While it looked like DJ was cruising to his second major victory at the U.S. Open after the first two round, things quickly changed once the afternoon groups teed off.
After the morning wave, groups started to see the winds and greens speed up. This caused quite a bit of problems for many of the big names at the top of the leaderboard, including world number one Dustin Johnson, who entered the day with a four-stroke lead as the only player under par.
Johnson’s front nine was a disaster as he made four bogies and a double bogey and dropped to one over par and out of the lead.
When he entered the 17th hole he held a one-stroke lead over Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, who shot four-under and had been in the clubhouse for, well, a long time. But after a three-putt on the 18th, Johnson had dropped back to three-over and tied with Berger, Finau and Koepka.
That means that Berger and Finau now find themselves in the final pairing on a Sunday at the U.S. Open.
As for the course, everyone just calm down. While it has sped up, it has not gotten out of hand, and despite some major media members saying that the USGA has lost control of the course, that is 100% not the case. The greens are still holding up except for a few spots. The 15th comes to mind, but the hole will be moved tomorrow and the USGA has a chance to maintain control of their championship without having a 2004 fiasco.
Has it been more difficult? Sure, but in this day and age everyone can find something to gripe about. Last year it was too easy as Brooks Koepka shot 16-under, this year it’s too hard because no one is under par.
I’m not going to completely side with the USGA because I do believe they’re walking on a very thin line, but do you want to see a true test of who can handle a difficult course the best or do you want to see who can make the most birdies in 72 holes?
I prefer a tougher test.