Chris Cutmore for MailOnline

Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Branden Grace and Dustin Johnson all go into the final day of the US Open level on -4. 

The No 1 contender for gutsiest round of this golfing year was delivered by Day on Saturday to transform a United States Open that was in grave danger of dying of shame.

The gritty Australian had collapsed with vertigo while playing the final hole of his second round on Saturday and didn’t look too clever when he made his way gingerly to the first tee for the third round.

Before practically every shot he played he rubbed his temples. He couldn’t follow the path of his shots because looking up was the worst thing he could have done. 

It was a hard watch because at any moment you feared that he would lose consciousness. At one point he was seven off the lead and you wondered if he might call it quits. 

But gradually he fought back from a ropey start to pick up birdies and a small miracle began to emerge from the burnished turf at Chambers Bay.

Follow all the action live with CHRIS CUTMORE. 

  • Chris Cutmore

    Host commentator

A six at the last following a drive into sand ends Shane’s superb tournament. That’s a round of 71 for a level par total and a share of 9th place as it stands.

Game, set and match? Finally he gets a putt to drop, what a stroke. It wasn’t easy, 20 feet at least, curling hard from left to right, but Spieth finds the very right edge. The 21-year-old is six under and now leads by three after Grace can only manage double bogey.

Oosthuizen can only manage a par on the 17th after FIVE consecutive birdies. Crikey. He’s three under and can beat Scott’s clubhouse total with a birdie or better down the last.

Oh no, Branden Grace.  The South African carves an awful drive at the reachable par-four 16th and it’s flown way right of the fairway and out of bounds. It’s finished on a tarmac road up against a fence.

DJ nails a tough six-footer coming back for par on the 14th, just what he needed after some utter misery on the greens on the back nine. Spieth pumps his fist after saving par on the 15th up ahead, and Grace keeps him company on five under.

Jordan Spieth owatches his tee shot on the seventh hole

‘I look forward to congratulating the 2015 US Open champion very soon, I simply didn’t play well enough to be remotely close. This is not sour grapes or moaning or any of that crap. It simply the truth. Mike Davis the head of the USGA unfortunately hasn’t spoke the truth about the conditions of the greens. I feel very sorry for the hundreds of greens staff who spent countless hours leading into this week and this week doing there best to have it the best they could and I thank them for that. But look at the picture. This was the surface we had to putt on. It is disgraceful that the USGA hasn’t apologized about the greens they simply have said. “we are thrilled the course condition this week”. It wasn’t a bad golf course, In fact it played well and was playable. What wasn’t playable were the green surfaces. If this was a regular PGA tour event lots of players would have withdrawn and gone home, but players won’t do that for a major. They were simply the worst most disgraceful surface I have ever seen on any tour in all the years I have played. The US Open deserves better than that. And the extra money that they have early this year from Fox Sports, they could easily have relayed the greens so we could have had perfect surfaces. Simply not good enough and deeply disappointing for a tournament of this magnitude. I don’t like it when people lie on camera to try and save face. And to all you fans that paid good money to try and watch us play golf but couldn’t see anything on most holes because it wasn’t possible to stand on huge slopes or see around stands, I apologize and I’m sorry you wasted your money traveling to be disappointed. I hope we all learn something moving forward to not have these problems in the future. Happy Fathers Day.’

Spieth hits a beauty into the short 15th, lands his ball on the front of the green six feet from the pin and sees it tumble back off the putting surface 60 feet and more. The same happened to McIlroy earlier and helped scupper his chances. The 21-year-old Texan swipes the turf with his pitching wedge in understandable frustration.

Grace has a 20-footer for birdie.

Grace tops the leaderboard, Schwartzel sits fifth on two under in the clubhouse and now Oosthuizen joins him on that mark after FOUR birdies in a row from 12 to 15. The 2010 Open champion is not out of this yet.

Poor putt on 14, never troubled the hole. Nothing can separate him and Grace, they have four to play.

Jason Day walks off the ninth green

Jason has battled bravely but after missing the green short right on 13, he hacks out of the rough only to see his ball roll back down the hill again. he can’t get up and down and a double bogey means his race is run.

