Jon Rahm had all of the momentum at 5-under par heading into the final hole of the third round of play at the 2022 U.S. Open, but fell back to third place after a double-bogey on No. 18.
Now a shot back of the lead held by Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world will have to find a way to play his way back to the top of the leaderboard at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts on Sunday.
All told, there were seven different players who had the lead on Saturday, with Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick tied for first after 54 holes.
This is the first time either player has held the lead heading into the final round of a major championship.
Here's the latest breakdown of the $17.5 million purse to be paid out on Sunday based on the leaderboard at the end of the third round.
2022 U.S. Open Top 10 Payouts
1. Will Zalatoris (-4), $3,150,000
T1. Matt Fitzpatrick (-4), $1,890,000
3. Jon Rahm (-3), $1,225,374
4. Scottie Scheffler (-2), $859,032
T4. Keegan Bradley (-2), $715,491
T4. Adam Hadwin (-2), $634,415
7. Rory McIlroy (-1), $571,950
T7. Sam Burns (-1), $512,249
T7. Joel Dahmen (-1), $463,604
10. Nick Hardy (E), $425,830
Could Zalatoris or Fitzpatrick Get Their First Major at Brookline?
Everyone loves an underdog story and The Country Club at Brookline could be the next place to deliver one to golf fans worldwide.
Heading into the final round of play for the 2022 U.S. Open, Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick are sharing the lead.
What’s important to note about these two is the fact that both players, ranked No. 14 and No. 18, respectively, have yet to log a win on the PGA Tour, but have a legitimate shot to change that with only 18 holes left to play on Sunday.
Posting a three-under 67 on the 18th tee after bouncing back from a bunker, Zalatoris displayed the mettle he’s going to need to be crowned the U.S. Open champion.
U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf
That's how you make a charge up the leader board!<a href="https://twitter.com/WillZalatoris?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WillZalatoris</a>' Saturday 67 is our <a href="https://twitter.com/Lexus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lexus</a> Top Performance of the Day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LexusGolf?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LexusGolf</a> <a href="https://t.co/yGDHzq7Hg2">pic.twitter.com/yGDHzq7Hg2</a>
“That 67 feels like a 61 or 62 in my book,” Zalatoris told Sky Sports. “That's some of the most solid golf I've played ever.”
Not to be outdone, Fitzpatrick, who closed out the third round with a bogey after a three-birdie stretch, will try to rely on experience to help propel him to victory on Sunday.
Back in 2013, the 27-year old golfer from the United Kingdom won the US Amateur at Brookline, so he’s accustomed to winning at The Country Club.
“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it (winning). It would just mean the world,” Fitzpatrick told Phil Casey of Yahoo Sports. “It’s obviously a special place for me and to go one step further and win a US Open round here would be even more special.
“The US amateur was one of the biggest achievements in my career and still is, and if I won a major here tomorrow it would definitely overtake it. I’m excited to give myself another chance in a major…I am just really proud with the way I played.”
Both Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick will have to find a way to stave off Rahm, though, who is the defending champion and only one stroke behind.
Whether or not these two can finish strong in the final round or not, it’s going to be thrilling day on the course for golf fans, especially those celebrating Father's Day.