US Open 2013: day three as it happened

Text commentary as Phil Mickelson leads by one going into the final round at Merion.

16 June 2013 Last updated at 02:12

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As it happened

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "I still think Charl Schwartzel has a phenomenal chance to win his second major, but I am pulling for Phil Mickelson. As for the likes of Luke Donald or Justin Rose, they don't need to worry about bogeying the last hole or two, they will think they are in with a chance to win a major and will go out and play their game on Sunday.

    "Just one thing to add, in all my years of playing professional golf, I have never seen a hole go unbirdied for a whole round, and that 18th did."

  2. 0114: 

    Righto, I'm signing off for the evening. It's going to be ugly going down that back nine tomorrow, utter carnage. Last man standing stuff, night...

    Alistair Bruce-Ball, BBC Radio 5 live commentator at Merion

    "You can see the disappointment etched on Luke Donald's face. He is still right in contention but he dropped three shots in his last two holes."

  4. 0111: 

    You couldn't get a more classic, attritional US Open golf course - one man under par heading into the final round, Phil Mickelson. And who'd have thought that? Old Lefty has clearly calmed down a bit in middle age. Mahan, Schwartzel and Stricker are tied for second on level par, Rose, Donald and Horschel are +1, Australia's Jason Day is all alone on +2. You'd have to think it will be one of them...

  5. 0109: 

    Huge putt for Donald, huge putt... started right and stayed right, and he's got a knee-knocker for a double. He looks sick, I feel sick for him. Mickelson now... hasn't hit it, he's in with a round of 70 for one under overall. Donald finally in with a six for a 71, he's two shots back.

  6. 0106: 

    Donald has left himself a 12-footer for bogey, here's Horschel putting from the fringe for birdie, he'll tap in from there for a round of 72 and +1 overall. Mickelson muffs his chip, will have to conjure something special for par.

  7. 0103: 

    Donald's ball is so well buried that he has to call over a marshal to identify it. Duly identified, he sprays his escape over the green. Troubling times for the Englishman...


    Ian Poulter, after dropping four shots in last four holes: "I feel like nipping into a padded cell for five minutes and having a little chat with myself. I hit one poor shot all day. That was that tee shot on 15. That's the only thing I can get annoyed about."

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "Phil Mickelson just nailed that five wood and hit it a country mile. Downhill from that distance it was always going to run off the green but he is in good shape pitching uphill."

  10. 0059: 

    Mickelson with his second... ding-dongs it right through the green and into the fringe, what a shot that was. Donald next to go with a two iron, pushes it front right into the scrub, trouble down there. Horschel finds the green...

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "Golf is a funny game and is a very psychological game. If you put a par of five on this 18th tee, they will score better than they would with a par of four on the tee. It is amazing how the mindset changes."

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "I don't see anyone separating themselves from the field. This is going to be a dogfight on Sunday."

  13. 0057: 

    Senden cards a 74 after that bright start, another shot gone for Rose, despite a cute effort from the apron with his three wood. The Englishman finishes with a 71 for +1 overall, three off the lead as it stands. Stricker for par, from 12 feet... what a putt that is, that's thing in his hand is a wand. The 46 year old is in with a 70 for level overall.

  14. 0053: 

    Rose with his third at 18... trickles over the back, needs a rabbit from there for par. Stricker's birdie putt fades and dies, horror for par. Colsaerts finished with a rather unfortunate seven at the last after his brush with that tree, a round of 74 and five over overall.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "That was a huge putt for Phil Mickelson, you can just feel the emotion of the gallery - they are willing him to win. The golf fans of the United States, and perhaps around the world, want him to win. I always feel in golf you never deserve anything but if you do, then Phil deserves a US Open victory."

  16. 0047: 

    Stricker sweeps out of the long stuff at 18, rare chance of a birdie, albeit a ruddy difficult one. Rose with 237 left, can he be the first to make birdie at the 18th today? Nope, finds the rough. Mickelson on tee at the last... rockets one down there with a three wood, hasn't got a driver... Horschel next to take aim, that's pretty decent... Donald with the big wand... fine strike, gets it skipping down a slope...

