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4-way tie, story lines headline U.S. Open final round

Final Round update — United States Golf Association — 115th U.S. Open — Chambers Bay — University Place, Washington —

Story lines are plentiful at the 115th U.S. Open heading into the final round at Chambers Bay including the four-man tie at the top of the leader board at 4-under.

From the layout, set-up and play-ability of the course to the stories of Jason Day contending with Vertigo and fatigue. There is Jordan Spieth trying to win the season’s first two majors and thus joining Golf’s Mount Rushmore alongside Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan.

then, we have long-hitting Dustin Johnson battling past major demons (when he blew a shot at multiple titles) and trying to breakthrough for his first major title. Johnson is also on the eve of his 31st birthday and celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad.

Don’t forget about South Africa’s Branden Grace.

Grace, 40th in the Official World Golf Ranking, has six European Tour victories on his resume including two this season. He won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in November and the Qatar Masters in December.

Four additional players are just three back heading into Sunday including former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, J.B. Holmes, Aussie Cameron Smith and Shane Lowry.

Oosthuizen opened with 77 Thursday but rolled back-to-back 66s at Chambers to set himself up for a chance to post a number and perhaps win his second major.

In the third round, Spieth reached 7-under but slipped back before closing at 4-under. He is the betting favorite at this point opening the week as an 8-to-1 betting pick at www.ladbrokes.com. But, the pressure to win the first two majors of the year might be a bit much for Spieth.

For Day, he is the now the crowd favorite. Fighting dizzie and balance spells late in his round Friday, he was wobbly a few times Saturday but rallied with a back-nine 31 including closing with three birdies in his last four holes to post 4-under. He plays in the final pairing with Johnson teeing off at 3 p.m. local time.

Day, who won at Torrey Pines earlier this year, has Top 5 finishes in three of his last four U.S. Open appearances, but the Vertigo issues are unpredictable and could derail him.

Look for Johnson to be in the mix throughout the final round with others bouncing up and falling back. If it comes to a putting contest, Spieth is the favorite. He is third on the PGA Tour in 3-putt Avoidance.

Expect a player under the radar — perhaps Holmes or Oosthuizen — to post a score and have a shot at either winning outright or for a spot in a Monday playoff.

Other Golf News: 

  • Eight of the last 11 U.S. Open champions were international-born players. that could bode well for Aussie’s Day and Smith and South Africans Oosthuizen and Grace.
  • Issues with the set-up, inconsistencies on the putting surfaces and the difficulty getting fans close to the action because of the topography have all plagued the week. But, in the end, the drama should be captivating.
  • The USGA hosts the U.S. Senior Open Championship next week in Sacramento, California.
  • Phil Mickelson’s quest for the career Grand Slam ended Saturday when he shot 77. Lefty is T-66.
  • Jack Maguire leads the bid for low amateur at the U.S. Open. He is 4-over and T-25 and tied alongside Rory McIlroy.
  • Smith is No. 167 in the rankings and entered this week as a 300-1 long shot. The Aussie’s best effort this season was a T-5 at the CIMB Classic last November — a tournament that Ryan Moore captured.