Spieth, meanwhile, is smoking right now. He’s playing super steady golf and creating chance after chance – just like Johnson was earlier. Now he smokes his drive down the 14th – ‘the hardest I’ve ever hit a golf ball,’ he’s heard saying – and then creams his approach to 10 feet. Grace is 20 feet away. Big chance for Jordan now.

‘When I holed a long putt at 13 I really thought I had a great chance to win, and especially with the way the greens were getting baked out.

‘I just got a bit of momentum going but looking back, the final few holes have not been kind to me and it was the same again.

‘But I can take plenty of positives out of this. I’ve never hit the ball as good in a major championship for four rounds as I did here. I was really dialled in all week. And now I’ve got a couple of weeks to get my putting in the shape it was last year. If I can do that, I’m really excited about what can happen over the summer.’

The US Open is the only major where the play-off takes place on a Monday. If there’s a tie after 72 holes, we all come back again tomorrow. The last one was in 2008, when Tiger beat Rocco Mediate for his last major victory.

And we look to be drifting that way as Spieth hits a great putt but sees it slide by on the 13th, while Grace nails a 10-footer for his par. Both men share the lead at five under.

DJ’s hit a slump and is one behind Spieth and Grace having held what looked like a comfortable two-shot lead. 

Charl Schwartzel has posted a 66 to sit in fifth on two under. Not enough to win this, but a fine week for the former Masters champion.

Lowry misses his birdie jab and is running out of holes.

Dustin Johnson hits from the rough on the sixth hole

Lowry smashes his drive on the 14th a whopping 375 yards – yes, really – to leave an easy wedge in. He sets up a birdie chance from 10 feet. With Scott in the hutch on three under, the Irishman needs birdies, fast. He’s level par.

How about that for a swing? DJ misses his six footer and is now four under after two consecutive bogeys. But Spieth and Grace both two-putt from distance after driving to the back of the green on the 14th and their birdies take them up to five under.

Snedeker’s putt on the 14th inexplicably hops about four inches in the air – perhaps Stenson’s favourite vegetable got in the way. Sneds is set to drop back to level par.

Great effort, uses the putter from off the green and misses by an inch. But he’ll habve a sharp downhill putt to save par.

Dustin Johnson waits on the second green during the final round

Spieth sinks to his knees in despair after his birdie putt from 35 feet at the 11th trickles just past the hole. That looked in all the way, but no dice. Grace also can’t believe it as he sends a terrific putt curling towards the hole but watches the ball lip out. Both men stay one behind at four under.

Adam Scott celebrates with his caddie Steve Williams on the 18th green after a six-under par 64

Lowry for eagle at 12… not quite. But it’s a birdie and he’s one under again.

Johnson and Day both hit horrid shots up the narrow corridor between the dunes at the 10th and are in spots of bother.

Scott drains his five-footer at the last for a round of 64, the best of the week, and posts the clubhouse target of three under. 

Will that be good enough? Only if Johnson loses his head. Which has happened before, in this very tournament. Graeme McDowell was the man to profit when DJ blew it at Pebble Beach in 2010.

Argh, that’s painful. DJ’s putt was hung out too far right from the very start – how he’s not flinging his putter across the green in frustration I don’t know. Day’s, however, has made a real horlicks of his short putt and stays at three under, three back from his playing partner with nine holes to play.

Johnson blasts a 6-iron at the 9th just over a bunker and up to – guess what? – 15 feet for another birdie look. His consistency is quite incredible. Day sees the hole differently and uses the slope behind the pin to roll the ball back to three feet. Superb golf, what a day this is turning out to be!

Jason Day hits his tee shot on the sixth hole

With Steve Williams back on his bag this week, the former Masters champion is back to his best. His drive at the 16th is a corker, finding the green. The eagle putt slides past but it’s a birdie to finish and he’s now fifth on two under. Five under for his round too, wow.

His fellow Aussie, Mr Day, two-putts for birdie on the 8th to take a step back up to three under.

And amazing Johnson!

