Steve September 19, 2020
-5 M Wolff (US); -3 B DeChambeau (US); -1 L Oosthuizen (SA); Level H Matsuyama (Jpn), X Schauffele (US); +1 R McIlroy (NI)
Selected others: +3 P Reed (US); +4 J Thomas (US); +5 P Casey (Eng), D Johnson (US), L Westwood (Eng); +7 J Rahm (Spa); +8 M Wallace (Eng); +12 R MacIntyre (Sco); +13 S Lowry (Ire)

American Matthew Wolff produced a scintillating five-under 65 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the US Open at Winged Foot.

The 21-year-old, playing in his first US Open, holed six birdies to improve to five under par in New York.

Bryson DeChambeau is three under, with Louis Oosthuizen at one under par.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is also in contention at one over par after recovering from a 76 on Friday to card “a really good round” of 68.

The world number four said he felt he would have a chance on the final day if he could stay within six of the lead.

“The key for me was just to play the first five holes well. I saw from a few of the guys early on those holes were playing really tough,” said McIlroy, after a round containing three birdies and one bogey.

“I knew that middle section of the round you could maybe make a couple of birdies and then you sort of have to hang on coming in.

“I executed the game plan really well, knocked a couple in when I could. It was a really good round of golf.”

Wolff, playing in only his second major after qualifying for this tournament by tying for fourth at last month’s US PGA Championship, made five birdies as he played the first nine holes in 30 shots.

The world number 36, who has one win on the PGA Tour, only hit two of 14 fairways but scrambled well and made just one bogey, after finding the trees at 16, but recovered to birdie the last.

“I got pretty fortunate with my lies in the rough,” he said. “I stuck with my game. It was a grind out there but hopefully I hit a few more fairways on Sunday.”

Victory on Sunday would make Wolff the first player to win the US Open on his debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913. It will be 107 years ago to the day since the 20-year-old amateur claimed the title after an 18-hole play-off.

DeChambeau looked set to post a third successive round in the 60s after birdies on 16 and 17 but he bogeyed the 18th to hand Wolff a two-stroke advantage at the top.

The world number nine, chasing his first major title, was satisfied with his level-par round after beginning the day with successive bogeys.

“It shows perseverance and resilience,” said DeChambeau, who said he was heading to the practice range to “fix a couple of things”.

“(Sunday) is another day of golf. I have got to look at it as that.”

Reed crumbles after extending lead

Only three players enter the final day under par, though Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and American Xander Schauffele both briefly made charges on Saturday.

Matsuyama is trying to become his country’s first major winner and he climbed to three under only to bogey the 15th and then double bogey the 17th to remain level for the championship.

Schauffele, meanwhile, rolled in for eagle at the par-five ninth to move to two under before three bogeys after the turn, though he finished with a birdie to also sit level.

Overnight leader Reed started with a one-stroke lead and stretched that advantage to three with a birdie at the second as his nearest challengers faded away.

But Wolff’s electric start meant by the time Reed walked off the third green with a bogey his advantage had been wiped out.

Reed was one under for the day as he hit the turn but soon fell away with six dropped shots in six holes on the back nine, including a double bogey at 11 after fluffing a chip that failed to escape the rough.

The former Masters champion finished with two bogeys to sign for a seven-over 77 that leaves him three over par and eight shots off the lead.

Conditions remained tough at Winged Foot’s West Course, where Geoff Ogilvy won at five over par when it last staged the US Open in 2006, as only seven players recorded under-par rounds on Saturday.

Paul Casey was one of those, with a one-under 69 taking him to five over par, alongside fellow Englishman Lee Westwood and world number Dustin Johnson.

Around the BBC iPlayer banner

Around the BBC iPlayer footer

from the BBC

Read More