Paul Casey rallies after triple-bogey for share of US Open lead

Tricky conditions as players begin third round of US Open

Another warm, dry day is drying out the course during the second round of the U.S. Open, and the players are noticing a difference. But years from now, that's not what Steve Stricker will remember from playing the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where officials used him as an unofficial adviser in its early years. Going into the final round, 42 players were still under par.

The U.S. Open was only his sixth start this year. By the end of a wild and wide-open Saturday, five players were double digits under par.

After missing a six-footer for birdie at the 10th, his opening hole, he missed from 15 feet at the 11th, birdied the 13th from 13 feet but then drove into the deep rough and bogeyed the 14th.

But three costly bogeys on the back nine left Johnson needing to pick up strokes down the stretch which proved beyond him. A day after Rickie Fowler's seven-under opening round, that same score is still leading, but it's shared by four players, not including Fowler, who shot a one-over 73 to sit one back. He was 10 under, only two shots behind. "But I think with how long the course is and how long the days are, I won't worry". "The course sets up very well for me off the tee". A 62, I guess, is what everyone has been chasing [in majors]. I think I hit 11 fairways other than the five I did (on Thursday).

Thomas finished in style, and it had nothing to do with his hot pink trousers.

Oosthuizen, whose sole major title to date came at St Andrews in 2010, birdied the first, fourth, seventh and eighth to move to four under par, while 2015 victor Spieth had covered his first 11 holes in level par. "Then clawed all the way back and actually picked up one more to the good by the time we were finished".

Thomas poured in the eagle to become the 29th player with a 63 in a major championship.

"I'm optimistic with where my game is", he said.

Patrick Reed has joined the 65 club at Erin Hills. Regardless of the weather, it didn't take long for the 24-year-old Thomas to understand the significance of his record round.

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It was a remarkable shot, but more wonderful was what it meant in the context of history.

"Over the years, I've gotten a lot better managing that", Stricker said Friday. More important, he was happy with how he played Friday and remained optimistic that he could carry that over to the weekend. "Obviously, today I definitely had something to show for it".

Fleetwood picked up a victory in Abu Dhabi on the European Tour while Fowler is widely regarded right now as the best golfer never to have won a major.

Everyone expects the U.S. Open to get harder as the week goes on because it usually does.

The Northern Irishman closed out his round in style with four birdies over his final six holes for a 71 but it was a case of too little unable to undo the damage of a first round 78. The next one went long, he chipped up to 12 feet and took two putts from there.

What did Thomas do with history breathing down his neck? If I can make four birdies around here, that would be pretty good.

Asked if he would have been able to recover from such a mistake earlier in his career, Casey added: "In my good seasons, yes, but there have been times when I struggled, so probably not!"

But the work is not done. And none of them was particularly close on a first-time major championship layout that has played soft.

Next up is a weekend without most of the biggest names in golf.

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