  17. 0044: 
    Leaders: -2 Mickelson -1 Donald Level Stricker, Mahan, Rose, Horschel

    Donald up the slope at 17... doesn't quite do enough, he drops to -1. Mickelson, however, has a birdie dart and he had a good look at Donald's putt... in it goes, Mickelson swaps places with Donald atop the board which shows the leaders.

  18. 0042: 

    Not a great day for Irish amateur Kevin Phelan, he's eight over for his round with two to play. That said, a great week. Mahan for par at the last, and it's a big old right-to-lefter... good try, but it's two bogeys to finish. A 69, however, and he's only two off the lead as it stands. Schwartzel also loses a shot, he also finishes four-five, round of 69, he's also two off the lead.

  19. 0036: 

    Mickelson at the par-three 17th... four iron, that dopey old grin breaks out all over Mickelson's face, chance for a birdie. Mahan's third at the 18th, only OK. Donald with a two iron at 17, pushed it into the sand - hold it together, Englishman...

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion
    Justin Rose

    "Justin Rose has not done anything spectacular today,. He hasn't hit any long shots across the green that make you go wow, but he is up there."

  21. 0034: 

    Rose for par at 17... looks in all the way but doesn't fancy it in the end, drops back to level. Stricker for par from four feet... sweeps it in to stay level...


    JD, via text: "Luke, the force is with you. Use the force Luke!!' With you Mr Donald, You have got this..."

  23. 0031: 

    Justin muffs his chip at 17, it'll be a shot gone unless he can muster a miracle. Colsaerts is half man-half-tree momentarily and he only succeeds in hacking his ball about five yards forward - started with a double, may well finish with one. Or worse...

  24. 0029: 

    Donald leaves himself a knee-knocker for par at 16. Mickelson with his birdie putt at 16... stays left and Lefty can't believe it. Stricker up on 17, under-hits it. Donald rams home the par at 16, only two more holes to negotiate.

  25. 0025: 

    Donald from the 16th fairway, blind into the green, tugged it. But that's OK. The livewire Billy Horschel takes aim, choppy swing of his, decent enough. Rose on 17, three iron... skips through the back. Mickelson with one of those five wedges and he stiffs it on the top level, birdieable chance. Stricker with five wood over on 17, that's OK...

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "There has not been a birdie on 18 today. That is pretty amazing. I'd be happy with five on there, you wouldn't kick yourself with a six either!"

  27. 0020: 
    Australia down

    Schwartzel on tee at 18, he's naused his up as well. Not sure if Donald has led going into the final day of a major before, but he might today... John Senden's challenge faltering badly, double on 16, he drops to four over.

  28. 0019: 

    Colsaerts has held it together well today - he could have been blown off course on a couple of occasions - and here he is thrashing a driver down 18... oh lordy, that's in the trees... Poulter being chewed up by the back nine, another one gone at 18...

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "Luke Donald is in great shape, two under par for the day and playing a phenomenal round. He is in the driver's seat right now."

  30. 0017: 

    Schwartzel for par, goes through this putting routine of his, left hand in pocket, swinging the club with his right, but it doesn't work this time, he drops out of the lead. Rose for birdie and outright lead - always longuns, though - and he can't drain it again. Mahan escapes with a bogey, but Luke Donald leads the US Open outright on two under.

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "Now that does raise question marks. Donald has missed a golden opportunity for the second time to take the outright lead. What he has to remember is that four on the 15th is a good score but he has to forget how he made that four because that would be destructive."

  32. 0015: 

    Stricker at 16 and that's a fine escape from a scrubby lie. Horschel also makes par after that miraculous approach, stays +1. Mahan with a 40-footer for par at 17... races it six feet by... Mickelson on tee at the par-four 16th, three wood, which is as big as he's got... the smile says it's good... Donald with three wood, that'll do ya...

