U.S. Open Round 3 Notes

Rory McIlroy’s eight-stroke lead trails only Tiger Woods, who led by 10 strokes in 2000 at Pebble Beach, for largest 54-hole lead in U.S. Open history.

Rory McIlroy’s total of 199 is the lowest 54-hole score in U.S. Open history surpassing Jim Furyk’s record of 200 in 2003 at Olympia Fields.

At 22 years, 1 month, 14 days, Rory McIlroy is the youngest 54-hole leader since Jim Simons in 1971 at Merion, who was 21 years, 1 month, 5 days.

Today yielded the most sub-par scores in a third round in U.S. Open history at 26. The previous record was 24 at Medinah in 1990.

Rory McIlroy is the first player to reach 14-under-par in U.S. Open history, breaking the record he set yesterday of 13-under-par.

McIlroy is the first player to shoot in the 60s in the first three rounds of the U.S. Open since Jim Furyk (67-66-67) and Stephen Leaney (67-68-68) did so at Olympia Fields (Ill). C.C. in 2003.

Three amateurs made the 36-hole cut:

Patrick Cantlay, 75-67-70—212, 1-under

Russell Henley, 73-69-71—213, Even

Brad Benjamin, 72-73-80—225, 12-over

Four local and sectional qualifiers made the 36 hole cut:

Bud Cauley, 71-72-74—217, 4-over

Adam Hadwin, 75-71-73—219, 6-over

Alexandre Rocha, 69-76-76—221, 8-over

Christo Greyling, 72-74-75—221, 8-over

U.S. Open Records

Rory McIlroy is the fifth person to reach double digits under par at the U.S. Open. He also accomplished it in the fewest holes in history (26). The previous four were:

  • Gil Morgan, 1992, Pebble Beach, 39 holes
  • Ricky Barnes, 2009, Bethpage State Park, Black Course, 40 holes
  • Jim Furyk, 2003, Olympia Fields, 45 holes
  • Tiger Woods, 2000, Pebble Beach, 66 holes

Rory McIlroy is the first player in history to reach 13 under at the U.S. Open. It breaks the previous record for most strokes under par at any point (previously 12 under, shared by Gil Morgan in 1992 and Tiger Woods in 2000).

Rory McIlroy’s 36-hole total of 131 is the lowest 36-hole score for the first two rounds in U.S. Open history.

Rory McIlroy shares the largest 36-hole lead in U.S. Open history at six strokes. Tiger Woods was set this mark in 2000.

At 22 years, 1 month and 13 days, Rory McIlroy is believed to be the youngest 36-hole leader of the U.S. Open in 97 years. Walter Hagen led the 1914 U.S. Open after the second round at age 21 years, 8 months and 0 days.

Post 2nd Round Interview with Rory McIlroy

Q.  Talk about your sensational round of golf.

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it was great.  I’m very happy with the way I’m swinging it, happy with the way I am hitting it.

As I said last night, I feel very comfortable on this golf course, and there’s no real keys to how I’ve shot so well or went so low.  It’s just I just keep trying to hit it in the fairway and hit it on the green and try and hole a few putts, and I’ve been able to do that.

 

Q.  You said you learned that you were tentative at the Masters, defensive during the final round.  Going into today did you continue to stay aggressive, continue to attack?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, definitely.  You stay aggressive but you also want to ‑‑ even if you’re not going at pins, you’re shooting away from them and at least being aggressive to the target that you pick.  That’s a real big key for me this week.  So I’ve been able to do that for the most part.  There’s a couple of shots out there that I might have been aiming four or five yards right or left of the pin and pushed or pulled to the flag.  I don’t mean to go at everything.  But it’s been very good.

 

Q.  You said that this course fit you very well and set up well for you.  What in particular sets up well for what strengths in your game?

RORY McILROY:  I think the tee shots set up well for me.  You know, there’s a lot of right to left holes, and I’m very comfortable hitting the ball that way.  When the greens get firm like they are, they’re still soft, but I can hit it high enough that it can stop a 4‑ or 5‑iron on these greens, which is a big advantage over a lot of guys in the field.  So if you can put your ball in the fairway here, or if I can put my ball in the fairway here, I think it gives me a great chance.

 

Q.  What happened on 18 there?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it wasn’t ‑‑ it looked like a decent enough lie.  It was sort of where the spectators had sort of been walking, and I just got a little bit of grass caught in between the club face and the ball and it just turned over a little bit.  Just one of those things.

 

Q.  Were you aiming for the front left of the green?

RORY McILROY:  No, no, I was aiming at Dustin’s ball, front right of the green, just trying to hit it somewhere in the front, right corner and two‑putt.

 

Q.  How amazing is it you have the two lowest rounds so far, first and second round?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it’s been nice.  I knew coming in here that I was playing well, and it was just about limiting my mistakes.

Even at Memorial a couple weeks ago, I felt like I was very, very close.  But here I’ve only had a couple of dropped shots in 36 holes, and it’s been on the last hole there.  The 35 holes that I’ve played, it’s been pretty much ‑‑ it’s been very good.  I can’t really ‑‑

 

Q.  What do you think about all the years this tournament has been played and the legion of players who have played it and you just put up the lowest 36 holes of golf ever?  That’s remarkable.

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, it is.  I don’t know what to say.  I’ve played two really good rounds of golf, but I know I have to play another two really good rounds of golf if I want to win this tournament, so that’s all I can really think about.

 

Q.  Have you made any adjustments either in your swing or your stroke or your attitude between the Masters and now that have been part of this remarkable resurgence?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, I think it’s mostly to do with my attitude more than anything else.  You know, I took a few things away from the Masters that I felt I could incorporate into my game, and I said at the start of the week, we’ll find out how they go when I get myself into that position again.  We’ll see how that goes over the next couple of days.