Patrick Reed sets early lead at US Open

Patrick Reed sets early lead at US Open

Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed set the early clubhouse target as the third round of the 117th US Open turned into a shootout at a rain-softened Erin Hills.

Almost an inch of rain fell on the course overnight and Reed, who beat Rory McIlroy in the opening singles at Hazeltine last year, was one of many players to take advantage in pursuit of his first major title.

Reed began the day six shots off the lead shared by England's Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood and the American duo of Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman, the first four-way tie after 36 holes of a US Open since 1974.

On that occasion, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Hale Irwin and Ray Floyd shared the halfway lead, with Irwin going on to win the "Massacre at Winged Foot" on seven over par.

Similar scoring had initially appeared a possibility at Erin Hills, which became the longest course in major championship history at 7,845 yards in the first round and featured such thick fescue grass that patches had to be chopped down on four holes on Tuesday.

However, with the overnight rain improving scoring conditions, Reed overcame some testing pin positions to card four birdies and a bogey on the front nine, before firing four birdies in five holes from the 12th.

The 26-year-old needed to birdie the 18th to equal the lowest score in relation to par in US Open history, but missed from five feet.

The resulting 65 set the target at eight under par, with Charley Hoffman leading on nine under after covering the front nine in 31.

Fleetwood was alongside Reed after a birdie on the first, but Casey tumbled down the leaderboard after following an opening birdie of his own with a triple-bogey on the third.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen had looked like being the early pacesetter, the former Open champion going to the turn in 32 and picking up shots on the 11th and 15th, only to run up a double bogey on the 17th.

Oosthuizen, who finished second in the US Open in 2015 and lost a play-off for the Open a month later, had to settle for a 68 to finish four under par.

With the entire field separated by just eight shots after the cut fell at one over, 2015 winner Jordan Spieth had hoped to get himself into contention, but struggled to a 76.

"It's been an off-week for me with the putting," said the former world number one, whose back nine of 40 included a double-bogey seven on the 18th.

"I've been striking the ball well. It's just been trying to figure it out on and around the greens. And I feel like once the can gets open, I'll start pouring them in.

"I started feeling a couple of rounds at Colonial like that, where I really felt like I was seeing the lines, I was confident going into it. I knew going into it that it was either going to go in or be close to going in.

"And out here I'm just thinking a lot about my stroke, stance, stuff you would rather not be thinking about, you'd rather think about line of pace. But I can't do that yet because I haven't figured out the other part.

"It's frustrating in that regard, but today was an off day. Pitchers have good days and bad days, and I took an L (loss) today and come back tomorrow and try to finish this round strong going into next week."

More in this Section

We’ll take the point and move on – Maddison looking ahead after Norwich setbackWe’ll take the point and move on – Maddison looking ahead after Norwich setback

Wilder highlights McGoldrick’s all-round value to Blades amid goal droughtWilder highlights McGoldrick’s all-round value to Blades amid goal drought

Frank Lampard will not haul Chelsea in for extra training amid poor runFrank Lampard will not haul Chelsea in for extra training amid poor run

Officials to probe '30-man brawl' in Munster's loss to SaracensOfficials to probe '30-man brawl' in Munster's loss to Saracens


Lifestyle

Last week, en route to La Gomera in the Canary Islands, I decide to stop off in Tenerife and take the 1.2km cable car ride to the top of Mount Teide, 3,660m above sea level. Cable cars are invariably an exciting way to travel.Dursey Island is a special place because of its remoteness

It can be considered offensive by some but generally the word ‘tinker’ is not considered rude says the Traveller’s advocacy group Pavee Point. Over time the term became synonymous with ‘Traveller’ and it is this which is current today.The Islands of Ireland: Tinkering with the past on Tinker’s Island in West Cork

Dr Naomi Lavelle explores some questions about walking upside-downAppliance of Science: Could humans copy insects' ability to walk upside-down?

Emer Corridan is the general manager at the award-winning four-star, Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry.You've Been Served: Emer Corridan, general manager at Cahernane House, Killarney

More From The Irish Examiner