Fred Funk and Kirk Triplett Withdraw From 2016 U.S. Senior Open Golf Championship

Fred-Funk-Featured-

FRED FUNK has withdrawn from the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship on Monday, August 15.

Funk, who withdrew prior to the fourth round, shot 71-73-81–225 through 54 holes. Funk won the 2009 U.S. Senior Open Championship, held at Crooked Stick Golf Club, in Carmel, Ind. He was one of seven past U.S. Senior Open champions to make the 36-hole cut this week.

Funk was scheduled to begin from the 10th tee at 1:04 p.m. EDT and was playing with Kiyoshi Murota. Murota will now play in a group of four with Mark Calcavecchia, Brian Mogg and Tom Watson at 12:54 p.m.

 

PLAYER WITHDRAWAL: Kirk Triplett, Scottsdale, Ariz.

KIRK TRIPLETT has withdrawn from the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship on Monday, August 15.

Triplett, who withdrew prior to the fourth round, shot 75-72-72—219 through 54 holes. Triplett was competing in his fifth U.S. Senior Open.

Triplett was scheduled to begin from the 10th tee at 11:51 a.m. EDT and was playing with Greg Kraft and Billy Andrade.

Golf-Mike Gilmore Withdraws From 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship

Mike Gilmore golfer

MIKE GILMORE has withdrawn from the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship on Friday, August 12, due to a back injury.

Gilmore, who withdrew prior to his second round, shot an 11-over-par 81 in Thursday’s opening round. Gilmore, who shared medalist honors with three others in the Clifton, N.J., sectional qualifier, is the head professional at Winged Foot Golf Club, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Winged Foot hosted the first U.S. Senior Open in 1980.

Gilmore, who was competing in his first U.S. Senior Open, was scheduled to play with Bobby Gage and Thomas Stankowski at 1 p.m.from the first tee.

Olympic teams suffer through problems at Rio’s Athletes’ Village

 

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Summer Olympics are just days from opening, and organizers have been forced to mount a “massive operation” to fix a deluge of plumbing and electricity problems at the Athletes’ Village in Rio.

It was the latest upset for an Olympics taking place amid a severe economic recession, a Zika epidemic, the impeachment process of suspended president Dilma Rousseff and a spike in crime in Rio state — which is so broke it needed a government bailout to pay police salaries in arrears.

The latest crisis began on Sunday, when the Australian team said its building in the Athletes’ Village was uninhabitable because of problems with plumbing and electricity.

Now, with those issues resolved, the Australians have moved in. But other teams have complained about conditions in many of their apartments. The Argentine committee said that two of the five floors of its building were uninhabitable, and it had to rent apartments nearby for some of its technical staff. The Belarus Olympic committee published photos of dirty windows and blocked drains on its official page. Egyptian athletes had no hot water and their toilets did not flush, while a Kenyan wrote “Please fix my toilet” on a notice board in the Olympic Village.

A squad of 600 plumbers and electricians has been scrambling to repair everything.

“It is a massive operation and a massive undertaking to fix everything in such a way that we don’t disturb the athletes and we don’t compromise the security,” Mario Andrada, Rio 2016’s communications director, told The Washington Post. The operation was on course to finish by Thursday night, he said.

But even that operation has run into trouble.

On Wednesday, officials from Brazil’s Ministry of Work inspected laborers’ conditions and found the emergency team had been contracted informally, without the proper documentation. Fines could be levied if the subcontractors who hired the workers don’t produce the necessary documents, the ministry said in a statement published on its website.

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The workplace of the future is here
Today’s office is not just four walls and a desk anymore.
A spokeswoman for Rio 2016, speaking on condition of anonymity because of internal regulations, said organizers had presented the necessary documentation to the ministry.

But questions remain: How bad were the problems, and why wasn’t the village ready when athletes began moving in on Sunday?

On July 26, TV Globo’s nightly news program, Jornal Nacional, said one company contracted to fix the issues found problems in 57 out of the 272 apartments it was working on, including a lack of power and showers that did not work.

Filmed in shadow, an unidentified engineer working there said he believed the defects stemmed from the construction of the complex, built by a real estate consortium with plans to eventually sell the units. Rio 2016 is renting the complex of 3,604 apartments from Ilha Pura.