  33. 0011: 

    Mickelson shaves the hole with his birdie putt at 15, he stays one under and one off the lead. Schwartzel from the white stuff at 17, leaves himself a six-footer for par. Donald back at 15... not good, started straight and stayed straight. Mahan bombs his chip right over the green at 17, good luck getting par from there. Donald makes par, but it should have been the outright lead.

  34. 0009: 

    Mickelson pin high at the 15th, Schwartzel has followed Mahan into nonsense off tee at 17. Colsaerts at the par-three 17th... that's a bit more like it from the Belgian. Stricker has tugged his tee shot straight left at 16, the leaders struggling to hold it together down the stretch. Horschel with a doozy out of the rough, he's popped his ball about two feet away from the cup at 15.

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "This has been one of the great Saturday's at the US Open, a stellar leaderboard and who will be standing at the end? Who will be in contention for the second major of the year?"

  36. 0004: 

    The misery is over for Rory and Tiger, although it's all smiles as McIlroy finishes with a 75 and Woods a 76. The third member of that group, Fernandez-Castano of Spain, carded a 72 for five over overall. Mahan in a lot of bother off tee at 17...

  37. 0002: 

    Poulter on 17, long-ranger for birdie, doesn't hit it hard enough. Schwartzel cosies his ball up to the hole, back at 15 Rose has another putt for the tie of the lead, misses again, although it was another longun... Stricker doesn't borrow enough at 15, will stay even. Birdie for Mahan at 16 after that corking approach, he joins the leaders at two under...

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "What Charl Schwartzel is doing is putting his left hand in his pocket and stroking with his right hand one handed. When you put your hand in your pocket your shoulders are not going to move, he is trying to promote a swing with his putter where his shoulder won't move much."

  39. 2357: 

    Schwartzel safely on in two at 16, Poulter heaves his tee shot on at 17, his spurs are still jingle-jangling. Mahan with his second at 16, birdie chance from there, in fact he'll be choked if he doesn't. Donald and Mickelson safely away at 15, although I have a funny feeling someone's going to die on that hole down the stretch tomorrow...

  40. 2354: 

    Poulter tugs his par putt at 16 to drop to four over, six off the pace. Horschel for par from eight feet - that's a corker, he stays level. Donald also makes par, stays two under. Mickelson also makes par, that final group make their way to the devilish 15th...

  41. 2351: 

    Back-to-back doubles at 14 and 15 for Henrik Stenson, Swedish hopes are dashed. Mickelson with his third at 14... OOOH! Hit the post and there was no-one there to bang it in. Donald, now, putting through a groove, decent, will make par and stay two under...

  42. 2347: 

    Mickelson with 219 into the 14th... none too clever. Donald with 215, from the fringe of the fairway, lucky break, bounced back into the heart, deserved that. Schwartzel remains two under after a solid par at 15. Poulter trying to get up and down at 16, could be another one gone...

  43. 2345: 

    What news of Scotland's Russell Knox? He was doing so well but a quadruple bogey at 15 helped him to a third-round 77. Rose for birdie and a share of the lead... not quite, again... Mahan for birdie and a share of the lead... not quite... McIlroy's birdie attempt at 17 lips out... bogey at the last for Michael Kim, he's in with a round of 71 for +4, that's some golf from the kid.


    Tim, via text: "Has Luke Donald ever led going into the final round of a major before? I'm struggling to remember a time... I think he's finally ready to do the business."

    Sam, via text: "Come on Luuuuke. Missed two short putts in a row, wrong time as well. English nerves again?!"

  45. 2340: 

    Schwartzel has pushed his second into the white stuff at 15, here's Fernandez-Castano chipping from the back of the 17th... holed it, he's shown up Tiger and Rory today, shown them up a treat. Double for Poulter at 15 after that errant drive, he drops to +3.

  46. 2338: 

    Horschel with the big stick out at 14 and he's sprayed it miles right into jungle, he won't so much need a golf club as a scythe to get out of there. Mickelson looking to fade it round the corner and it's a cutey. Mahan in the middle of the 15th fairway, decent enough from there. Donald with driver at 14, just trickles into the rough...

