it. I’m not going to give up, you just never know. I’ve had rounds that kind of clicked, like at Charlotte, where all of a sudden the putter clicked and I just saw the line, the ball started going in and went on a run. And tomorrow I need to shoot 6- or 7-under par to have a realistic chance.”
2014 U.S. Open – Third Round – Tee times – (usopen.com)
Group – Tee – Time – Players