5 issues we discovered Saturday, from Will Zalatoris charging to Jon Rahm slipping

BROOKLINE, Mass — Saturday at The Nation Membership wasn’t the entire carnage that some golf followers wait all 12 months to see in the course of the US Open. The sort of brutal golf that evokes books like Dick Shaap’s “Bloodbath at Winged Foot,” which documented the grueling 1974 US Open received by Hale Irwin at 7 over par.

Saturday was, nonetheless, probably the most difficult day we have now seen thus far on the 2022 US Open, and it annoyed most of the recreation’s finest gamers, together with Rory McIlroy, who shot 73 and Collin Morikawa, who shot 77.

After a entrance handed by means of the realm in a single day, the wind switched from south to north and the temperature hovered within the mid-60s. Twenty-three gamers began the day beneath par, however when the ultimate scorecards have been signed, solely 9 remained in purple figures heading into Sunday.

With simply 18 holes left to be performed, two younger gamers who’re changing into constant contenders in main championships, Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick, discover themselves tied on the prime at 4 underneath par. One shot behind them is defending champion Jon Rahm, who’s presently ranked No. 2 on the Official World Golf Rating. Two photographs off the lead at 2 underneath are 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, New Englander Keegan Bradley and Adam Hadwin.

Listed below are 5 issues we discovered Saturday on the 2022 US Open.

For Zalatoris, it is all concerning the putter

Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris performs his shot from the 18th tee in the course of the third spherical of the US Open golf match. (Photograph: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Solely 27 days in the past, Zalatoris misplaced in a playoff to Justin Thomas on the PGA Championship. He was additionally the runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama on the 2021 Masters. On Saturday, his 67 moved him from 1 underneath to 4 underneath, giving him an opportunity to lastly break by means of and win.

Zalatoris got here to the US Open ranked one hundred and sixtieth in strokes gained placing, a weak spot that has stored him out of the winner’s circle as a result of he is among the finest iron gamers on this planet. Zalatoris putted properly on the PGA Championship and practically received, and on Saturday he rolled in birdie putts from 39 ft, 15 ft and 20 ft away from the outlet. He additionally made par-saving putts from 10 ft on the tenth and twelfth holes.

“I feel it took plenty of self-discipline as we speak. I imply, we did not goal at a single flag even with some wedges simply since you actually solely have a foot or two to take care of on these greens in some conditions,” Zalatoris mentioned. “Usually guys out right here, once they have wedges of their hand, they’re firing at pins it doesn’t matter what the scenario was, nevertheless it’s simply plenty of persistence and giving myself as many 15- to 25-footers as I may, and clearly, a pair occurred to go in as we speak, and it felt fairly good.”

If Zalatoris wins this week at The Nation Membership, he would be the twelfth participant to make his first PGA Tour win the US Open. The latest addition to the checklist, which incorporates Jack Nicklaus (1962), Lee Trevino (1968), and Ernie Els (1994) is Graeme McDowell, who received the 2010 US Open at Pebble Seaside.

Fitzpatrick discovering perception from 2013 win

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick performs his shot from the seventeenth tee in the course of the third spherical of the US Open golf match. (Photograph: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports activities)

“I mentioned it yesterday, I feel you have to plot your manner round,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “You actually have to consider the place you wish to hit it, the place you do not wish to hit it. In comparison with different golf programs we play on tour, it definitely offers that to me, and that is why I prefer it.”

On a day when the greens at The Nation Membership received former and quicker, Fitzpatrick definitely plotted his manner successfully, hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens in regulation, and he putted properly too, making a 10-footer for birdie on the fifth gap and an 8-footer for birdie on 17.

Requested if successful right here within the 2013 US Novice helps him imagine he can win this week, Fitzpatrick mentioned, “I definitely suppose it offers me an edge over the others, yeah. I genuinely do imagine that. It is an actual, clearly, optimistic second in my profession. It is sort of kickstarted me.”

Cream positioned to go back-to-back

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm of Spain performs a shot from a fairway bunker on the 18th gap in the course of the third spherical of the 122nd US Open Championship at The Nation Membership on June 18, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photograph by Jared C Tilton/Getty Photos)

Rahm received the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines, and he made birdies on 14, 15, and 17 to succeed in 5 underneath Saturday night. He walked to the 18th tee with a decided look on his face., however his tee shot went right into a fairway bunker on the left and he appeared to have a clear lie, however his second shot drove into the fescue-topped higher portion of the bunker after which rolled to inside inches of the place he’d been standing.

Rahm’s third shot landed within the huge bunker that guards the entrance of the inexperienced. From there, he escaped to twenty ft previous the outlet, however his bogey-saving putt held on the left aspect and he was compelled to tap-in for a double bogey. Rahm ended the day at 3 underneath, one shot behind Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick.

“I am very content material. I am not going to lie,” Rahm mentioned. “It is infuriating, in a way, to complete that manner with how good I performed these holes, however like I stored telling myself, if on the 14th as we speak you informed me you may put up 1-over par and never play the final 5 holes, I’d have ran to the clubhouse due to how tough it was taking part in. I’d have taken it, no questions requested. I feel I’ve to contemplate that. I’ve 18 holes, and I am just one shot again. That is the vital factor.”

Sunday will likely be a brand new day and Rahm nonetheless has an incredible probability to turn out to be the eighth golfer to win the US Open in back-to-back years.

Brooks Koepka is the most-recent winner of consecutive US Opens, successful in 2017 at Erin hills and at Shinnecock Hills in 2018. Curtis Unusual received the primary two US Opens right here at The Nation Membership in 1988, then received at Oak Hill.

Different two-time winners embody Ben Hogan (1950-51), Ralph Guldahl (1937-38), Bobby Jones (1929-30), John McDermott (1911-12) and Willie Anderson (1903-1905).

Scheffler received knocked down, however not knocked out

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler chips onto the eleventh inexperienced in the course of the third spherical of the US Open golf match. (Photograph: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports activities)

The par-5 eighth gap gave a number of golfers matches and strategy photographs that hit the false entrance rolled again down the hill, however Scottie Scheffler’s shot bounced thrice, grabbed the placing floor and rolled again into the cup.

That eagle vaulted the 2022 Masters champion from 4 underneath to six underneath and into the lead Saturday afternoon, however a double bogey on the par-3 eleventh and bogeys at 12, 13 and 14 dropped him again to 1 underneath for the match in lower than 90 minutes.

A birdie on the seventeenth gap received the Texan again to 2 underneath.

“I feel the US Open may be very taxing, mentally and bodily,” Scheffler mentioned. “I feel that is all a part of what makes this match so enjoyable. You are going to get examined all completely different sorts of the way, whether or not or not it’s bodily, mentally, no matter it’s. This golf match goes to check you.”

Sunday will likely be wild

Match flags are seen in the course of the second spherical of the US Open golf match at The Nation Membership. (Photograph: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports activities)

In addition to Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick performed Saturday, neither has ever received a PGA Tour occasion or a serious, so they may shoot an incredible rating, however they may succumb to the strain. You get the sensation that Rahm goes to make a transfer on Sunday and Bradley can have a ton of assist, too. And with Scheffler solely two photographs off the lead, and McIlroy, the 2011 US Open winner simply three photographs again, it must be an incredible end Sunday at The Nation Membership.



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