Folwer and Clark share lead heading into final round – US Open

Round 3

Rory McIlroy remains in the hunt for a first major victory since 2014 after moving within a shot of the lead heading into the final round of the 123rd US Open.

The four-time major champion mixed three birdies with two bogeys to card a one-under 69 at Los Angeles Country Club, lifting him to third spot, as a late error from Rickie Fowler left him and Wyndham Clark tied for the lead into the final day.

Fowler was two ahead until a two-shot swing at the par-four last saw him three-putt for bogey and Clark make birdie, leaving the pair on 10 under, with McIlroy facing a final-round showdown with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler as he looks to end his nine-year major drought.

Scheffler produced an eagle-birdie finish to salvage a two-under 68 and jump within three of the lead, while Harris English sits in fifth spot ahead of Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele.

McIlroy fired a 388-yard drive and made a tap-in birdie at the par-five first, having missed the 15-foot eagle try, with Fowler also taking advantage of the opening hole but bogeying the next after a wayward tee shot.

McIlroy remains in the hunt despite a frustrating third round.

The Northern Irishman temporarily made it a three-way tie at the top when he rolled in from 12 feet at the third, where Fowler failed to convert from seven feet, as Clark moved into the solo lead with two birdies in his opening three holes.

Fowler bogeyed the fifth and joined his playing partner in failing to birdie the short par-four sixth, giving Clark a two-shot cushion, only to hole a 35-footer at the seventh and move back within one of the lead on 10 under.

English was also one back after 10 holes until back-to-back bogeys dropped him to eight under, while McIlroy produced brilliant saves at the seventh and 10th but squandered a 12-foot birdie chance for a share of the lead at the 12th.

Fowler started his back nine with an unlikely par save and moved back into a share of the lead when Clark failed to get up and down from the sand to save par at the 11th, with Clark then fluffing a chip from just off the next green and posting another bogey.

McIlroy fell further behind with a three-putt bogey from distance at the 13th, where Clark slotted in from 12 feet to match Fowler’s incredible 70-foot birdie from the fringe and remain within one, but the 2011 champion bounced back to take advantage of the par-five next.

Fowler lipped out his six-foot birdie effort at the 14th and matched Clark’s two-putt par at the next – playing as the shortest par-three in US Open history at 81 yards – to remain one ahead, with both players two-putting the 16th to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

World number 1 Scottie Scheffler celebrates after his birdie putt on the 18th.

Clark was forced to take a penalty drop after firing his approach at the 17th into an unplayable lie in a bush but scrambled to salvage a bogey, putting Fowler two ahead, while McIlroy posted two-putt pars over his final four holes to set the clubhouse target at nine under.

Clarke responded brilliantly to post a birdie at the last, where Fowler surprisingly three-putted from 40 feet for a closing bogey that lost his outright lead and ensured the pair would go out in the final group again on Sunday.

Scheffler was over par for his round and seven back until he followed a spectacular 196-yard eagle from the 17th fairway by slotting in a 22-foot birdie at the last, parachuting him to seven under, while English fluffed a chip on his final hole to make bogey and fall five behind.

Schauffele took three attempts out of a fairway bunker on his way to an opening bogey, the first of three in five holes, with the Olympic gold medallist then cancelling out three birdies in four holes from the sixth by bogeying three of his last six holes.

A three-over 73 dropped Schauffele – who joined Fowler in equalling the lowest round in men’s major history on the opening day – to five under with Johnson, while Japan’s Ryutaro Nagano moved to eighth spot after a two-under 68.

Tom Kim equalled the lowest front-nine in US Open history when he reached the turn in 29, with a four-under 66 seeing him share ninth spot with 2020 champion Bryson DeChambeau and reigning Open winner Cameron Smith.

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