day 3 at pinehurst No.  2

  • Updated: June 15, 2014 - 12:27 AM
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Rickie Fowler hit out of the bunker on the 11th, but stayed relatively trouble-free while carding a 3-under 67.

Photo: Charlie Riedel • Associated Press,

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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.

Chip shots

• 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.

Key hole

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.”

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