BLOG: Saturday updates from the U.S. Open

Check back for updates throughout Round 3

5:45 p.m.: As tough as it is out on the course, there have been some quality shots today. An example, Ernie Els chipped in for eagle on the par-5 17th. And as a whole, 10 rounds in the 60s are in the books.

After a par on No. 18, Els is two back of the current leader Jim Furyk, who has birdied two of his last five holes.

Nicolas Colsaerts is in second at even.

Els is part of a five-player cluster at 2-over for the championship. As is Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods. Woods played the front nine 3-over, picking up his first birdie of the day at No. 9.

Colsaerts has been steady, registering pars on his first 10 holes before a birdie on No. 11.

Most likely the numbers won’t hold. There is at least two hours of golf left.

A full recap of Saturday’s action will be posted tonight.

4:45 p.m.: Nothing is coming easy for leader groups this afternoon. Nothing, isn’t an exaggeration either. This is a struggle. There is no give, no mercy out on The Olympic Club course. The greens are firm. Landing a ball within 5 feet of the cup doesn’t mean it will stick there. Lots of roll. Some of the more popular terms thrown around this week: Grind, plodding, test and patience. All are pertinent right now.

• Your leader is Jim Furyk, who moved back to even after birdie on No. 7. Graeme McDowell and Nicolas Colsaerts are  1-over and tied for second.

• Tiger Woods has dropped to 2-over for the championship after bogeys on three of his first six holes.

• Most notable moves of the day belong to Webb Simpson, Kevin Chappell and Lee Westwood. Chappell and Simpson fired 2-under 68s and are 3-over in the clubhouse. Westwood sank a long birdie putt on 18 to finish with a 3-under 67. He is plus-2 for the championship.

• Best spot on the course is around the eighth green. A hill is filled with thousands of spectators. Pretty neat visual.

3:45 p.m.: Tough start to Round 3 for the three leaders – Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms – all posted a bogey on No. 1. Toms and Woods gave another one back on the 256-yard par-3 third.  Furyk has been nifty around the greens early on, saving par with a nice up and down from the trap on No. 2. He is in sole possession of first at even for the championship.

• Graeme McDowell Nicolas Colsaerts are both even through four holes and are part of a four-way tie, which includes Woods and Toms, for second at plus-1.

• The course is drying out and playing extremely quick.

• The aura surrounding the final parings has that do-or-die feel. How their rounds pan out will have bearing on Sunday.

• With all of that said, Lee Westwood is 2-under for his day through 13. Beau Hossler continues to impress under pressure and is currently even par today. Also steadily moving up the leaderboard is Kevin Chappell. He, too, is 2-under today with three to play. Those three are all 3-over for the championship.

• Conclusion: It’s going to be a wild day.



2:35 p.m.: Going to head out among the hoards of spectators to soak in some of today’s sunshine and action. It’s 74 degrees. Think I will find a spot at No. 3.

• As today has worn on, it is becoming clearer that this is Tiger’s U.S. Open to lose. Huge leaps up the leaderboard seem unlikely. He looks as steady as ever. If he continues his patient, ball-shaping play, he will be tough to beat.

• The par-5 16th is playing a U.S. Open-record 671 yards today.

• Aside from the top-three groups, another pairing to keep an eye on today is that of Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar. Both were 3-over coming into Saturday.

• Four rounds in the 60s have been recorded today. Casey Wittenberg has the low round of 67, which included an eagle at the drivable par-4 No. 7. Just seven rounds in the 60s were posted Friday.

• Talk of the town Friday, 17-year-old amateur Beau Hossler is on the course and is even early in his round.

1:35 p.m.: Saturday afternoon in San Francisco. It is absolutely gorgeous out here at The Olympic Club. The leader groups won’t be on the course for their third round of the U.S. Open or another hour and a half.

Today is no different in objective – ball placement is key. The course is playing 7,048 yards today.

• Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk – both a 1-under – tee off at 3:05 p.m. Before them, the third in the trio of leaders, David Toms, along with John Peterson (1-over) will go out at 2:55 p.m.

• In the nine Majors that Woods has held the 36-hole lead he has gone on to win eight of those. Woods is first this week in fairways hit at 75-percent.

• Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, and Nicolas Colsaerts – both at 1-over, will begin play at 2:45 p.m. Round 1 leader Michael Thompson is also at 1-over and will start at 2:35 p.m.

• Best third round so far belongs to Angel Cabrera, who is 2-under through 16 holes.

• Phil Mickelson is even par for his round today and remains at plus-7 through 12.

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