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Golf-DeChambeau takes three shot lead into U.S. Open final round

By Thomson Reuters Jun 16, 2024 | 1:00 PM

(Reuters) – Bryson DeChambeau takes a three shot lead into the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday hoping there is no repeat of the hip issues that raised red flags as he looks to clinch a second major at Pinehurst resort in North Carolina.

The LIV Golf standard bearer broke clear of a tightly pack leaderboard on Saturday to take command of the leaderboard and will head out at 1421 PM ET (1821 GMT) paired with Matthieu Pavon as he looks to improve on his runner-up finish at last month’s PGA Championship.

Pavon, bidding to become just the second Frenchman to win a major, starts his round three back as do Patrick Cantlay and Northern Ireland’s world number three Rory McIlroy, who will be on the charge looking to end a decade long major drought.

Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, runner-up in his major debut at this year’s Masters, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama start five off the lead and will need to make big early moves if they are to get into the fight.

Two of golf’s more intriguing characters the spotlight is unlikely to wander far from are McIlroy and DeChambeau.

McIlroy, who won the last of his four majors at the 2014 PGA Championship, has long been one of the sport’s most popular players while DeChambeau has become one of the most entertaining and has had the support of the massive crowds at Pinehurst No. 2.

There will also be some golf politics and bragging rights at stake with 2020 U.S. Open winner DeChambeau now playing on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, while McIlroy has been one of the most vocal critics of the renegade circuit.

DeChambeau will also be under particular scrutiny to see if the hip issues that required treatment during Saturday’s third round reappear.

Cruising along after carding a birdie at the 10th DeChambeau laid on the ground and had work done on his hip before stepping onto the l1th tee.

The American bomber quickly dispelled any concern hammering his longest drive of the day before draining a 13-footer for back-to-back birdies.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto)