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Tiger bullish about major chances despite looming U.S. Open cut

17 June 2018

World number one Dustin Johnson left himself an awkward bunker shot on the eighth, but promptly holed it for birdie.

Maybe it's a matter that the tougher it is, the better it is for Johnson. "There were good scores out there today".

Dustin Johnson started Saturday's third round of the U.S. Open with a four-shot lead.

It's too soon for Johnson to consider the possibilities.

While stating the obvious that he didn't think anyone would be "too happy and too excited about 10 over par", Woods nearly was incredulous when asked following Friday's morning-round 72 exactly why he still foresees additional major championships in his future.

Strange, in his role as a television analyst, walked all 18 holes with Woods and watched in astonishment as the player triple-bogeyed the first hole. Yesterday I just wish I could have maybe just had one day to prepare for something like that.

"I know I'm playing well, so as long as I can do that, then I'm going to shoot a pretty good score".

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Tony Finau and Daniel Berger matched the best round of the week with four-under 66s, putting themselves firmly in contention along with Justin Rose - who was level with the American duo on three over with five holes to play. He's at 4 under at the tournament's midway mark.

Henrik Stenson is two shots back. But how much do you know about Finau and Berger?

Johnson three-putted the final green to lose his outright advantage, while Rose also finished with a bogey-five to close a three-over 73. The Englishman had six total birdies in the round. "It's got to come from me". "It was a really solid round".

Then it got really ugly, and the frustration began to show with blown putt after blown putt. But he answered those bogeys with birdies on No. 4 and 5, while eventually playing his last 15 holes in 6 under par.

"It started to get a lot firmer and faster", he said. I feel for the USGA because I don't think that was their overall intent from the very beginning.

"I'm in a good position", he said.

Mickelson took a 10 on the hole with the penalty and finished the day with an 81 that left him at 17 over for the tournament. All but Tom McNamara in 1909 went on to win.

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It meant McIlroy missed the cut at the US Open for the third straight year.

"I played well and my speed on my putts has been very good", he added. They were two of only three players to be under par for the day, along with Kiradech Aphibarnrat after a 68 moved him up into the top 10.

Climbing his way back to the PGA mountaintop after such a precipitous descent won't be so easy, or particularly immediate, however, for the game's all-time earnings leader just because Woods says it or wishes it to be so. I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that. "What would break other players, he just shrugs off". Fowler had three double bogeys and a triple bogey on his woeful afternoon. And it played like one. Shinnecock presented a different face as Thursday's gusting wind gave way to morning mist with stretches of wind-driven rain, followed by afternoon sunshine. They were a combined 25-over par, with Mickelson the low man in the group at 77.

The wet turf seemed to help scores at times. Approach shots into the firm greens rolled off the shaved banks.

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Tiger bullish about major chances despite looming U.S. Open cut