ERIN, Wis. -- In a stunning display of golf, Justin Thomas broke the record for lowest score relative to par in U.S. Open history during his third round at Erin Hills.
The 24-year-old shot a nine-under 63 Saturday, breaking Johnny Miller's previous record of eight-under, which he carded at Oakmont in 1973. Thomas capped his stellar round with an eight-foot eagle putt at the 667-yard par-5 18th to finish at 11-under for the tournament and (for the moment) a two-shot lead.
Thomas had six birdies on his front nine (at 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 and 9), and added three more on the back (12, 15 and 17) to pair with his eagle at 18. He had just one bogey, on the par-4 10th. Thomas, clad in striking pink pants, drove the green at 15, stuck just about every approach and turned his putting stance around (literally) to sink a twisting putt from off the green at the par-4 5th.
Thomas said he was not aware of the scoring record in relation to par as he was coming down the stretch but he did have 63 in mind, which he knew would give him a share of the major-championship scoring record.
When Thomas stuffed his approach at the par-5 closer, he turned to his caddie, Jimmy Johnson, and said, "Maybe we got a chance at history."
Thomas is the 13th-ranked player in the world. He is playing in his third U.S. Open. His best finish (T-32) came at Oakmont a year ago.