|-4 W Zalatoris (USA), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -3 J Rahm (SPA); -2 K. Bradley (USA), A. Hadwin (Cannes), S. Scheffler (USA); -1 S Burns (USA), R McIlroy (NI); Jay Damen (USA)|
|Selected others:+1 G Woodland (USA), S Power (Ire), A Wise (USA); +2 D. Johnson (USA), C. Morikawa (USA); +3 J Spieth (USA), J Thomas (USA)|
Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick takes part in the lead in the final round of the US Open in Brooklyn, Boston, while chasing his first big title.
Fitzpatrick shot with two under 68 to move to four less, equaling with the American Will Zalatoris, who scored 67.
Defending champion John Ram lags behind after beating 18th, world number one Scotty Scheffler, two behind the Wild 71.
Rory McIlroy fights to 73 and is three strokes behind one lower.
Fitzpatrick will shoot with Zalatoris at 19:45 BST on Sunday, and the BBC Sport website will have radio and text coverage of the final round at 19:00.
Saturday is called the “moving day” in big sports, but most of the movement was in the wrong direction as Brooklyn, the U.S. Golf Association and Mother Nature combined to endure a brutal ordeal that brought even the best the world was struggling to cope.
Only seven players finished below the nominal level for the round on a stormy day that was both temperamental and talented, with inevitable gods.
All this was too much for one-night leader Colin Morikawa. The reigning Open champion signed for a devastating round of 7 overs out of 77 to drop out after finishing on two overs.
Both Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick came close to the U.S. PGA Championship last month, with Fitzpatrick, who played in the last group in the Southern Hills, finishing fifth, while Zalatoris lost in the playoffs to Justin Thomas.
Now they both have another chance to win their first major, but behind them are the defending champion, the Masters champion and a four-time big winner who desperately wants more.
Fitzpatrick goes for a double at Brooklyn
Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur title in 2013 in Brooklyn and he will hope the perfect storm from the arrival of a familiar course, with his game in good shape and against the background of close approach in the last major, can change the balance in his favor.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it [winning]. That would mean just the world, “said Fitzpatrick, who is trying to become the first non-American to win both the US Amateur and the US Open.
He will join the legendary Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win both events on the same court – Nicklaus won both on Pebble Beach – if he does.
“This is a special place for me and to take a step forward and win a round of the US Open here would be even more special,” added the Englishman.
“The US amateur was one of the greatest achievements of my career and still is, and if I win a major here, I will definitely overtake him.
“My family is in town, I also have a few friends here, and the family I’m staying with is also fun, so I’ll have a lot of distractions that will be good with a late tea hour.
“I’m excited to give myself another chance in major just a month later, I’m just really proud of the way I played.”
The 27-year-old certainly did better than most on Saturday.
Two front and nine birds canceled the tapak early, before Fitzpatrick made his move down the stretch, with three birds in four holes from the 14th to take the lead on five lower ones before closing the waves.
McIlroy and Ram are forced to fight
It’s been eight years since McIlroy won his fourth major, and the Northern Irishman has shown how much he wants to try this winning feeling again, battling three tapas in his first six holes.
The 33-year-old has never worked harder for three over 73 than parrying the last six holes of a round containing only one bird.
Despite missing three inside kicks eight feet earlier, his patter became his savior with eight single strikes in nine holes as he struggled to stay in the competition.
Rahm had an eventful round after also enduring a disappointing start. The one-handed escape behind a tree was followed by three birds running in four holes in the back nine, while he briefly led to five lower ones.
However, the 27-year-old Spaniard found a bunker on the fairway on the 18th. He took two to escape, only to dive into more sand, guarding the green, which led to a double stopper and one over a round of 71.
Scheffler’s world number one was a little bit of everything, with three birds, an eagle, four carts and a double carriage, all of which gave one over a circle of 71.
After a chip-in eagle on Friday, the Masters champion stretched from 100 yards to another Eagle on par-5 eighth to jump into the lead with two shots at six less.
The 25-year-old American then broke up with two discarded chips that cost him double the upholstery to start a series of five missed shots in four holes before a 17-year-old bird saw him finish on a high note.
Scheffler is only two shots away from the pace, as he seems to be only the sixth player to win the Masters and the US Open that year.
Local pet Keegan Bradley joined Scheffler on two lower ones. Three back-nine birds helped him shoot 69, giving him a chance to win his second major, 11 years after the first.
Zalatoris hopes this is the third time luck
World No. 14 Zalatoris is yet to win the PGA Tour, but in his short career, the 25-year-old finished second in two major tournaments – including losing the playoffs to the US PGA Championship last month.
What was more impressive than the four birds on his map was the fact that Zalatoris made only one stopper, as he avoided the mistakes that ruined the rounds of so many others.
Playing a little ahead of the hesitant leaders, Zalatoris was in the lead when he landed on the 18th, but cut miles miles to the right of the fairway.
He saved a draw by climbing up and down the bunker to show the mental endurance that determined his round.
“Those 67 feel like 61 or 62 in my book,” Zalaris told Sky Sports. “It’s one of the most stable golfs I’ve ever played.”