Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Xander Schauffele waves on the sixth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday

Thomas exploited soggy fairways and soft greens on Saturday to shoot a dazzling nine-under-par 63, the lowest to-par score for 18 holes in US Open history.

Not that those competing at Erin Hills on Sunday need extra incentive to grab the trophy. Everyone near the top had it going.

It is fair to say few would have anticipated Brian Harman being in pole position at the start of the final day, leading by one shot at 12 under par. This is the first time in 25 years that the U.S. Open has played as a par 72.

The final round of the U.S. Open will begin with the top 16 places on the leaderboard all occupied by players who have yet to win a major.

But two-time major victor Jordan Spieth proved a good score was still possible, the 2015 champion carding five birdies and two bogeys in a 69 to finish one over par overall. But Spieth might take some positives moving forward from his final round after having an up-and-down weekend. It features a silhouette of Palmer in mid-stride, tossing his visor in the air.

Although he trails by two, Fowler is optimistic that he can finally land a major after a series of near-misses. Erin Hills is a very versatile course, and yes, it could host a PGA TOUR event, but I also feel it is a worthy major host course.

There were early clues that the wind could level the playing field in some of the first groups to tee off on Sunday.

Justin Thomas made history as he shot the lowest round ever in the tournament, posting a round of 63 after a spectacular effort of nine-under.

"I'm just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament".

The world's fifth-ranked player is well off the lead.

"Obviously, I have no idea what tomorrow holds, but I'm more motivated by the way that I'm striking the ball".

Brian Harman has a one-shot advantage at 12 under atop a crowded leaderboard.

Kite shot even-par 72 in gusty winds in 1992 at Pebble Beach, winning by two strokes over Jeff Sluman. Morgan shot 77 and, remarkably, still had the lead at 4-under 212.

"Even though it will be hard, I don't anticipate this being a bloodletting".

Justin Thomas tied the record for the best round at a major by shooting 63.

Players are on the course for the final round of the U.S. Open in blustery conditions at Erin Hills.

But birdies will be harder to come by on Sunday with winds gusting from 25-30 miles per hour (40-48 kph), bending flag sticks and moving balls over hardening greens.

Fleetwood, who was hoping to follow in the footsteps of 1970 victor Tony Jacklin and 2013 champion Justin Rose, held a share of second place on 11 under par alongside Americans Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas.

Rickie Fowler, who is two shots back, said after his round Saturday that he was hoping the wind would pick up to make the course tougher.

The last six majors have produced six first-time champions and that trend looks set to continue with the leaderboard dominated by mostly unheralded names.

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