“I believe they had deadlines. They had to deliver the works on the date, and they delivered it the way it was,” the engineer said.

Ilha Pura, or Pure Island, the real estate developer that built the complex, said the company had delivered the apartments in pristine condition.

“The construction work was 100 percent finished,” a spokeswoman said in an email. “No kind of structural problem was found.” She spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing internal regulations.

Ilha Pura supplied technical teams to help finish the work, the spokeswoman said, and its priority was to offer athletes “the best hospitality infrastructure.”

That was not what the Australian team found when it conducted a “stress test” of the apartments on Saturday — turning on toilets and taps on several floors at the same time.

“The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring,” delegation chief Kitty Chiller said in a statement. “In our mind, our building is not habitable,” she later told reporters.

Andrada, the spokesman for Rio 2016, said the complex had been turned over to organizers at the end of May but water and electricity were connected in June.
“The main cause for the delay was that water and electricity were connected too late” and there was no time to check the units before they were handed to the national Olympic committees, he said.

Andrada said it was not clear whose fault that was.

“Ilha Pura could maybe have delivered some of the apartments in better condition,” he said. “We should have done better testing. But we are not discussing this now.”

“Now the focus is on the resolution of the problem, not the cause of the problem,” he said.

On Wednesday evening, some athletes described the problems they found. Shimaa Hashad, a member of the Egyptian shooting team, had no hot water when she arrived at her apartment earlier that day, and her toilet did not flush. “We told them and they fixed it,” she said. “My friends from other countries told me about the same problems.”

The Dutch team brought two technicians of its own after facing similar issues at Olympic Villages in London and in the Russian city of Sochi. But Rio was worse, said spokesman John van Vliet. Dutch field hockey player Mink Van Der Weerden said those efforts meant his apartment was in good condition when he arrived.

“They did a bit of work,” he said. “And now it’s all good.”

Kiton Muca, an administration assistant for the Albanian team, said its members had faced some small issues on arriving, such as toilets that didn’t flush, but these had been resolved. “For each Olympic Games, this is the situation,” he said. Rio is his third.

Others faced more serious issues. The Argentine Olympic committee rented apartments in a nearby condominium for some of its technical staff because two of the five floors were “uninhabitable”, its president, Gerardo Werthein, told reporters in Buenos Aires on Monday.

“It was very bad but it is being repaired,” Eduardo Moyano, the team’s communications director, told the Post, adding that the problems would probably be resolved in two or three days.

Courtesy

Washingtonpost.com

Team USA Roster For Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Team USA

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., July 28, 2016 – After a challenging season of trials and qualification, all Team Kellogg’s athletes have officially been named to Team USA. Through their dedication, hard work and perseverance, Team Kellogg’s has proven they have what it takes to representthe United States at the 2016 Olympic Games as first-time Olympians. By showcasing what gets them started each day, the athletes have shown fans firsthand what drives them towards their Team USAaspirations, and gets them through the daily grind of training and competition.

“It has been thrilling to watch Team Kellogg’s transition from Team USA hopefuls to official first-time Team USA members. By examining what gets them started, we’ve learned what inspires these athletes to push themselves to success in their sports and in life,” said Noel Geoffroy, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Innovation for Kellogg’s® U.S. Morning Foods. “We are extremely proud of Team Kellogg’saccomplishments over the past few months and wish them the best of luck on their Road To Rio.”

Kellogg’s is excited to announce the newest member of Team Kellogg’s and Team USA. First-time Olympian in men’s basketball, Jimmy Butler, has been a partner of the company for several years and a natural addition to Team Kellogg’s. Butler joins the existing Kellogg’s team which is made up of first-time U.S. Olympic athletes: Ajee’ Wilson (track and field – 800m), Julie Johnston (soccer), Simone Biles(gymnastics) and Tom Shields (swimming – 100 and 200m fly). While the official Team USA Paralympic announcement comes out in a few weeks, Natalie Bieule has been nominated for Rio, having placed first in U.S. Paralympic discus trials in early July.

