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The First page of the leaderboard is littered with big names that have never won a major. Among those are perennial contenders Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, and Sergio Garcia. Those three have all come close, some closer than others but have all failed to close on that all important Sunday. What else do those three have in common? They all trail the leader Shane Lowry by at least 4 strokes heading into the final round.
Shane Lowry is another player that has yet to win a major while competing in many. Though not nearly as many as the big three on this board. Lowry finished his third round this morning and was able to add a couple of strokes to his lead which could be very important come this afternoon. The Greens are firming up nicely and the weather is heating up. And if walking the course this morning is not proof, here is a little more.
7 green at Oakmont. Overheard a USGA official talking to a group of spectators. asked about speed of green… 14.8 pic.twitter.com/Rm4phlSYMb
— Jason Havelka (@DYSTGolfPGH) June 19, 2016
Dustin Johnson was right there when his third round started yesterday but after striking a spectator in the head and his ball then ending up in the concession stand on the par four 3rd hole, his round would not be what he was hoping for. Johnson would finish 1 over for the round and would lose ground to the surging Lowry.
As for Lee Westwood, there were times during his second and third rounds that you thought he was making a move. It ended up not happening though he is only 5 strokes off the lead. A firm Sunday at Oakmont could bring both of these guys back into play.
Then there is Sergio Garcia who dropped two more strokes yesterday and would finish even for the tournament. He is 7 strokes back and for him to be a factor today, he has to play like he normally does not on Sunday’s and he has to have Lowry falter in a big way. Sergio is not a guy known for comebacks and big closes in Majors so winning here would be a major surprise.
The Newcomer Andrew Landry found himself hanging tough all day finishing with two birdies on the 16th and 18th to get back to 3-under par. This is a guy that has had no history in Major Tournaments, really no track record at all so the fact that he is tied for second is nothing short of astounding.
Guys that have closed things out in big events are farther back and probably will not contend today unless the leaders fall back. Zack Johnson is one over along with Jason Day.
Daniel Summerhays is 1-under and could in fact be a dark horse today to pull something off with the way he is playing. I am not predicting that but could be just a feeling I have.