First, Branden hits a beautiful approach to the 9th, playing 203 yards from the low tee today, using a slope as a backstop and trickling the ball down to 18 inches from the pin for a certain birdie. The South African will join Spieth at four under again, after the American misses his birdie putt.

And Johnson, forced to lay up on the 8th after finding rough off the tee, stripes a wedge, urges his ball to ‘be good’, and reaps his reward as the ball stops barely a foot from its target. Awesome. The lead will be six under, two clear of Spieth and Grace. 

Brilliant 3-wood into the long 8th using the contours and slopes at the top of the hill to the left of the hole to leave 30 feet for eagle. His putt is a little shy but it’s a safe birdie and young Jordan is back up to four under.

Johnson’s birdie putt stays up, while Day can’t complete his miracle up and down and drops again to two under. Grace misses his own birdie attempt on the 8th and is two back at -3.

… no! Slides just past the left edge and refuses to drop. he taps in for par and a closing 66, four under par. Oh, but it could have been so much better! Thrilling round from McIlroy, who was six under at one stage, showing why he’s the best player in the world. He finishes at even par for the championship.

Day outdrives Johnson at the 7th with a quite brilliant 3-wood, but watches in horror after his wedge lands at the front of the green and falls back down the slope and keeps going, and going, and going. Agonising stuff. That’ll be a monstrous up and down needed for par.

DJ, meanwhile, leaves, wouldn’t you know it, 15 feet for birdie.

Birdie at the long 8th sends Shane back to level par, five shots back. Needs the back nine of his life, but there’s still time…

Johnson holes his par putt, quite brilliant. He holds onto the lead at five under.

And DJ leads by two again after Day finds sand and can only splash out to 12 feet.

Up ahead on the 7th, Grace and Spieth both fail to hit the hole with birdie jabs.

He hit every single fairway yesterday and had hit every single one today, until the 6th. His drive is ever so slightly left and into rough. His approach also finds the long fescue grass, leaving a horrid chip down a bank. he leaves it 25 feet short of the hole.

Branden Grace of South Africa hits his tee shot on the fourth hole

It’s playing 219 yards today and McIlroy takes aim, but comes up 25 feet short. His birdie putt slips four feet left, and the par putt doesn’t drop either. It’s been a blast, Rory, but that might just be your race run. Eagle at the last is a bare minimum needed now.

What spirit this man’s showing, true Aussie grit. The 27-year-old is back to four under just one back from Johnson after a cool 13-footer on the 5th.

So close! Yet more incredible play from the leader, another monster 340-yards drive, another short iron to 15 feet, another solid putt that looks good all the way. But it dies right at the very last millisecond and stays afloat. 

Brandt Snedeker moves alongside McIlroy at one under after three consecutive birdies from the 6th to the 8th. And guess what? he’ll have another one the 9th after getting lucky with his tee shot and seeing the slopes somehow take the ball right down to the pin. 

Johnson nails a birdie putt at last and suddenly leads by two from Spieth, Day and Grace at five under. That’s the least he deserves after some stunning tee-to-green play so far.

Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 2nd hole

Grace bogeys the devilish 4th after finding sand by the green and drops back to three under alongside Spieth. Just two men at four under now. One of them, Johnson sets up another good birdie attempt with a well-struck short iron.

And the other, Day, looks to be really struggling. He hits his first putt on the 4th way, way short – 40 feet short, in fact. he was looking to use the ridge in the green but that was woefully misjudged. Was that his vertigo affecting him?


Not great, sadly. Bogeys on the 3rd and 5th have left him at one over, but he strikes a cracking approach into the 6th green and should move back to level par shortly.

Seven of the last 10 US Open champions have come from behind to win on Sunday. (The exceptions: Martin Kaymer last year, McIlroy in 2011, Tiger Woods in 2008)

Fans of Jason Day watch the play on the first tee during the final round

If McIlroy’s round of six under is something to behold, the Aussie’s isn’t far off it. He’s sunk a 30-footer on 11 to move to four under for the day through 11, one under overall.

