Thomas makes charge up US Open leaderboard

Justin Thomas of the US reacts to a missed putt on the twelfth hole during the first round at the 117th US Open Championship at Erin Hills in Hartford, Wisconsin, USA, 15 June 2017. The tournament will be played 15 June thorough 18 June. Photo: Backpagepix

ERIN, Wisconsin - American Justin Thomas led a charge by early starters up the US Open leaderboard on Saturday, grabbing a share of the third-round lead.

Once again golfers were taking full advantage of an Erin Hills layout softened by overnight rain, attacking the pins with gusto and none more than Thomas, who had six birdies on a blistering outward nine.



Thomas, decked out in fluorescent pink pants, was on the move quickly with a birdie-birdie start and had an even hotter finish to his front nine, carding birdies on four-of-five closing holes, including the last three to move to seven-under.

When Thomas joined the lead there were seven players packed tight at seven-under, including overnight leaders Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood and Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman.

Also moving into top spot were American Charley Hoffman with birdies on three of his five opening holes and Rickie Fowler, who started one shot off the pace but got grabbed a share of top spot with a birdie at the first.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, roared into contention going six-under through 16 holes to sit one shot back alongside American Patrick Reed who was also putting together an impressive scorecard going five-under with four to play.

Adding to the logjam are Australian Marc Leishman, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Americans Xander Schauffele and Jamie Lovemark and South Korean Kim Si-woo all on six under, leaving 14 players within one stroke of the lead.


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