Justin Thomas sets single round record at US Open

Xander Schauffele waves on the sixth hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday

The historic round also took Thomas, a three-time victor on the PGA Tour this season, to 11-under for the championship and a two-shot lead over compatriot Brian Harman and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, still on the course.

He became the first player to reach 13 under at the U.S. Open in the second round, but double-bogeyed 18 to close at 11 under and with a six-shot lead.

"Obviously, the [eagle] finish was awesome".

Whatever happens, the championship is set to crown a first-time major victor, as the closest previous major champion is Louis Oosthuizen in a tie for 17th at four-under. "It was a really good round of golf and I hardly missed a shot". But just for me, I felt like I've been playing pretty well all week, and didn't have quite the numbers to show for it. "I did feel very comfortable with my swing, but that fifth shot on 18 was my best shot of the day".

Scheffler is three shots back of the lead on a jam-packed leaderboard. He spent all day in the knee-high fescue and shot 78, his worst U.S. Open score. "To have a chance tomorrow is just going to be great", said Thomas.

Thomas drained a putt on No. 5 which he literally started it in the wrong direction, and that, he said, wasn't even his best shot of the day.

Harman closed with two birdies and three tough pars for a 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead at 12-under 204.

World No.9 Rickie Fowler (68) is solo fifth, with Players Championship victor Si Woo Kim, from South Korea, a shot back in sixth after also carding a 68.

When Fleetwood was asked if he planned to talk to 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, a fellow Englishman, before the final round, Fleetwood smiled and said he'd wait for Rose's text.

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Reed, a fiery member of the US Ryder Cup team, said he had benefited from taking a more relaxed approach to the major.

Dustin Johnson had to gouge it out of the rough on at least eight occasions, including the par-five 14 hole when he tried to play conservatively and laid up into rough. He got that up-and-down for a bogey and a 68. He made an eagle on his final hole at the Sony Open in January to shoot 59, and he went on to break the PGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record.

The third round was filled with low scores - more players finished under par than in any other round in U.S. Open history - including a record-breaking performance by Justin Thomas.

"The greens were still receptive to good shots, but they were firmer and faster", said Fowler. Rickie Fowler is confident of "getting the job done" after resurrecting his hopes of a maiden major at the US Open today.

NOTEWORTHY: None of the top 18 players on the leaderboard have won a major.

"Not your typical U.S. Open setup, but I'm a big fan", McIlroy said.

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.

"Even though it's very disappointing to not be here on the weekend, I think these last two rounds will serve me well going into the summer", McIlroy said.

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