McIlroy rips his drive at the 15th miles down the left side of the fairway, 362 yards. Only a wedge left into the green.

Johnson, meanwhile, hits the shot of the day on the 3rd, his tee shot stopping just three feet from the pin and a birdie looking a dead cert.

Now it’s time to get EXCITED!!! Incredible stuff, what a putt, the crowd goes bananas. That was from all of 50 feet, but McIlroy judges it perfectly, rolling the ball gently into the side of the cup non these glass-like greens. The world No 1 is TWO under, and just TWO shots off the lead!

Rory McIlroy celebrates after holing a long birdie putt on the 13th green

And he nails it, cracking shot. Too good, in fact. His ball bounces on the hard putting surface and rolls a good 50 feet past the pin. Tough putt coming up.

Johnson flips a beautiful wedge into the 2nd and very nearly holes it, great shot. Eight feet left for birdie.

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the fourth hole

If he holes this, however, it’ll go down as the greatest putt in history. The green at the par-4 12th – a short one at 270 yards – is like a crazy golf course: humps, lumps, mounds and hollows all over the putting surface.

McIlroy putts it sideways and somehow rides the contours to get it to five feet. Now, one moe putt left for birdie… which he holes! McIlroy is five under for his round, one under total, spectacular stuff. Watch out, Rory’s on the charge!

But misses by miles. Odd putt for the best in the business with the flat stick.

Now it’s Grace’s turn. Nope, too much break and the ball drifts wide right.

And Spieth three-putts! Awful start for the American golden boy. Has his confidence been shot? His putting went from majestic to very wobbly throughout the course of the third round. Three men tied at the top now.

Fans in patriotic American pants watch as Rory McIlroy and John Senden leave the third green

Par, par to open up for the Irishman, who remains three back at one under.

Here’s Horschel after his excellent, and excitable, 67 today: ‘I heard someone say that the TV is making the greens look worse than they are. That’s a complete lie.’

Rory had got into a right pickle on the 11th, well short of the green and facing a tough up and down for par. But he plays a magic pitch, running the ball round the green to gimme range. Awesome. That’s why he’s the best in the world, folks.

Wonderful approach from the rough by Spieth, somehow leaving 15 feet for birdie – but no-one has holed from that spot today. Grace’s approach is even better, 10 feet to go for the dream start.

Up steps the boy wonder. Can he become the youngest man to win the first two majors in one calendar year? Not if he drives the ball like this. Horrid hook into thick fescue grass.

Rory is now four off the lead? Too much to do? we are going to have fun finding out.

LPGA star Natalie Gulbis reports for Fox Sports at Chambers Bay

One of the shots of the day here.

Rory tees off into the bunker on ten, which is actually the best of a bad situation as there is some horrid rough next to it.

He settles in the sand and what follows it utterly astonishing. His balls has tunnel vision for the flag and sits about five feet away.

The world No 1 has that to move to even par. He smiles as he hands the club back to JP Fitzgerald, his caddie. McIlroy looks like he thinks he is in this.

Rory McIlroy reacts to his putt on the fourth hole

A lovely way to start from Oosthuizen, in the flat part of the fairway. He surely couldn’t win this today after his start, could he?

Jordan Spieth and Branden Grace are off next.

Back on the first hole, J.B Holmes pays the price for not taking that grizzly bank by the green out of the equation. The ball rolls back down to his feet with his first attempt but his second shot settles about 10 feet over the flag. 

Louis Oosthuizen is now on the first tee.

Rory unable to take this birdie chance on the par-3 ninth but he seals par and covers the front nine in 32 shots. 

Shane Lowry is introduced on the first tee and there are a few Irish accents heard in the ‘come on Shane’ shouts. He picks out the rough off the tee, though.

Chris Kirk does not have a good word on the greens at Chambers Bay, but he has been impressed with the support.

Tony Finau would have won over a few admirers this week and he starts his round with a birdie on the first that immediately gets him to even par.

McIlroy is on a bit of charge here. A sumptuous tee shot on the par-3 ninth has put another birdie in sight with a putt of around 10 feet.

