Will Rory McIlroy end his nine-year major wait? Can Rickie Fowler or Wyndham Clark claim a maiden win? Could Scottie Scheffler snatch victory? Watch the final round live on Sunday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 18/06/23 5:12am
Wyndham Clark and Rickie Fowler hold a share of the lead heading into the final day at the US Open, with Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler leading the chasing pack. We look at some of the possible storylines to follow heading into what could be a historic Sunday in Los Angeles…
Can record-breaker Fowler make his major breakthrough?
Nearly four and a half years on from the most recent of Fowler’s five PGA Tour titles, the 34-year-old holds the first 54-hole co-lead of his major career as he searches for a maiden major victory.
Fowler sank to a career-low 185th in the world rankings last September, but a resurgence in form – fuelled by a return to former coach Butch Harmon – saw him come into this week’s major off the back of 10 top 20 finishes in his last 12 starts.
He made history by becoming the first player to ever card a 62 round in a US Open and break more records with an eventful second-round 68 on Friday, which contained just four pars, with Fowler set for the outright lead again on day three until a late blunder in his third round.
Fowler surprisingly three-putted from 40 feet for a closing bogey that lost his outright lead and ensured he would go out with Clark in the final group again on Sunday, although he has shown enough promise in his game over the first three days to suggest that this could be the week where he returns to the winner’s circle.
Will McIlroy find elusive major?
McIlroy and near-misses in majors have become a regular theme over the past nine years, although the world No 3 now has his one of his best opportunities yet to end that drought at the US Open.
The Northern Irishman has posted 18 top-10s in majors without winning since his 2014 PGA Championship success, while the three men immediately behind him on that list – Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth – have registered ten major titles between them during the same period.
An opening-round 65 left him three strokes behind record breakers Fowler and Xander Schauffele, who equalled the lowest rounds in men’s major history and posted an all-time US Open best with matching 62s, while a strong finish to the second round moved McIlroy closer to the lead.
McIlroy stayed patient as he mixed three birdies with two bogeys in a one-under 69, lifting him to nine under and leaving him just one off the pace going into the final day. Is this the week that McIlroy finally claims that elusive fifth major?
Can Scheffler continue dominant stretch?
Scheffler came into the event as the pre-tournament favourite and bolstered his hopes of securing a second major title with a remarkable finish to his third round.
The former Masters champion has finished no worse than 12th in every PGA Tour start in 2023, securing two victories along the way, with the world No 1 continuing that remarkable consistency to move into major contention once again.
Scheffler would have held the outright advantage if his putting inconsistencies had not continued this week, although the flat stick wasn’t required with an outrageous 196-yard eagle at the par-four 17th.
The six-time PGA Tour winner then drained a 22-foot birdie on his final hole, doubling the total length of putts holed across the day, to sign for a two-under 68. If there’s any sign of putting progress on the final day, then it would little surprise to see a Scheffler victory.
Will Clark cause major upset?
Wyndham Clark may have no experience in contending at the business-end of a major leaderboard, but the 29-year-old has yet to falter and could well become golf’s latest first-time major champion.
Clark is entering unchartered territory on Sunday, having finished no higher than 75th in his previous six major appearances, although has enjoyed a rapid rise in the world rankings in recent months after enjoying his best season to-date on the PGA Tour.
The American claimed a long-awaited PGA Tour breakthrough at the Wells Fargo Championship last month, one of four top-10s in 2023, with Clark bringing his new-found confidence into this week’s event.
Clark moved ahead with two birdies in his first three holes of his third round and responded to back-to-back bogeys at the 11th by picking up a shot at the 13th, with the world No 32 also undoing a penultimate-hole blemish by finishing with a birdie.
It would have been easy for Clark to slip away on ‘moving day’, but the fast finish ensures he will be back in the final group on Sunday and meet Fowler again. Expect another tight tussle.
Who will win the 123rd US Open? Watch the final round live on Sunday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf and 9pm on Sky Sports Main Event.