Joins Hughes and Henley after 54 holes; McIlroy, DeChambeau waiting to pounce
Perennial Major contender Louis Oosthuizen sank a monster eagle putt at the final hole to go into a three-way tie for the lead after the third round at the US Open on Saturday.
The South African’s downhill 50-footer slammed into the middle of the flag and toppled in to add another layer of fascination to what already was shaping up to be a compelling final round at Torrey Pines.
With a one-under-par 70, Oosthuizen joined surprising Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (68) and steady American Russell Henley (71) at five-under 208.
But the three frontrunners did not have to look far over their shoulders to see heavyweights Rory McIlroy (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (68) waiting to pounce just two strokes behind.
Jon Rahm (72), despite a double-bogey, is among a trio three behind. Thirteen players in all are within four shots of the lead.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, has completed the career runner-up Grand Slam, and just last month was equal second behind Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship.
Now he has another chance but knows it will take something special.
“There’s a lot of great players up there that have a chance of winning this, and I just need to go out and play as good as I can tomorrow,” he said.
Henley started the day tied for the lead with Richard Bland, and maintained at least a share of it the entire day.
Hughes, meanwhile, vaulted into contention by holing a 35-foot bunker shot at the par-five 13th that prompted an enormous gallery roar..
While Hughes surged, half-way co-leader Bland’s fairytale run came to a screeching halt. The 48-year-old who recently became the oldest winner on the European Tour, battled to a 77 that left him six behind.
McIlroy, seven years removed from the most recent of his four Major titles, could hardly ask for a better chance to end his drought.
Defending champion DeChambeau, meanwhile, ignored a smattering of minor heckling to pound his way into contention with another bone-jarring performance of long driving.
No Mickelson Grand Slam
Mickelson, a record six-times U.S. Open runner-up, saw his bid to complete the career Grand Slam disappear for another year after a sloppy five-over 76 left him at seven-over.
208: Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 73, 67, 68, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67, 71, 70, Russell Henley (USA) 67, 70, 71.
210: Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70, 73, 67, Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 73, 69, 68.
211: Scottie Scheffler (USA) 72, 69, 70, Jon Rahm (Esp) 69, 70, 72, Matthew Wolff (USA) 70, 68, 73.
212: Dustin Johnson (USA) 71, 73, 68, Collin Morikawa (USA) 75, 67, 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 72, 70, 70, Xander Schauffele (USA) 69, 71, 72, Kevin Streelman (USA) 71, 69, 72.
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