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Record smashing Thomas grabs US Open lead

Published: Updated:

American Justin Thomas carded a nine-under 63 to equal the lowest score ever at a major and roar into the third-round clubhouse lead at a helter-skelter US Open on Saturday.

Thomas, decked out in shocking fluorescent pink pants, produced a no less electric performance that featured nine birdies, two bogeys and was capped with a record-smashing eagle at the par-five 18th to complete the best single round in US Open history, in relation to par.

Johnny Miller owned the previous best round of eight-under 63 set at the 1973 US Open at Oakmont.

The historic round also took Thomas, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, to 11-under for the championship and a two-shot lead over compatriot Brian Harman and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, still on the course.

Once again, golfers were taking full advantage of a softened Erin Hills layout left defenseless by overnight rain, attacking the pins with gusto.

American Patrick Reed also flirted with the US Open record, signing for a seven-under 65 to headline a pack of five at eight-under.

It was all part of a dizzying day at the US Open where at times the leaderboard resembled a game of musical chairs with names moving up and down.

At one time seven players were tied for the lead at seven-under and then again at eight-under with nobody able to gain separation until Thomas ripped a mighty three-wood second shot and then drained his eight-foot eagle putt at 18 sparking thundering roars from the massive gallery.

Not everyone was participating in the birdie binge. Englishman Paul Casey who had a share of the overnight lead, crashed down the leaderboard with a triple bogey to sit six off the pace with nine to play.