Toss that card
Toru Taniguchi: After making the cut on the number, Taniguchi sank like a pebble. More like a beach ball-sized boulder. The 46-year-old Japan Tour regular made seven bogeys, four double-bogeys and a triple-bogey on his way to an 18-over 88 on Saturday. It was the worst score in a U.S. Open since 2007.
Keep that card
Erik Compton: Sank five birdies — four on holes 7-11 — and an eagle for a 3-under 67 to share low-round honors with Rickie Fowler. Compton, a survivor of two heart transplants, is the feel-good story of the tournament and is tied for second in only his second U.S. Open.
On the course with
Phil Mickelson: When you’ve finished runner-up in this event six times, who’s going to second-guess his thoughts? Even if Mickelson said this, tongue firmly planted in cheek after finishing Saturday at 5 over par: “If I play well [on Sunday], if I hit it better and make some putts, I think I can shoot 4 or 5 under par, end around even, finish second again.”
U.S. Open moment
Champions Tour player Kenny Perry, in his 34th weekend at a major championship, showed the kids how it’s done after he drove his ball into the native area waste bunker 220 yards from the pin on the par-4 14th. He drew a hybrid and hit a hook shot onto the green. It tracked for more than 20 feet, right into the cup. “That’s the longest shot I’ve ever made in my life, period,” he said.
• With an odd number of players making the cut, Nick Lindheim played the third round solo. He finished in 3 hours, 15 minutes with a 72.
• One reason for the higher scores Saturday? Three par-4s measured longer than 500 yards and all three played into the wind.
531-yard, par-4 16th: Played a half-stroke over par, with six of the day’s 41 double-bogeys. Just 16 percent of players hit the green in regulation.
Quote of the day
“It’s always nice when you look up and see the ball going the right direction.”
— Fowler, who saw plenty of it with five birdies.
Tweet of the day
“The @usopengolf have this golf course right where they want it. Greens firm up slightly & tough pins only 2 players post red numbers. #Fun.”
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) whose definition of “fun” might be different than the average weekend duffer.
Kaymer has the chance to be just the fourth champion to lead the U.S. Open wire-to-wire with no ties.