US Open Golf Standings 2013: Under-the-Radar Contenders Entering Day 4

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2013

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 01:  Jason Day hits a shot during the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2013 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

All talk surrounding the top contenders at the 2013 U.S. Open has revolved around golfers like Phil Mickelson, but there are some surprising names coming in under the radar for what should be an epic final round at Merion Golf Club Sunday.

While some names were dominating the airwaves heading into Sunday, other contenders well within striking distance haven't often been mentioned and aren't getting the credit they deserve for playing a tough Merion course briliantly. 

Mickelson's one-under par score after 54 holes was the talk of the course, and rightfully so. But don't forget about these golfers who still boast an outside shot at victory.

Let's take a look at the live leaderboard and some under-the-radar contenders for Day 4.

 

Jason Day

After finishing in second place at two major championships in 2011, the 25-year-old Jason Day has made quite a name for himself on the PGA Tour. But all of that would pale in comparison to a potential U.S. Open win on Sunday.

Nobody is talking about Day going into the final round, but he sits alone at eighth place at two over par. He's just three shots out of the lead, a deficit that can be quickly made up on the unforgiving grounds at Merion.

The Australian native was in contention deep into the playing at the 2013 Masters, and he's shown that it was no fluke. In fact, Day's 68 on Saturday was the course-best until upstaged by Rickie Fowler, as PGA Tour points out:

A rough score of 74 from Friday has hampered Day's chances of getting to the top of the leaderboard thus far, but he wasn't the only one to have an off day on Day 2. If he can put together another score in the 68 range, he'll have a shot at victory.

 

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler notched a poor 76 for Day 2, and that's unfortunate because it took away from the best performance we saw on Saturday's moving day.

Fowler shot a 67 Saturday, which was best in the field. That type of performance on a course like Merion can really shoot you up the leaderboard, and that's why Fowler is sitting in the top 10 heading into Sunday.

Fowler is one of the young guns on the PGA Tour, but that hasn't stopped him from turning heads at major championships. However, just four shots off the lead heading into the final round of the U.S. Open should have him feeling pretty confident.

The 24-year-old, who dazzled as an amateur, has yet to make his signature mark in the professional circuit, and there'd be no better way to do so than with a thrilling U.S. Open win.

 

Billy Horschel

Simply put, you can't be a real contender heading into Day 4 unless if you're within five shots of the lead. Merion is just playing that difficult, and not offering enough chances to post rounds in the 65 range. 

For that reason, only a handful of golfers still have a realistic shot at winning. That makes it awfully hard to label some of them as under the radar, especially in Horschel's case.

Horschel certainly came into the tournament under the radar, as many golf fans didn't know the first thing about him. But he's made a name for himself, and his tie for the lead after Day 2 had his name generating a good amount of buzz.

Most inexperienced golfers fold in that situation, but Horschel put together a solid round of 72 to keep himself right in the thick of things. He's just two shots off the lead, and should be feeling as if his best golf is still ahead.