  47. 2336: 

    McIlroy with a two iron off tee at 17, right into the heart, 250 yards. Rose on 14, lovely kick off the hump, chance of a birdie coming up hill, although it's trickled away down the collar. Double bogey for Stenson of Sweden at 14, he drops to three over.


    William Sarjeant: "Good to see Luke Donald in contention. For a swing so good its been a long time coming!"

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "From the 14th, that is the stretch of the course that really separates the men from the boys and it will be fascinating to see how the players go about there business. This is where you have to play the parentages and if you come through those holes with pars on your scorecard then you are doing well."


    From Paul Christie on Twitter: "Rory McIlroy- the ultimate flat track bully/fair weather golfer. Awful from him this year."

  51. 2333: 

    Thanks Rob Hodgetts, this is Ben Dirs taking you through to the close. John Senden has settled things after bogeys at eight and nine, four straight pars since to remain one over. Stricker with his second at 14th. Three wood, and it's a peach. Schwartzel on tee at the nasty 15th, graveyard of champions - or at least people who thought they might be. Finds the fairway...

  52. 2328: 

    Lee Westwood cards a very respectable one-under 69 that includes four birdies in his last four holes after starting from the 11th. That leaves the Englishman on six over. Horschel rams in his birdie putt across the 13th to get back to level. Woods horsehoes from feet on the 16th to drop to eight over. Donald just misses with his birdie on 13. Schwartzel pouches his par on 14.

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "If there was a graph for Justin Rose I feel it would be very placid. There are no high peaks and no low troughs, he is just making a very serene level of progress here and I would not discount him at all."

  54. 2324: 

    Henrik Stenson double bogeys the par-for 14th to slide to three over. Ian Poulter pulls his drive on 15 out of bounds. Mickelson fires in to 13 but it's a touch long and he leaves himself 20ft or so. Playing partner Donald clips his to about eight feet to set up another tempting birdie chance.

  55. 2321: 

    Rose settles over his birdie putt on 13, takes a few more moments to compose himself, and rattles it in the front door for a birdie and one under.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "I actually thought Luke Donald hit a good putt there on 12, but I think he misread it. I don't think he expected it to go to the right and he looked surprise when he looked up."

  57. 2318: 

    Donald, black and white striped shirt, white strides, watches as his birdie chance on 12 slides past the right edge. Stays two under. Kim makes double on 17 to slide to three over.

  58. 2317: 

    Justin Rose eyes up the 98 yards of Merion's 13th hole and takes an unfussy swipe at it, sending the ball to within eight feet. Sergio Garcia, who has been heckled a fair bit for his remarks to Tiger Woods, finishes with a 75 after taking three balls off the tee in a 10 on the 15th. Ends 11 over. Poulter pops in another par putt on 13 to stay one over.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "Luke Donald put it right below the hole and he has a great chance for birdie, he is certainly on a roll right now."

  60. 2314: 

    Cracking effort from Rickie Fowler, a 67 to equal the low round of the week. Climbs to three over. Donald flies it to five feet or so to the right of the 12th pin. Real birdie chance.

  61. 2311: 

    Mahan birdies 13 to get to one under alongside Mickelson. Stricker, 46 years old and semi retired, slots a birdie in on the 12th to get back to level.


    From Neel Patel on Twitter: "Thank god i'm not a member at Merion Golf Club. Playing on this course every week would just be brutal."

  63. 2309: 

    Amateur Michael Kim bogeys the 16th to slip back in the growing pack at one over. Here's Schwartzel, club face wide open, and he slices the blade under the ball and pops it almost vertically up ac couple of feet and lands it softly on the green. Leaves himself six feet or so for par. McIlroy finds greenside sand on the 15th. Not much happening for him. Back to Schwartzel, who practises his putt with his left hand in his trouser pocket before gripping the club with both hands and draining it to save par.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser
    Luke Donald

    "That was gutsy from Luke Donald - huge. The Phil Mickelson birdie on the 11th could have been a two stroke swing but Donald showed a lot there."

