Bryson DeCambe battled a groin injury after going 3 shots too far at the US Open

PINEHURST, NC — On Saturday, Pinehurst No. Standing on the 13th tee box during the third round of the 124th US Open at 2, Bryson DeChambeau told his caddy, Gregory Bodine, “I want to get to this green.”

Someone in the gallery said, “Yes, you should!”

DeChambeau thought it over and told the fans, “Don’t yell at me, I’m sorry,” before hitting a long iron.

They only cheered on LIV Golf League captain DeChambeau, who won the hearts of golf fans with his on-course highfives and YouTube videos. With a potent combination of putting off the tee and deft greens, DeChambeau opened up a 4-stroke lead on the back nine for a 3-under 67 heading into Sunday’s final round with a 3-shot advantage.

As much a showman as a golfer, DeZambo enjoyed every minute.

“Yeah, it was amazing,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough. It’s a blessing. Man, they’ve got me pumped up. It gets my adrenaline going and allows me to focus more on delivering for the fans and for me and my family. It motivates me.”

Mathieu Pavon, who is trying to become the first golfer from France to win the US Open, is 3 strokes back after shooting a 1-under 69. So is Rory McIlroy, who is trying to end a nearly 10-year drought without a major drought. Championship win, and Patrick Cantlay trying to get his first win. They scored 69 and 70 respectively in the third round to remain in the hunt.

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It was DeChambeau’s first 54-hole lead in a major championship. This is the second time he has played in the final pair in the final round of a major. At the 2020 US Open, he trailed Matthew Wolfe by 2 and carded a 3-under 67 to win his first major championship.

With two holes to play on Saturday, it looked like the other contenders might get close. DeChambeau no. After sinking a 9-foot birdie putt on 14, he bogeyed the 16th and dropped the first double-bogey of the tournament to 6-under, 2-under ahead of Pavone, McIlroy and Cantlay.

Undeterred, DeCambeau hit his tee shot to 11½ feet on the par-3 17th. It was his 23rd one-putt of the tournament. He easily equalized on the 18th.

It’s not just drama. On the ninth hole, DeChambeau asked a USGA official to send for his physical therapist. He experienced tightness in his right hip; He lay on the ground in the woods and no. Stretched before hitting his tee shot on 11.

“Yeah, it was tough to make a couple shots,” DeChambeau said. “It’s okay. It’s been a long time. It’s something. I pushed a little bit, pushed the horse a little bit. So that happens. But I have a great team around me to help me fix some things.”

When D’Chambeau captured his first major championship win at the 2020 US Open at Winged Putt Golf Club in New York, ​​he swung his driver as hard and fast as he could — tight fairways that would suffer. DeChambeau’s strategy seemed foolish to others, but after 72 holes, he was the only golfer in the red and ran away with a 6-shot victory over Wolfe.

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A lot has changed for DeChambeau in nearly four years. He’s now the highest-paid captain in the LIV Golf League and has gone from big and strong to leaner, tinkering with his body as much as his clubs.

DeChambeau’s biggest change may have come between his ears. This week at Pinehurst no. When he arrived at No. 2, he vowed to play “boring golf” in his quest for a second major championship, knowing the vast native areas and brutal green complexes in architect Donald Rose’s masterpieces in the North Carolina Sandhills. Give him a chance to grab it and tear it up.

That’s what DeChambeau did over the first 54 holes. He hit 12 of 14 fairways en route to a 3-under 67 in the first round. He was more erratic off the tee in the second round, but needed only 27 putts for a 1-under 69. On Saturday, he gained 3 strokes over putting.

DeChambeau will carry the same game plan into the final round.

“I’m going to say this, tomorrow is the same quote I’ve been saying all week: I’m trying to eat boring golf,” DeChambeau said. “The middle of the greens never moves, so I try to hit a lot of greens, give myself some good looks on some holes and a lot of two putts.”

According to Elias Sports Bureau, McIlroy will enter the final round of the US Open for the sixth straight year in the top 10, the longest streak since Ben Hogan did it 12 times from 1940 to 1956.

No. After a 9½-foot birdie putt on 12, McIlroy was just 1 stroke behind Deschamps. But after making another birdie on the 14th and hitting his tee shots on two par-3s, the nos. Carded bogeys on 15 and 17. In the green side bunkers.

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“The last few holes are playing really hard,” McIlroy said. “Even on 17, it’s downwind, but if that pin is a front cut, it’s hard to approach that ball, even on 18, that hole location. Whatever happens, I feel like 2 shots, 3 shots, 4 shots. I’ve got a great chance to go tomorrow.”

Sweden’s Ludwig Aberg, who started the third round with a 1-shot lead, shot a 3-over 73 and is tied at 2-under with Hideki Matsuyama for fifth place. Aberg, who had been consistent in hitting fairways and greens in the first two rounds, suffered a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 13th.

Aberg, a former Texas Tech star, is seeking to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win the US Open on his debut.

Tony Fina is also no. He carded a triple-bogey 7 on 13. He finished 2-over 72 and tied for seventh place with England’s Tyrrell Hutton at 1-under.

Only eight players were under par after 54 holes, as Pinehurst No. 2 was consistently brown and firm in intense heat.

World No. 1 golfer Scotty Scheffler, 5-over and counting after 36 runs, shot a 1-over 71 to battle for a third straight round. He is tied for 42nd at 6 over.

Scheffler, who has won five of his past eight starts, has never won four straight rounds in a contest as a pro.

“The game of golf is a mental torture chamber sometimes, especially the US Open,” Scheffler said.

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