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A peek into the leaderboard and you will find all stars stacked up. Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are all in contention at The Country Club. Will Zalatoris is playing in just his ninth major championship, but the 25-year-old from Plano, Texas, has made a habit of getting into the mix, and this week at The Country Club is no different.
Zalatoris, who won the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur and played on the victorious 2017 USA Walker Cup Team, already has a pair of runner-up finishes among five top 10s in majors – the 2021 Masters and last month’s PGA Championship, when he lost a three-hole playoff to Justin Thomas. Zalatoris, made the turn in Round 3 on Saturday at 3 under par and is seeking to improve on his best finish in a U.S. Open: T6 in 2020 at Winged Foot.
Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who now find their names occupying the top spot at 4 under. Two of only three players inside the top 10 to have carded under-par rounds on Saturday, the men who will be the last to tee off Sunday were simply terrific across their third sets of 18 holes.
View the full leaderboard at https://www.usopen.com/scoring.html
Consistently finding fairways and holing clutch putts when needed, this is now the second consecutive major championship in which Fitzpatrick will be a member of the final group on Sunday. While things did not go his way at Southern Hills -- nor did they for Zalatoris, either -- the good vibes from his 2013 U.S. Amateur victory at The Country Club could be exactly what push him across the finish line.
Where does Defending Champion Jon Rahm Stand?
It was quite a rollercoaster Saturday for the typically steady Rahm. Making bogey on the easy par-5 eighth, the Spaniard turned in 1 over and slipped up once again on the par-4 13th. However, he then showed the resolve of a champion and made birdies on three of his next four holes to climb into the solo lead at 5 under.
A birdie-birdie finish on Thursday propelled Scheffler into a strong second round, and perhaps his par save on the 18th can do the same entering Sunday. The world No. 1 has to be frustrated knowing that he stood on the 11th tee at 6 under, but he is still right in this tournament and could join some illustrious company with a victory as he would capture the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season.
How are others placed?
One can't imagine many had Dahmen beating Morikawa by three strokes, but he pulled that off, and affter playing his first eight holes at 4 over, he steadied the ship. Making 10 straight pars coming in, he still finds his name inside the top 10 and only three strokes behind Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick.
Burns and McIlroy will be popular fan selections, and rightfully so. But what if I told you it was Dahmen who ranked inside the top 15 in both strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained approach on Saturday? He's striking the ball considerably better than his counterparts at 1 under, and if he can steal Rory's powers on the greens for just one round, he could also steal this national championship.
PGA | June 16, 2022
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