DeChambeau moves three clear ahead of final round – US Open

Round 3

Bryson DeChambeau will take a commanding three-shot lead into the final round of the 124th US Open, with Rory McIlroy part of the chasing pack despite a frustrating finish at Pinehurst No 2.

DeChambeau overcame a hip issue and slow start to his third round to card three birdies in a five-hole stretch to pull clear of a congested leaderboard, with only a double-bogey late in his round preventing him from an even bigger advantage.

The world No 38 also recorded six birdies and one bogey during an eventful third-round 67, moving him to seven under and in pole position to win the event for a second time as he sits three clear of McIlroy, Matthieu Pavon and Patrick Cantlay.

McIlroy remains in contention to claim an elusive fifth major despite two late bogeys in his 69, with Hideki Matsuyama and overnight leader Ludvig Åberg five back ahead of England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Tony Finau.

Dechambeau started the day one adrift of the Swede and scrambled a par at the first to avoid falling further behind, only to then drop two behind when Åberg rolled in from 30 feet at the third and he missed from four feet to match the birdie.

The 2020 US Open champion bounced back from bogeying the par-four fourth to get up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-five fifth, then added another from 11 feet at the seventh to join Åberg one behind Pavon.

Frenchman Pavon – playing three groups ahead – carded a front-nine 32 to reach the turn one ahead but missed an opportunity to double his advantage at the par-five 10th, before a bogey at the next saw him slip into a four-way tie with Åberg, DeChambeau and Finau.

Åberg endured a difficult third round to lose his position as leader.

DeChambeau moved into the solo lead after matching Åberg’s birdie at the 10th, with the American then receiving treatment in the woods for a hip injury before making a 15-footer at the next to double his advantage.

As several of the chasing pack dropped shots over the back nine, DeChambeau recovered from burning a six-foot birdie look at the 13th – where Åberg made a triple-bogey – to pick up a shot at the next and get to eight under.

McIlroy had been three under for his round until bogeying both closing par-threes, dropping him back to four under alongside Pavon, leaving DeChambeau briefly four clear until he saw his ball roll back to his feet on his way to a double-bogey six at the 16th.

DeChambeau replied strongly as he birdied the par-three next and two-putted the last to stay three ahead, with the 30-year-old now hoping to go one better than last month’s runner-up finish at the PGA Championship and add to his major tally.

“I gave it everything I had out there today,” DeChambeau told Sky Sports. “The crowd support has been fantastic. It’s amazing. I can’t thank them enough – and I’ll continue to feed off of them. Tomorrow it’s about fairways and greens and let’s see if I can give them something special.”

Cantlay carded a third-round 70 to set up a Sunday showdown with McIlroy – who mixed four birdies with three bogeys – in the penultimate group, the first time the pair have been grouped together since their fiery encounter at last year’s Ryder Cup.

“I’m pretty much in the same position that I was last year going into the final day at LACC,” said McIlroy, who finished runner-up to Wyndham Clark in 2023. “So familiar position, been here many times before, and hopefully I produce the golf that’s needed to go one better.”

McIlroy remains in striking distance to clinch a fifth major.

Only eight players remain under par for the tournament heading into the final day, with Collin Morikawa moving inside the top 10 following a round-of-the-day 66, while world No 1 Scottie Scheffler’s hopes ended after a 71 dropped him to six over.

On Friday Shane Lowry made the halfway cut on the mark of five-over-par and he remained on that total after carding three birdies and three bogeys in a round of 70.

“It’s torture out there, honestly it’s absolute mental torture,” the former Open champion said. “That’s the best level par I’ve ever shot in my life.

“Every single shot you have, even when you hit a good shot the putts you have, it’s brutally difficult.

“It’s not much craic out there to be honest.”

Tom McKibbin shot a second straight 71 which, after his opening 74, left him on a very respectable six-over-par overall mark. He’s currently in a tie for 56th place.

“I didnt really hit a bad shot, played very nicely,” said the 21-year-old. “Overall I’m pretty happy.”

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