“I’m really excited share my first Olympic Games experience with Team USA and my fellow Team Kellogg’s members,” said Simone Biles. “Kellogg’s has helped get me started since I was a kid, so I’m proud to be representing their team with this incredible group of athletes. We are all very excited to experience Rio in August.”

USA’s medal-stand uniforms for Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games revealed

USA men olympic golf

NEW YORK CITY, 28th June 2016:  – Nike, proud partner of the United States Olympic Committee, debuted the signature medal-stand uniforms for Team USA athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games tonight at a gallery-style opening at Studio 45 in New York City. Using Nike’s innovative methods, designers created the NikeLab Dynamic Reveal Team Jacket and Pants specifically for Team USA athletes’ inspiring medal-stand moments.

The premium apparel showcases a contemporary athletic, fitted silhouette and vivid interpretation of Team USA’s colors exten
ded across a spectrum of modern hues.

“The medal-stand uniforms for the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams epitomize Nike’s unmatched innovation,” said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer. “Nike has perfectly blended strength, style and patriotism. When America’s finest athletes are standing proudly on top of the podium, they will represent all Americans with a sense of style and poise.”

 

USA women olympic golf
The Dynamic Reveal Jacket’s ribbed knit sleeves provide zones of breathability and mobility, and bare ribbons of brilliant red when the arms are in motion. A woven front panel protects against wind, while the engineered mesh back panel and side panels support ventilation. “Team USA” is engineered directly into the back mesh.

The complementary Dynamic Reveal Pants, available only to athletes on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team, also champion comfort and mobility. A vertical ribbed zone provides a full range of motion and breathability while also flashing the same red when the athlete shifts or bends.

“Stepping onto the podium is a singular moment preceded by countless hours of dedication and hard work,” said Martin Lotti, Nike Global Brand Experience – VP, Creative. “We wanted the medal-stand uniform for 2016 to be a reflection of that dedication. With 15 months of prototyping to create this bespoke and hand-crafted look grounded in our best innovation, athletes will look and feel their best as they celebrate this incredible achievement.”

Team USA athletes will be wearing the latest innovation of the Nike Free footwear family. The low-profile shoe features a Flyknit upper designed to promote a feeling of support, while the progressive geometric midsole enables an athlete’s natural motion.

The NikeLab Team USA Dynamic Reveal Jackets will be available at nike.com/nikelab, select NikeLab stores and TeamUSAShop.com. In recognition of Visa’s support of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the USOC is proud to accept only Visa at TeamUSAShop.com.

Golf: Billy Hurley III wins first PGA Tour

Golf

Washington DC: 26th June: For someone who had not won on the PGA Tour entering this week’s Quicken Loans National, Billy Hurley III summoned championship mettle when it mattered most, birdieing consecutive holes on the back nine Sunday to pull away for a cathartic triumph at Congressional Country Club.

The 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy and Leesburg native collected his first winner’s check in 104 career starts since turning pro in 2006, a year before he began serving on a destroyer as part of his military commitment. The win also came less than a year after Hurley’s father died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“It’s been a hard year. It’s been a really hard year,” Hurley said while holding back tears just off the 18th green, where his family gathered along with supporters holding Navy flags. “It’s nice to have something go well.”

Hurley carded a final-round 2-under 69 to finish 17 under for the tournament, three strokes clear of Vijay Singh, who at 53 was seeking to become the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event. Jon Rahm and Bill Haas tied for third at 13-under 271 on a course that played the second longest among non-majors this season and has hosted three U.S. Opens and one PGA Championship.

The victory is life altering for Hurley on several fronts. First, the two-time honorable mention All-Met at Loudoun County High earns full exempt status on the PGA Tour for the next two years. Hurley had been splitting time between the PGA and Web.com tours. Other perks include a spot in the year’s final two majors—the British Open and PGA Championship — as well as a berth in next year’s Masters.

Hurley entered the tournament No. 607 in the world golf rankings and had missed the cut in four out of his past six events. His highest previous finish this season was tied for 41st at the Byron Nelson in late May.

“You know, I’m not really sure it’s all sunk in yet, but I couldn’t think of a better tournament to make my first PGA Tour victory,” said Hurley, whose home course is just down the road at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, the venue for next year’s Quicken Loans National.

