5 things to watch for on Sunday at the US Open

The cut was at 1-over 145, tying a U.S. Open record set in 1990 at Medinah.

All it took was a 9-under 63, the lowest round to par in a major long known as the toughest test in golf.

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", Fowler said.

A triple-bogey didn't stop Paul Casey from grabbing a share of the lead at the midway point of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. That fell one short of the record for most sub-par rounds in the second round, when 47 players broke par in 1990 at Medinah Country Club. Players noticed firmer greens that were allowing putts to race past the hole.

"It was a good display, all my own fault, of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course".

Casey birdied five holes in a row after the rough stretch and was the first player in the clubhouse at seven-under.

Also starting strong was Justin Thomas with tap-in birdies on his opening two holes to reach 4 under.

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Thomas upstaged but did not outshoot Brooks Koepka (68) and Tommy Fleetwood (68), both at 11 under, or Harman (67). But after a blistering 7-under 65 to start the tournament, Fowler posted three straight bogeys on Nos.

"It was a great day", said Fowler, who is still gunning for his first major title.

"If somebody shoots nine under tomorrow in the top few (as Thomas did on Saturday) then I'll have to shoot 10, I guess". I competed in it twelve times and made the 60-man cut (and ties) for 36 holes eight times. One example of that was Fowler hitting 3-wood into the green on the 632-yard 18th hole, with a breeze at his back.

"Oh gosh, Jimmy, be good", he said to caddie Jimmy Johnson when the ball was in the air.

His purple patch has instilled the belief he's ready to become the seventh consecutive first-time major victor, a run started by Jason Day at the 2015 US PGA Championship.

"The finish was awesome".

"I feel comfortable. Being in contention in a major is new and I'm excited", said Thomas.

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But Thomas was more focused on the 63 than the par record for the Open. "Part of that is just age, and part I'll give credit to caddy Johnny McLaren, credit to my wife and my little boy". "That was the best shot I hit all day".

"I was just trying to have half as good a round as Rickie had", said Casey, who played in the afternoon.

The 26-year-old will play in the second-to-last group Sunday, quite a change for a player who had played in seven previous majors and missed the cut in six.

The Kentucky native became the youngest player to shoot 50 on the US PGA Tour during the first round of his Sony Open victory in January. It took a hard turn to the right and rolled in. Then he picked up a birdie on 12 with a 9-footer.

Casey started eagle-birdie and finished with two birdies over the final four holes for his 66. "I know I'm going to be nervous, I just need to harness that as best I can". "I was just happy that I was the one that was able to take advantage of it today".

But the work is not done.

The Englishman had a chance for a piece of the third-round lead at the U.S. Open as he lined up his third shot on the par-5 final hole: a 50-yard wedge from the bottom of the hill that led to the green. Thirty-two golfers shot under-par on Saturday, presenting a Round 4 where none of the top-16 golfers have won a major championship.

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