  65. 2304: 

    Thanks, Ben. Jason Day, seemingly an ever present on major leaderboards of late, taps in for a 68 to end two over. Charl Schwartzel misses the green on the tiddly 13th, the ball nestling in the thick emerald velour short of the putting surface.

    Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent at Merion

    "A 71 for Paul Casey and bit by bit it is coming together for him. I had a long chat with him in Houston before the Masters and he was feeling very, very confident. It could all come right at a tournament somewhere for him, because he has so much latent talent."

  67. 2301: 

    Donald from the trap, head high, nearly sticks it in. However, he's got a 12-footer coming back for par. Mickelson for birdie at 11, downhill from 12 feet... BOOM! Back to back, one off the lead he goes. Good to see a smile on Phil's big, red face, at times it looks like they're all at war out there. mahan almost aces the short 13th, and here's Donald with a great up and down at 11... here's Rob Hodgetts for a bit...

  68. 2258: 

    Did I mention Mickelson's birdie at 10? Well, he got a birdie at 10 and is back to level. Poulter for birdie at 13, borrowed miles too much. Mahan at 12, across the green for birdie, what a birdie that is, the world number 22 back to level also. Donald at 11, dumps it in the sand...

  69. 2253: 

    Poulter on the postage stamp 13th... pitches to within six feet, spins away. Hunter Mahan is still in this but here he is in all sorts of trouble on 12 - knee deep in cabbage, gripping the steel of the shaft, hacking on. Schwartzel at 12, good enough. Stricker for birdie at 11, stays right. Here's Rose of England, skimming the top of the hole with his birdie putt at 11.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser at Merion

    "It is a great leaderboard. What you see is that on great golf courses the best players come to the top. I am surprised at Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, though, especially McIlroy, who I thought had just started to swing a bit better."

  71. 2250: 

    Michael Kim gets to within two off the lead with another rock-solid birdie putt - built like a bus ticket but the young American amateur has now made four birdies in six holes between 10 and 15. Day with a two at 17, he moves to +1.

  72. 2247: 
    Leaders: -2 Schwartzel, Donald Level Rose, Mickelson, Kim

    Jason Day with two iron at 17 and he's rinky-dinked it to within two fee - a bona fide contender. Donald with a wedge into 10 and that's a beauty. Horschel for eagle at 10 but that's a sickener, miles short. Stricker into 11, right down the pipe. Horschel has minced up that 10th hole, birdie putt gone, might struggle coming back. Donald makes birdie at 10, he joins Schwartzel on two under...

  73. 2243: 

    Stenson putting a purple patch together, fine approach at 12 after birdies at 10 and 11, the Swede is right in this on +2. Lots of European action at the top of the leaderboard, Colsaerts of the Kingdom of Belgium has birdied the 11 to get to +1, that was a monster.

  74. 2238: 

    Stricker for eagle at the 10th after that fine tee shot... almost, but he'll get back to +1. Senden for birdie from eight feet... didn't commit. Schwartzel having to play over the hump of the bunker and land it stiff before the flag, which is exactly what he does...


    From Josh Keeling on Twitter: "For ranks one and two, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are playing some awful golf, can't blame the course all the time."

  76. 2235: 

    Triple at 14 for Harrington, he falls away to eight over. Ian Poulter at the 12th, with the big stick, good shot. Our leader Schwartzel playing into the 11th, only with a wedge, and he's mangled it. Justin Rose very nearly drains a monster at 10, he pops in to remain third.

  77. 2232: 

    Another one gone for Woods at 12, he's blowing this one fast. Mickelson's birdie attempt comes up short at nine, here's Stricker giving it some hammer at 10, on in one. Horschel lets one go at nine after finding sand, down to +2 he goes. Michael Kim still bubbling away, his birdie attempt at 14 comes up just short but he stays three off the lead.

  78. 2226: 

    Ian Poulter at 11, scuttles one on the front with a wedge. Donald clumps a five iron into the heart of the ninth, could be another birdie. Horschel not out of this yet, not by any means. Six iron into the par-three ninth, bunker... Schwartzel with a fine three at 10, he grabs the outright lead on two under.