Golfer McIlroy pulls out of Rio over Zika fears

PGA: U.S. Open - Second Round
Jun 18, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the continuation of the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

London:

Northern Ireland‘s four-times major winner Rory McIlroy has decided to pull out of the historic golf tournament at the Rio Olympic Games in August because of health fears over the Zika virus.

“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realise that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else,” the world number four said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take.”

The International Golf Federation (IGF) said it was disappointed with McIlroy’s decision.

The 27-year-old was due to represent Ireland, rather than Britain, at the Games and his withdrawal is the latest blow to golf, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

A number of big names, including Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, have also withdrawn because of the virus.

Controversy over the Aug. 5-21 Games has grown as more becomes known about Zika. The mosquito-borne virus can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the Games did not need to be moved or postponed because there is “a very low risk” that holding the event in Brazil will cause further spread of the virus.

An expert WHO panel on Zika concluded that staging the event during the Brazilian winter means the mosquito population will be smaller and intensified mosquito-control measures in place around venues “should further reduce the risk of transmission”

MIXED RESPONSE

Medical experts had a mixed response to McIlroy’s decision.

Derek Gatherer, a virus expert at Britain’s Lancaster University, said if the golfer was “contemplating becoming a father within a year or so, then it was a perfectly reasonable precaution to stay away from regions of active Zika transmission”.

But Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, said: “Obviously I don’t know the reasons for this decision, but it does strike me as being extreme.

“The chances of being infected by the Zika virus is low, especially if you protect yourself from mosquito bites by covering up and using a good insect repellent.”

But there are clearly worries in the golf world. Earlier this month, world number one Jason Day expressed doubts for the first time over whether he would compete and the virus was a hot topic of conversation among golfers at last week’s U.S. Open.

Masters champion Danny Willett, whose wife Nicole gave birth to their first child at the end of March, said he was excited about the Olympic Games but would not to go if his family’s health was at risk.

The list of Rio absentees also includes Australian world number eight Adam Scott and South Africa’s world number 14 Louis Oosthuizen, who both opted out over scheduling conflicts

 

FROZEN SPERM

The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last year in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in mothers.

Britain’s Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has decided to have his sperm frozen before the Games.

His partner Susie Verrill, who will not travel to Rio with their young son, said the couple had taken the precaution because they wanted to have more children.

McIlroy, who is engaged to American Erica Stoll, took a long time to decide who he would represent in Rio and threatened to skip the Olympics as he agonised over his choice between Britain and Ireland before opting for the latter in 2014.

“I trust the Irish people will understand my decision (not to go,” McIlroy added. “I will continue to endeavour to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it.”

Irish golf team captain Paul McGinley said McIlroy would have been a 100 percent certain pick for the Games but fully understood the reasoning behind the player’s withdrawal.

“It’s not for me to influence his decision, it’s a health decision he has discussed with his family and wife to be,” McGinley told Irish national broadcaster RTE.

“Shane (Lowry) and GMac (Graeme McDowell) are the next two in at the moment.”

In a statement the IGF said: “(We) are disappointed with Rory’s decision but recognise that some players will have to weigh personally a unique set of circumstances as they contemplate their participation in golf’s historic return to the Olympic Games in Rio, with the Zika virus foremost among them.”

 

Golf: USGA declars Dustin Johnson is a wonderful champion

Golf Dustin Johnson

Oakmont, USA

The USGA wishes to congratulate Dustin Johnson on his victory and thank him, and the other players in the field, for their professionalism and grace throughout the championship. Dustin is a wonderful champion, a talented golfer and a gentleman.

Our team at the USGA has seen and heard a great deal of discussion and debate about the ruling on Dustin’s ball moving during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club. In addition to the explanations we offered upon the conclusion of the final round, we add these comments.

Upon reflection, we regret the distraction caused by our decision to wait until the end of the round to decide on the ruling. It is normal for rulings based on video evidence to await the end of a round, when the matter can be discussed with the player before the score card is returned. While our focus on getting the ruling correct was appropriate, we created uncertainty about where players stood on the leader board after we informed Dustin on the 12th tee that his actions on the fifth green might lead to a penalty. This created unnecessary ambiguity for Dustin and the other players, as well as spectators on-site, and those watching and listening on television and digital channels.