And that will do it Rory… just! His putt catches the left of the cup and drops in. It is one of those where, if your luck is against you, the ball stands firmly outside of the hole and refuses to drop.

But Rory takes a stroll to pick up his ball and acknowledges the applause from the crowd.

A putt for eagle from all of 73 feet rolls narrowly past the hole at the par-5 eighth from McIlroy. He has five feet back for a birdie that would take him to one-over.

Rory McIlroy shares a laugh with Fox Sports presenter Scott McCarron during the final round

Scotland’s Marc Warren has kept battling away valiantly on the unforgiving Chambers Bay course.
He has just rolled in a beautiful birdie putt from 10 feet to move down to five-over which will boost his spirits.
Five-over places him tied 31st on the leaderboard, incidentally.
Billy Horschel, meanwhile, pars the last for a three-under 67 today and closes the tournament on four-over, currently four places higher than Warren.

The 24-year-old Texan is as cocksure as they come and convinced he’ll win a major very soon. So yesterday’s 76 when starting the day as joint leader was something of a shock to the system for Mr Reed. Still, he’s got the talent, particularly around the greens, to post a seriously low number today. He opens with a par four alongside playing partner Joost Luiten.

Wonderful putt from the world No 1, a slippery, curling, downhill effort at the 477-yard 7th sneaks into the side door and McIlroy is looking seriously good now. Two under for the round, two over total, six shots back. Next up: a par-5 reachable in two for the big hitters, which he most certainly is. Watch this space.

A bogey-free front nine of 32 blows – three under – is fabulous golf. Sergio is two over. Anyone under par has a chance to win today. But I suspect the winning score will be -3.

Think that 10 on the opening hole got to him?

Monty will forever be haunted by this man’s name after somehow losing to him at Winged Foot in 2006, but Geoff Ogilvy is showing why he once got his bame on this trophy. The Aussie is four under through 13 holes after a fine run of four birdies in six holes. He’s had six birdies in total today – that’s some going.

These low scores do suggest that a decent score is on for one of the chasing pack today…

Slap-bang in the middle of the green but right behind a big bunker, which McIlroy has just dumped his ball into. His escape flies well past the pin, leaving 20 feet for par. Quite brilliantly, he drains it. McIlroy stays at three over.

But now he’s got to work hard for par. Thankfully the return putt is good and no damage is done.

Hideki Matsuyama, much-fancied coming into this tournament, has birdied the 1st and is just +2 now in 15th. But Horschel has dropped a shot at the 13th to drop back to three over.

Morgan Hoffman has posted a 66, which is what Horschel is on course for if he continues as he is. You won’t see much better than that today. The 25-year-old American is a contemporary of Rickie Fowler and Peter Uihlein at Oklahoma State, and one to watch for the future.

Another miserable round for Mickelson and his wait to win the US Open – and the career Grand Slam – goes on. It’s a 77 to finish, and his shoulders looked rather slumped as he trudged down the last hole. He was expected to contend this week on a course that should have suited him, but finishes 13 over.

Phil Mickelson walks to the 18th green during the final round

Er, none. A big fat zero. At 479 yards and with ridiculously penal run-off areas and a knackered green, it’s not the easiest of holes, to say the least. But it shows how well McIlroy is playing that he is able to smash a driver straight down the middle and then clip a mid-iron right into the centre of the green, 20 feet from the pin. Another birdie putt coming up.

… but leaves his eight footer in the jaws. The Englishman made the cut after a slow start but played superbly yesterday and must be cursing his slow start.

But that’s a birdie on the 2nd for McIlroy! Just what the doctor ordered and the Northern Irishman gives a little fist pump in celebration. Someone is bound to make a dart from out of the pack – could it be the world No 1?

The quality of the world No 1’s near-400-yard opening drive was not matched by his wedge into the green, which flew long. But it’s an opening four for Rory.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the first hole

What a round from Horschel. Already three under through 11 holes, the excitable American has just eagled the short par-4 12th to move to the rarefied heights of five under par for his round. We haven’t seen a score like that since Thursday’s opening round. Horschel is now +2 for the tournament and up to 15th place.

