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Saturday, 16 June 2018
Brooks Koepka  (Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)

Defending champion Brooks Koepka was back at the top of the US Open leaderboard as Shinnecock Hills Golf Club lived up to its fearsome reputation during round three.

World Number One Dustin Johnson entered day three as the only player under par and with a four-shot lead at four under but he turned in 41 to open the door up to the rest of the field.

By the time the overnight leader reached the tenth tee there were no players under par, with the dry greens making putting extremely difficult on Long Island, and Koepka leading the way at level par.

Koepka played his first 11 holes in one under to sit a shot ahead of Swede Henrik Stenson and two ahead of Johnson.

Americans Daniel Berger and Tony Finau had taken advantage of the better early conditions to post rounds of 66 and set the clubhouse target at three over, with Justin Rose and Charley Hoffman at that mark out on the course.

Koepka had bogeyed the first but holed a 30-footer with a huge right-to-left break on the second to get back to one over.

Rose then played a fairway wood from just off the third green for a birdie and he was in a share of second and within four of the lead.

There was soon to be huge drama on the second, with Johnson finding a path on the right with his tee-shot and while he played a good second, three putts led to a double-bogey.

Stenson had been a picture of consistency in making four opening pars and when he played a lovely pitch after going over the back of the par five fifth in two, he was alongside Rose.

Johnson went left off the tee on the fourth and ended up just short of the green with his second, needing three putts to get down as he dropped another shot to lead by just one.

Another bogey at the sixth after going right with his second made it a three-way tie and the 33 year old three-putted the seventh to drop out of the lead.

Rose then failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the eighth to hand Stenson - who had got up and down on the sixth and eighth for par - in the solo lead.

Another Rose bogey came on the ninth as he missed a short putt after playing an excellent third from a nasty lie, and Johnson's slide down the leaderboard continued when he came up short of the eighth green for a third consecutive bogey.

That left Koepka just one shot off the lead after eight straight pars and when the American put his tee-shot to four feet on the par three 11th, he shared the lead.

And he soon held it on his own when Stenson came up short of the tenth green to register a first bogey of the day.

Stenson's playing partner Rose also missed the green to the left to surrender a bogey of his own.

Hoffman had bogeys on the first, third and sixth to sit a shot ahead of English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA181
2FLEETWOOD, TommyENG182
3JOHNSON, DustinUSA183
4REED, PatrickUSA184
5FINAU, TonyUSA185
T6SCHAUFFELE, XanderUSA186

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