During any competition, the priority for Rules officials is to make the correct ruling for the protection of the player(s) involved and the entire field. In applying Rule 18-2, which deals with a ball at rest that moves, officials consider all the relevant evidence – including the player’s actions, the time between those actions and the movement of the ball, the lie of the ball, and course and weather conditions. If that evidence, considered together, shows that it is more likely than not that the player’s actions caused the ball to move, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty. Officials use this “more likely than not” standard because it is not always apparent what caused the ball to move. Such situations require a review of the evidence, with Decision 18-2/0.5 providing guidance on how the evidence should be weighed.

Our officials reviewed the video of Dustin on the fifth green and determined that based on the weight of the evidence, it was more likely than not that Dustin caused his ball to move. Dustin’s putter contacted the ground at the side of the ball, and almost immediately after, the ball moved.

We accept that not everyone will agree that Dustin caused his ball to move. Issues under Rule 18-2 often require a judgment where there is some uncertainty, and this was one of those instances. We also understand that some people may disagree with Rule 18-2 itself. While we respect the viewpoints of those who disagree, our Committee made a careful and collective judgment in its pursuit of a fair competition played under the Rules of Golf.

In keeping with our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our work on behalf of the game of golf, we pledge to closely examine our procedures in this matter. We will assess our procedures for handling video review, the timing of such, and our communication with players to make sure that when confronted with such a situation again, we will have a better process.

We at the USGA deeply appreciate the support of players, fans, and the entire golf community of our championships and our other work for golf – and we appreciate your feedback as well. We have established an email address (comments@usga.org) and phone mailbox (908-326-1857) to receive comments. We thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

We all share an abiding love of this great game. Let us continue to work together for its good.

Golf: Dustin Johnson wins U.S. Open Championship

OAKMONT, Pa.—Dustin Johnson finally has his major victory, winning the U.S. Open, but not without the USGA getting in his way and nearly turning their national championship into a fisaco.

Standing at the 12th tee at Oakmont Country Club, holding a two-stroke lead in the U.S. Open, Johnson got a visit from several USGA officials.

They wanted to let him know that he may have incurred a penalty back on the fifth hole. And just like that, the 116th U.S. Open was engulfed in controversy.

Johnson, on the fifth green, had called in a rules official to inform him Johnson’s ball had moved. Per USGA rules, it’s a one-stroke penalty if he had grounded his club. Johnson assured the official he hadn’t, so no harm, no foul. Until there was, at least in the USGA’s eyes.

Apparently officials reviewed video and determined that Johnson had in fact caused the ball to move. Or at least had enough question in their minds to inform Johnson—in the middle of his round—that they were reviewing it and considering assessing him a one stroke penalty.

Makes sense?  Not really. You’re either sure or you’re not.Golf Dustin Johnson

Whatever the case, Johnson had to push on. He either had a two-stroke lead over Shane Lowry or a one-stroke lead, with seven holes still to play. At least until Lowry birdied the 12th, meaning the U.S. Open was either down to a one-stroke differential or tied.
Maybe. No one quite knew, because the USGA didn’t know.
What a finish. What a way to send Johnson on his way in search of his first major victory.
Thoughts immediately returned to the 2010 PGA Championship, when Johnson held a one-stroke lead at the 18th, until he incurred a two stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker. It was a brutal break, but one of Johnson’s own doing.
This one?
If he caused the ball to move at No. 5, then sure. This was his fault.
But why did the USGA need to wait until after Johnson finished his round to level a decision? Every player thus had to play with the specter of a single-stroke rules infraction looming over the entire tournament. At the 14th, Johnson finally cracked, carding his first bogey of the day. The tournament was now tied, with Lowry and Johnson at 4-under.  Or maybe Lowry had a one-stroke lead. Who knew?
It’s impossible not to wonder how the little meeting on 12 was impacting Johnson. He appeared calm, but rarely does he show much emotion. The crowd was behind him before. In the final holes of the round, hearing the penalty news in the radios in their ears, they elevated polite claps to downright screaming.

