The Country Club returned on Saturday as golfers faced an even tougher test during the third round of the 2022 US Open. Pars felt like sparrows, ghosts felt like Pars, and birds felt like robbery on the highway. While a number of excellent players struggled to beat the company, in fast and windy conditions in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, there were two men who rose above the rest and in the process climbed to the top of the leaderboard.
Those two will be Will Zalatores and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who now find their names taking the lead at 4 under. Two of the only three players in the top ten to make substandard card rounds on Saturday, the guys who will be the last to run on Sunday were simply stunning across their third 18-hole set.
Consistently finding the right lanes and hidden handles when needed, this is the second major championship in a row that Fitzpatrick will be a member of Sunday’s final group. While things didn’t go his way in Southern Hills—and neither did Zalatoris—the good vibes from his 2013 Amateur American win at The Country Club could be exactly what drove him across the finish line.
“I definitely think it gives me an edge over others, yeah,” Fitzpatrick said of his previous success at The Country Club. “I really believe in that. It’s a real moment, and obviously a positive moment in my career. It was kind of a start for me. To be back here and playing really well again, it kind of gives me more confidence round by round.”
Here’s a breakdown of the leaderboard heading into the final round of the 2022 US Open:
T1. Will Zalatores, Matthew Fitzpatrick (-4): These two experienced PGA Championship heartbreak albeit in different outfits. While Zalatoris lost in a playoff, Fitzpatrick simply wasn’t his game in the final round at Southern Hills. Both should learn from this experience, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they reached out to the US Open champion, John Ram, on Sunday.
“I think coming out of the PGA in particular has given me a lot of faith and confidence that I belong in that state,” Zalatores said. “There’s a difference in thinking about it and then being in the situation and believing in it. So I think that’s probably the biggest change. I’ve put myself in this situation a few times in my career and obviously I have to go out and get him-hey out. [Sunday]. “
3. John Ram (-3): Saturday was a busy day for the usually steady Ram. Making a bogey on the easy with a 5 8th, the Spaniard flipped 1 and slipped again in 4 13s. However, he then showed hero determination and made sparrows in three of his next four holes to climb to the singles lead at 5 under. A slightly pulled tee on the closed hole found the dugout, and when he left his second shot at his feet, a double bogey followed shortly after. Dinner will taste sour, but victory is still at hand and it will be sweeter if he is able to successfully defend his crown.
T4. Scotty Scheffler, Adam Hadwin and Keegan Bradley (-2): Thursday’s Byrdie finish pushed Scheffler into a strong second round, and perhaps he could tackle him in the 18th round with the same going in on Sunday. The #1 ranked player must be frustrated knowing that he stood 11th at 6th under six, but he’s still right in this tournament and could join some of the illustrious companies with his win as he’ll take home the Masters and US Open at the same time. season.
T7. Sam Burns, Rory McIlroy and Joel Dahmin (-1): I can’t imagine many hitting their dhimmin on Morikawa with 3 hits, but he succeeded, and by playing his first 8 holes in 4, he fixed the ship. Making 10 consecutive seasons, he still finds his name inside the top ten and only three strokes behind Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick. Burns and McIlroy would be popular fan picks, and rightfully so. But what if I told you that it was Dahmen who finished 15th in both the strokes he got from the tee and the strokes that gained close on Saturday? He hits the ball much better than his 1-under counterparts, and if he can steal Rory’s powers on the Greens for just one round, he can also steal this National Championship.
T11. Denny McCarthy, Gary Woodland, Aaron Wise and three others (+1): McCarthy started the day with a tie for 56th place after breaking the record. Reminiscent of Webb Simpson’s third round in the PGA Championship, his 2-under 68 team was the best run for the majority of the day until Zalatoris came in with a score of 67. The numbers look poor, due to his lack of distance as he hit 11 roads out of 14. Precise with the driver and his irons pointing in the direction Correct and standing as the best racket in the business, just maybe McCarthy could shock the world.
T17. Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Colin Morikawa and five others (+2): Morikawa tried to warn us that his game wasn’t at its best, and when The Country Club showed its teeth, that reality finally came to light. At one point a betting favorite, saw a slow and painful death on Saturday, eventually falling to 7 on 77. However, he must have been thinking that something in the 4 Under on Sunday could be enough to make the leaders think on the the long term.
T25. Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas and five others (+3): Will Thomas pull another rabbit out of his hat? Seven strokes off his pace, that’s the exact deficit he overcame on his way to winning the 2022 PGA Championship. Not only would he have to chase after the man who beat him in the playoff but also jumped a number of superstars. For that reason, I can’t say I’m too optimistic about Thomas, Cantlie or Spieth who are making such a buzz in the last round.
“I would have felt better if I had been better with five or six shots,” Thomas said. “These guys have a lot of golf courses. Selfishly, for my sake, I hope they can stay within walking distance because this is a great place to post. And I hope I’m hot [Sunday] Then post a number and give them a score to look at for a few hours.”
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”