Former European Number One Martin Kaymer managed to squeeze six birdies out of the unrelenting Olympic Course to move into contention at the 112th US Open Championship on four over par.
A third round of 69 – his six birdies countered by three bogeys and a double bogey – put the 2010 US PGA Champion within striking distance of the leaders with one round to go.
“There's a whole lot of golf to play,” he said. “I think you will have a good chance of being in contention if you finish the tournament on one or two over par, and I'm four over now.
“If I play the same golf tomorrow, then I might have a chance to get up there somehow. You can shoot two or three under on the golf course, but you can easily shoot five or six over as well.”
Kaymer captured his maiden Major title when he won the 2010 US PGA at Whistling Straits after a play-off, and went on to win The Race to Dubai with three more wins that season.
A few months later, he became the World Number One, so emulating the achievements of his mentor and fellow Major Champion Bernhard Langer. And although he has since slipped back to 12th in the world, Kaymer has started to show signs of a return to form this season with three top ten finishes.
His best finish in four previous US Open Championships was joint eighth two years ago at Pebble Beach, just a couple of hours drive down the Pacific Coast from San Francisco, and his third round equals his lowest round in the US Open.
Kaymer said: “I made a lot of saves yesterday,which gave me a lot of motivation because I knew that my short game was sharp enough. I just needed to hit fairways and greens and I would have more birdie chances, and today I really did that. To make six birdies on this golf course is pretty good.”