“Come on DJ!” they yelled as he marched to the 15th green. Meanwhile, Lowry was in the midst of a tailspin that threatened to render the USGA’s indecision obsolete, bogeying 14, 15 and 16 to drop three strokes behind Johnson.

By the time Johnson walked to the 16th green, the lead over Lowry and Scott Piercy was two, which in this U.S. Open—let’s dub it the Ping Pong Open, gotta win by at least two—might be what Johnson would need to win. The crowd knew as much, which is why when Johnson drained a six-footer for par on 16, it exploded. The lead, penalty or not, was still his.

“DJ! DJ!  DJ!” they screamed.

Johnson then played the final holes as a way of exorcising all the demons that had built up around him for so long. He holed a clutch par putt on 17 that was roughly the same distance as a putt he missed last year to lose Chambers Bay. He bombed a 303-yard drive on 18 that was nowhere near the rough that had bedeviled him at Whistling Straits. After striping his drive straight down the middle, Johnson got a pat on the back from playing partner Lee Westwood, who knows more than anyone, including Johnson, what it’s like to go through a career never having won a major
And then Johnson dropped a 190-yard approach shot to within mere feet of the hole. From there, it was a short putt to the championship, far beyond the reach of any penalty. The memory of last year’s three-putt on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open, if not fully erased, at least lost much of its sting. Johnson finished the tournament at four under par, three strokes ahead of Lowry, Piercy, and Jim Furyk.
Watching the proceedings from the 18th green was none other than Jack Nicklaus, who had little patience for the way the USGA handled the entire rules question. “I think it’s very unusual,” Nicklaus told Yahoo Sports. You either have [a penalty] or you don’t have one. It’s very unfair to the player  … If they were going to penalize him, they should have penalized him, and let him get on with his job.”

As it turned out, Johnson did get penalized a stroke for grounding his club. Per USGA executive director Mike Davis, Johnson incurred a penalty because video clearly shows he grounded his club.
According to Davis, the rules official told Johnson, “We believe you incurred a one-stroke penalty,” but they did not want to assess it before Johnson saw the video.
But in the end, the penalty didn’t matter. The U.S. Open, with an emphatic punch to the gut of the USGA via a closing birdie on 18, now belongs to Dustin Johnson

Pacesetting Lowry tees off in hunt for U.S. Open glory

OAKMONT, PENNSYLVANIA: Irishman Shane Lowry had a first major title looming in his sights when he teed off on the par-four opening hole with a four-stroke lead in the final round of the weather-hit U.S. Open on Sunday.

The burly 29-year-old from Clara in County Offaly had birdied two of his last four holes for a five-under-par 65 when the marathon third round was finally completed earlier in the day to tighten his grip on the championship.

Lowry, who has looked unflappable at Oakmont Country Club on one of the toughest golf courses in the world, posted a seven-under total of 203 in pursuit of his second victory on the PGA Tour.

A win by him at Oakmont would earn Irish golf its 10th major title in a decade but he has several experienced campaigners chasing him who are also bidding for a first grand slam crown.

PGA: U.S. Open - Third Round
Jun 18, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 11th green during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Sixth-ranked American Dustin Johnson, the tournament leader after 36 holes, was four strokes off the pace heading into the final round along with compatriot Andrew Landry, with England’s former world number one Lee Westwood a further stroke adrift.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, a nine-times winner on the PGA Tour who has suffered several near-misses in the majors over the years, was at even par after 54 holes.

While danger lurked at every corner of a treacherous Oakmont layout running increasingly fast and firm under a blazing sun, the early starters on Sunday had shown that scoring opportunities were still plentiful.

Australia’s Marc Leishman picked up shots on the first three holes while American Brooks Koepka reeled off four consecutive birdies from the par-five fourth, then went birdie-eagle-birdie on nine, 10 and 11 to get to level-par for the tournament.

After a frustrating week at Oakmont where thunderstorms wreaked havoc by delaying the schedule for each of the first three rounds, the 116th U.S. Open was finally back on track on Sunday, and heading for its conclusion.

Lowry is seeking to become the third Irish golfer to win the U.S. Open, following Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2011), but the first from the Republic of Ireland.