Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Johnson shares US Open lead as Shinnecock takes toll

Johnson shares US Open lead as Shinnecock takes toll

According to, a U.S. Open media representative watched the situation, and like a Secret Service agent speaking in code, noted in his radio, "DJ has declined flash", code for "Dustin Johnson is not talking to the media".

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - Shinnecock Hills is causing fits for the players during the third round of the U.S. Open, highlighted by Phil Mickelson purposely hitting a moving ball as it rolled off a green and confirmed by Zach Johnson, who later said officials have "lost the golf course".

In its daily statement on course set-up, the US Golf Association said "appropriate levels of water" were applied to all putting greens overnight and Sunday morning "for turf health and firmness".

Johnson, who won the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship, shot 73-73-72 for the first three rounds.

"I don't know. I mean, for the most part, we all had to play this afternoon".

A lot of the early rounds, (Tommy) Fleetwood played an unbelievable round, goes posts 7-under. In fact, the only other round under par was a 68 by Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Koepka made only two birdies in a hard-earned round of 72, leaving him in position to become the first back-to-back victor of the US Open since Curtis Strange in 1989.

"I felt like I played pretty well", said the No. 1 player in the world.

"The golf course transformed today from hole 1 to hole 18", said Jim Furyk, another former Open victor.

"We want the U.S. Open to be tough, but we saw some examples late in the day where well-executed shots were not only not being rewarded, but in some cases penalized".

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The tone of the day started very early, well before Andrew "Beef" Johnston hit the day's first shot at 8:21 a.m. local time.

After three brutal days of the US Open 2018 at Shinnecock Hills, it's absolutely anybody's guess who's going to take home the second major golf championship of the year. Shooting 62 was actually more in my mind than where we were in the tournament coming down the last few holes. Mike Davis assessed the situation essentially the same way Batman assessed Superman in Dawn of Justice: if there was even a 1% chance Sunday could turn into 2004, they had to treat it as a certainty. Tony Finau and Daniel Berger did that and suddenly find themselves in contention at the U.S. Open. For the first time all tournament, DJ is over par, and now Henrik Stenson is the leader. We know that it's not going to be Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day or Tiger Woods - all cut after the second round - but after that, it's virtually impossible. The New Rochelle residents are enjoying their first U.S. Open.

"I didn't mean to disrespect anybody", said Mickelson, who finished with 81, his worst-ever round in a U.S. Open.

Fleetwood was one shot behind when he finished, and Koepka still had 11 holes to play as Shinnecock Hills began to get crisp under another sunny sky.

And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints.

With the two-stroke penalty Mickelson took a sextuple bogey 10.

"I think that was like making a birdie, maybe even making an eagle", he said. We're extremely close. I love the guy to death.

Despite all the difficulties, Johnson steadied himself to arrive at the 18th tee with a one-stroke lead.

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