However, it was Mackenzie Hughes, Louis Oosthuizen and Russell Henley who shared the 54-hole, 5-under lead with Hughes dropping for the second day in a row while Oosthuizen and Henley kept pace. The lead went down to 6 cents a few times with Henley, but a bugy every two holes kept him from running away from the chase pack.
Oosthuizen himself experienced four bogeys that day, but provided one of the most dramatic and impactful highlights of the day with a chip-in eagle on the No.18 which put him under the normal for the lap and gave him a share of the lead. Oosthuizen has a solid track record in the US Open and his own proven major success as an Open Championship winner. He also feels called for a win after arriving in T2 at the PGA Championship last month. Oosthuizen has also finished in the top 10 at each of the last two US Opens with a third place finish in 2020.
Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson all shot 68 or better on moving day with Rory 67 matching Paul Casey for the best lap of the day. The seven major championships between the trio and Oosthuizen’s presence at the top of the standings provide unique pressure on Hughes and Henley, and how they deal with that pressure will be one of the defining storylines for Sunday’s final round.
As for those who lost ground on Saturday, Matthew Wolff (73) and Jon Rahm (72) both shot in the ’70s for the first time this week. Those above par rounds also didn’t bounce off the discord as they are still within striking distance at T6, but that has forced the question of what needs to happen on Sunday.
Here’s what the standings look like before Sunday’s final round.
T1. Louis Oosthuizen, Mackenzie Hughes, Russell Henley (-5): Each of these men thinks about the score they need on Sunday to win. It’s only a two-stroke lead at the US Open, where 58 of the last 60 winners entered the four-stroke window before Sunday. The group under 3 is capable of 67 or better, so the answer could be a two-penny round of 69. The pressure is on two fronts for this group, first against each other and then against the chase pack.
T4. Rory McIlroy, Bryson De Chambeau (-3): The headline of Saturday’s action was the moves of these former US Open winners, one looking to win their second at this event 10 years after their first, the other looking to come back back to back for the first time since Brooks Koepka did so in 2017-18. Either is a threat to win after both have had their best laps of the week on Saturday. McIlroy has either finished in the top 10 or missed the cut in his last six U.S. Open, and he’s looking to end a major drought that has plagued him since 2014.
T6. Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Matthew Wolff (-2) : As Rahm and Wolff retreated on Saturday, Scheffler completed his second consecutive below par with a few birdies over the last nine. This whole group includes golfers aiming to win a first major tournament, and Rahm was the betting favorite both entering the event and after the 18 and 36 holes.
T9. Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Streelman (-1): DJ’s 68 stand out among this group, which otherwise played in a knockout around here in the third round. It’s a disappointing lap for ScHotele as he marks a continuous rise in his scores over the week while Morikawa found some balance with a 70 after dropping on Friday.
T14. Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Sungjae Im, Harris English (A): Brooks and JT each had their chances, but just didn’t put in enough putts to climb to the top of the standings after starting the day tied. Casey tied Rory for the round of the day, Poulter was among the fastest seven laps with his 68s, and Im and Molinari improved from above par laps on Friday to shoot 69 on Saturday and enter the top 20.
CBS Sports updated this story with scores and highlights from the US Open. Check out a more detailed ranking and our full viewer guide for how to watch Sunday.
Rick Gehman is joined by Mark Immelman to crack and react in Saturday’s third round at the US Open. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Podcasts Apple and Spotify.