Relaxed DeChambeau on course to claim second US Open


Bryson DeChambeau will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the US Open as Rory McIlroy attempts to end his long major drought at Pinehurst No.2.

DeChambeau carded a superb third round of 67 to reach seven under par, with McIlroy’s 69 leaving him joint second on four under with American Patrick Cantlay (70) and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (69).

Halfway leader Ludvig Aberg (73) ran up a costly triple-bogey seven on the 13th as he fell back to two under alongside former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

DeChambeau won the US Open at Winged Foot in 2020 and has been in great form in the majors this season, finishing sixth in the Masters and runner-up in the US PGA Championship to Xander Schauffele, who needed a record-low score of 21 under par to claim the title.

“The crowd’s support has been fantastic and I will continue to feed off them if they continue to give it to me,” said a relaxed DeChambeau, who signed autographs during the third round and joked with fans as he weighed up whether to attempt to drive the green on the short par-4 13th.

McIlroy will play alongside Cantlay in the final round for the first time since becoming involved in a heated exchange with Cantlay’s caddie Joe LaCava in the Ryder Cup.

The four-time major winner felt LaCava’s celebrations after Cantlay holed a lengthy putt on the 18th green had been out of line, with the argument later continuing in the car park as McIlroy had to be restrained by teammate Shane Lowry.

Rory McIlroy.
Rory McIlroy will be looking to end his long major drought in the final round of the US Open. (AP PHOTO)

“I love the test that Pinehurst is presenting and you’ve got to focus and concentrate on every single shot out there,” said 2011 US Open winner McIlroy, whose last major victory came in the 2014 US PGA.

“It’s what a US Open should be like. It’s obviously great to be in the mix.”

On Sunday, DeChambeau will try to secure his second US Open in a five-year stretch and add another Southern Methodist University (SMU) connection to this tournament venue.

Payne Stewart, like DeChambeau a former SMU golfer, won at Pinehurst the first time the US Open was held at the venue 25 years ago.

McIlroy had bogeys on two of the final four holes, while Pavon had a fine start with birdies on three of the first seven before a pair of back-side bogeys.

American Tony Finau (72) and England’s Tyrrell Hatton (70) share seventh place at one under, with just seven golfers registering below-par scores on Saturday.

Collin Morikawa posted an early 66 and shot up the leaderboard with the day’s best score.

After a bogey-free round with three birdies on the back side, he is at even par and tied for ninth place with Canada’s Corey Conners (71) and South Korea’s Tom Kim (71).

“If I play the way I did (Saturday), who knows what could happen,” Morikawa said.

“This course is only going to get tougher. I know it’s not going to be easy.”

Defending champion Wyndham Clark posted his second 71 of the week and sits at five over.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler also recorded his second 71 of the tournament.

At six over, he is not in a position to make a charge to the top and add to his tally of five tournament wins this year.

“Another frustrating day,” Scheffler said.

“Today was a day where I thought I played a lot better than my score.”

With PA