PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA – JUNE 15: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits balls on the range during the third round of 124th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort on June 15, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama showed his resilience to remain in contention at the U.S. Open on Saturday after an even-par 70 left him five shots behind third round leader, Bryson DeChambeau. The 32-year-old Matsuyama traded four birdies against as many bogeys at Pinehurst No. 2, including one at the last hole, for tied fifth place on 2-under 208. Korean phenom Tom Kim also fought valiantly, posting a 71 which included five birdies, four bogeys, and a double bogey, to lie in a tie for ninth place on 210. DeChambeau, the U.S. Open champion in 2020, carded a 67 and will take a three-shot lead into the final round over Rory McIlroy (69), Patrick Cantlay (70) and Matthieu Pavon (69). Matsuyama didn’t have the best start, managing one birdie amidst three bogeys in the first seven holes. However, he fought back with birdies on Hole Nos. 11, 12, and 14, all made from inside seven feet. If he aims to claim a second major victory following his Masters Tournament win in 2021, he knows the necessity of his irons performing exceptionally well to navigate the challenging pin positions at Pinehurst No. 2. “The hole locations today were definitely tougher than the last two days. Wherever they were placed, it was very difficult on this type of golf course. I felt the course was firmer than it had been the last two days,” said Matsuyama, who is a nine-time PGA TOUR winner. “If I can adjust my shots and putt well, I think I’ll be able to enjoy tomorrow. It should be fun.” Kim, a three-time TOUR winner, endured a roller-coaster front nine, accumulating five birdies, including a hat-trick of gains from the seventh hole.  However, he also endured four dropped shots, highlighted by a double bogey due to a three-putt on the second hole. After the turn, Kim was unable to make further progress and was set back by two additional bogeys on Hole Nos. 12 and 15. Nevertheless, the young Korean chose to focus on the positives and derive encouragement from today’s challenges, considering the demanding nature of the course setup. “I kind of expected it was going to happen a little bit. U.S. Open, we’re going to have some bad breaks. Trying to get myself in it,” said Kim, who will be aiming to improve on his creditable joint eighth finish in last year. “Really kind of shifted the momentum with going to the back nine under par. It just gives you room to have a few mistakes, because you’re going to have to have some. I feel like when you grind it out and you make tough pars, you definitely gain a lot. I feel like you gain two more shots than in other tournaments, if that makes sense. “It played really tough coming in. Felt like some of the holes I parred were birdies. Did a really good job. I shot 1-over par. You don’t get that anywhere else.” Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 15, 2024 Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 92. Wind NE 10-15 mph. Third-Round Leaderboard

Pos.PlayerR1R2R3Total1Bryson DeChambeau676967203 (-7)T2Matthieu Pavon677069206 (-4)T2Rory McIlroy657269206 (-4)T2Patrick Cantlay657170206 (-4)


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