Ben Martin shot 70 on the opening day and then a fine 67 on Friday. He birdied the 1st on Saturday to get within one shot of the lead. But then things went a little awry.

Despite that early birdie, Martin carded an 86 (yes, an eighty six) in his third round. And today he has finished up with another fine 70. Try to work that one out.

At four over, the 2013 champion was surely out of contention going into this round, but he’s already dropped a shot at the opening hole after driving into the left rough.

The 1st is playing as a 499-yard par-4 today, by the way, after the USGA decided the last needs to play as a par-5 due to a change in the wind direction rendering it a near impossible par-4. Apparently that makes sense. But probably only at USGA HQ.

Do you think Horschel might be suggesting the greens are a bit dodgy?

… he’s gone out in 32 blows. Very good indeed, that. And it’s been matched by South Africa’s Thomas Aiken. So, good scores are out there, for the early starters at least, before the greens bake hard and dry in the sun.

However… there are just eight players under par so far today. There are 27 over par. Go figure.

Below are today’s key tee times, plus the 54-hole total for each player.
For a full list of every player’s start time, click on the link at the top of the article.

8:00 pm – a-Ollie Schniederjans 214, Justin Rose (England) 214
8:12 pm – Kevin Na 214, Marc Warren (Scotland) 214
8:24 pm – John Senden (Australia) 214, Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 214
8:36 pm – Brooks Koepka 214, Ian Poulter (England) 214
9:48 pm – Patrick Reed 211, Joost Luiten (Holland) 211
10:00 pm – Tony Finau 211, Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 211
10:12 pm – Andres Romero (Argentina) 211, Brandt Snedeker 211
10:24 pm – J.B. Holmes 209, Shane Lowry (Ireland) 209
10:36 pm – Cameron Smith (Australia) 209, Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 209
10:48 pm – Jordan Spieth 206, Branden Grace (South Africa) 206
11:00 pm – Dustin Johnson 206, Jason Day (Australia) 206

Below are the thoughts of Erin Walker – wife of Ryder Cup star Jimmy – on today’s final round. She seems to be correct – her husband is five over through six holes today, +12 overall. 

It won’t surprise you to know: they’re tough. Most are tucked near the fringes (although fringes don’t really exist on this course) and near nasty slopes ready to grab golf balls and send them rolling miles away from their intended target. That said, they do look a little less masochistic than Saturday’s – at least three are somewhere near the middle of the greens.

A 10. Ouch. Kirk very nearly made the US Ryder Cup team for Gleaneagles, but it looks like he might have to brush up on his short game if he’s to go to the next level, judging by this hole alone. 

His drive found the rough, his second fell left of the green down the steep slope, his next FIVE shots were attempts to get up that slope, and he then three-putted for a sextuple bogey. Nasty.

And 51-year-old Colin Montgomerie is showing those young whippersnappers a thing or two about playing this course. Monty is one under through his first three holes and six over for the tournament, and currently sits an impressive 40th in the field. 

Even more impressive is Billy Horschel’s round. The FedEx Cup champion is two under through his first six of the day, a score matched by fellow American Sam Saunders (through 12 holes). You could sell that score to one of the four leaders for an awful lot of cash.

The ironing is delicious, as Bart Simpson once said. But what an incredible story. Day collapsed on the 9th green on Saturday, nearly pulled out, played on Saturday amid dizziness, sickness, problems with his sight and depleted energy levels, and shot to the top of the leaderboard at the toughest major of the lot. If the Australian lands his first major tonight, there will be fewer more popular or emotional victories in recent years.

Four men currently share the lead after 54 holes: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace and Jason Day. The crazy, brutal Chambers Bay course has broken most of the field, but there four stand alone at the top on four under par.

Only four others are under par, all three shots behind the leaders. They are: Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith, JB Holmes and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.

Surely the winner of the 115th US Open will come from one of these two groups. But given the crazy stuff we’ve seen in Seattle this week and the complete disintegration possible on this abominably tough golf course, anything is still possible.



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