Sports

US OPEN NOTEBOOK

Justin Thomas sets US Open record with 9-under 63

Jonathan Randolph congratulates Justin Thomas after Thomas' eagle on the 18th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Saturday, June 17, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip/AP

Jonathan Randolph (left) congratulates Justin Thomas after Thomas's eagle on the 18th hole.

ERIN, Wis. — Rickie Fowler’s housemate just had to show him up on Saturday.

Fowler has been one of the leading stories of this week’s US Open, firing an opening-round 65 and following it up with a productive 68 in the third round.

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But Fowler’s 65 from Thursday was old news by Saturday night when Justin Thomas, who is sharing a house with Fowler this week at Erin Hills, shot a 9-under-par 63, setting a US Open record for low round in relation to par.

“We’re separated by a floor. He’s upstairs and I’m down in the basement area,” Fowler said. “So, shouldn’t get too physical.”

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Both players are living in the penthouse on the leaderboard. Thomas (11-under 205) is one stroke behind leader Brian Harman, while Fowler is just two back at 10 under as he searches for his first career major.

Fowler had six birdies against two bogeys on Saturday and enters the final round in fifth place and in prime position to attack the course.

“It’s going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow. I’m looking forward to my shot at it,” Fowler said. “This was the goal going into the week, to put ourselves in position to be in contention on Sunday, whether that was two back, two up front, or tied for the lead. Let’s go.”

Spieth is sputtering

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Jordan Spieth at least made the cut at the US Open, which is more than Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day could say. But he continued to sputter at Erin Hills, shooting a 4-over 76 on Saturday with a round that included four bogeys and a double.

Spieth, also 4 over for the tournament, said he’s not feeling comfortable over the ball.

“Out here I’m just thinking a lot about my stroke, stance, stuff you would rather not be thinking about,” he said. “Pitchers have good days and bad days, and I took an L today and come back tomorrow and try to finish this round strong.”

Long distance

Saturday’s course was set up at 7,818 yards, the shortest of the tournament but still the longest course in US Open history by more than 100 yards. Thursday’s setup was the longest, at 7,845 . . . The total purse for the tournament is $12 million, with the winner taking home $2.16 million, second place getting $1.296 million, and third place getting $804,023. The 66th-ranked player will make $22,729, and everyone who missed the cut made $10,000 . . . Thomas has won four PGA Tour events, but none on the United States mainland. He has two wins in Malaysia and two in Hawaii . . . Haotong Li, who shot 82 on Saturday, became the first player from the People’s Republic of China to make the cut at the US Open.

Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin
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