ERIN, Wis. — What a day for Justin Thomas.
The 24-year-old Thomas eagled the par-5 18th for just the fifth 63 in U.S. Open history. Vijay Singh was the last player to accomplish the feat in 2003 at Olympia Fields.
Thomas broke the U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par. Thomas’ 9-under 63 was one better than Johnny Miller‘s 63 in the 1973 final round at Oakmont.
“I was just trying to get to 63, just because I know that’s kind of the magic number; 62 is what everybody’s been chasing,” Thomas told Fox Sports after his round. “I had no idea about the relation to par, so that was definitely a big bonus. …
“It was really cool.”
Thomas made six birdies and one bogey on his front nine in the third round and capped the day with an eagle, three birdies and a bogey on the back nine.
His eagle came on the 667-yard 18th, as Thomas hit a 330-yard drive and then knocked his 3-wood to 8 feet and made the putt.
Thomas, who shot a 59 and has three victories this season on the PGA Tour, also moved into the lead with his putt at 18. He is at 11 under and was two shots ahead of Charley Hoffman and Tommy Fleetwood at the time.
“Regardless, I’m going to have to play a good round tomorrow,” Thomas said. “There’s so many guys … I forget what hole we were on, but I just remember looking up at the leaderboard and there were, like, nine people at 7 [under], 8 [under] total.”
Thomas may have had one of the more entertaining birdies of the afternoon at the par-4 fifth. He rolled in an 18-footer that went right to left from the edge of the green, grabbing his putter and pointing it out to his left just as the ball dropped into the cup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.