U.S. Open 2017: Moving Day madness at Erin Hills

Jun 15, 2017; Erin, WI, USA; Patrick Reed plays his shot from the tenth tee during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2017; Erin, WI, USA; Patrick Reed plays his shot from the tenth tee during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s absolute mayhem happening during the third round of the 117th U.S. Open.

The 117th U.S. Open is getting good. Even with some of the big names home for the weekend, including the top three players in the world, the U.S. Open is shaping up to be one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory.

The four leaders tied at the top after the second round are just getting started for the day but a few of the players that got out early on Moving Day are making birdie after birdie to climb up the leaderboard, which is creating quite the cluster at the top.

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Patrick Reed began the day at 1-under, six shots behind the leaders, but got going early, nearly chipping for eagle at the par-4 second hole before holing his birdie putt to get to 3-under. He gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth but then reeled off three straight birdies at six, seven and eight, going out in 33 after a par at No. 9.

After pars at 10 and 11, Reed birdied four of the next five holes, including a fantastic chip-in at 12 and a beautiful putt at 16, to get to 7-under for the day and could have shot the lowest round of the tournament — it also would have been just the second 8-under round in U.S. Open history — but lipped out a birdie putt on the 18th to finish with a 65, putting him at 8-under for the tournament and right in the mix.

Charley Hoffman, who had a nice showing at The Masters in April, is also going low on Saturday and made five birdies against no bogeys on the front nine. Playing alongside Chez Reavie, Hoffman started his day at 4-under, three back of the lead, but got hot quickly with birdie at the first and another at the second. After pars at three and four, he birdied three of the next five to get to 9-under for the tournament to take a brief lead before bogeying the 10th. He still has some holes left to play and it will be interesting to see how he responds. A similar situation at Augusta in which he bogeyed the 14th hole on Saturday began his descent down the leaderboard.

World No. 13 Justin Thomas is also on the move, carding six birdies against one bogey on the front nine to go out in 31, including this unbelievable putt on the 504-yard, par-4 fifth hole.

Thomas then wowed the gallery again with a big 3-wood on the 288-yard, par-4 15th, hitting it to six feet but missed the eagle putt but still made his eighth birdie of the day and is 8-under for the tournament through 15 holes. Amateur Scottie Scheffler began the third round at 1-under and fought his way into the thick of things at Erin Hills but a disastrous triple at the final hole left him at 2-under for the tournament, which is still in it with everything that’s going on and is the low amateur for the moment after Cameron Champ started his day with two bogeys and a double through his first eight holes.

And then, of course, there’s the final groups. Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman are still right there. After a birdie at the first, Paul Casey took a nasty triple-bogey at the third and a bogey at the fourth, dropping him back to 4-under. J.B. Holmes and Hideki Matsuyama, Brendan Steele and Xander Schauffele are lurking as well.

At one point, there were seven players tied for the lead and there’s still much more action to come in the third round. Settle in and buckle up. This is going to be a fun ride.

Next: Xander Schauffele: Meet the unexpected U.S. Open contender

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