  79. 2221: 

    Ernie Els on tee at the short 13 and he's contrived to miss the green. Pars at seven and eight for Rose after dropped shots at five and six, he's only two off the lead. Birdies at 12 and 13 for Michael Kim, the young amateur from the University of California is two off the leaders. Senden starting to melt away, bogeys at eight and nine, the Aussie now +1. Stricker making a right old dog's dinner of the par-three ninth, having parred the first eight, could be a triple...

  80. 2216: 

    Donald rejoins Schwartzel in the lead courtesy of a birdie on eight. Woods making nothing disappear, another one goes begging at 11 after a solid approach. Stricker pops on at nine, he's got a 10-footer for bogey. It is brutal out there, here's Harrington playing his fifth into 14, that's going to take a bite out of him.

  81. 2214: 

    Jason Day of Australia is putting together a very respectable round - two under through 14, only three off the lead. Mercifully, Shawn Stefani is off the course, albeit with a 15-over 85. McIlroy's approach at 11, overcooked it... Stricker... SPLASH! In the drink off the tee at nine, deary me. Poulter with far too much break at 10, here's Schwartzel on tee at 10, playing at 280 yards today. Iron, bangs it to within 30-40 feet to the front of the green.


    From James Bamford on Twitter: "US Open bubbling up nicely with Luuuuke, PoulterPants and Rose leading the British charge. Nice to see players having to think."

  83. 2208: 
    Leaders: -1 Schwartzel Level Senden, Stricker, Donald

    Poulter with his approach at 10, very makeable birdie putt from there. Stricker for birdie at eight - one more roll and that's in, he stays even. Michael Kim firing right at the basket at 13, chance to go to +1. Here's John Senden on eight, letting a shot go - Charl Schwartzel is our sole leader. Scotland's Russell Knox is putting a decent round together, he's over through 13...

  84. 2203: 

    Woods walks away from the 10th with a bogey five, it ain't gonna be no Tiger Slam. Mickelson makes a clutch putt at eight to stay two off the lead, here's Schwartzel over at the par-three ninth... just short, should make par. Michael Kim makes birdie at 12, he's now +2, right in the blender.

  85. 2200: 

    Jamie Donaldson, the only Welshman in the field, is having a bit of a shocker I'm afraid - a triple, a double and four more bogeys, he's 11 over through 14. Defending champion Webb Simpson is four over for his round through 14, +10 overall. Donald with a great birdie putt from miles out at eight, will pop in from there.

  86. 2156: 

    Fernandez-Castano is the star of his three-ball at the moment, the Spaniard outshining Woods and McIlroy with a one-over outward nine. Michael Kim, the American amateur, with a fine approach at 12, he's three over. Poulter burying his clutch putts today, another one disappears at nine, I believe.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser

    "Tiger is not playing well and he hasn't the first two rounds. His distance control with wedges is out and although he talks about technique, golf is about feel and he just hasn't got it. Unfortunately, another week is going to go by without him winning a major and Jack Nicklaus's record is looking further way."

  88. 2153: 

    Mickelson with 143 yards into the seventh, out of the rough, pretty good from there. Making pretty slow progress out there - if they were going this pace over your local municipal there would be been fairway knuckles out there by now. Donald tugs his approach onto the left-hand side of the green, left himself a monster... Horschel's is a peach...

  89. 2151: 

    Edward Loar lets a shot go at 12 and drops back to +2. I'm not sure I mentioned it but Luke Donald let a shot go at six to fall back to level, but John Senden has just nicked a shot at the par-four seventh to join Schwartzel atop the leaderboard. It's looking more and more likely that nobody will be under par at the end of today...


    From Paddy Emmerson on Twitter: "Is Merion proving that modern golfers rely on the equipment more than their actual skill? Some poor golf."

  91. 2149: 

    Paul Casey stringing a nice round together, England's erstwhile man most likely is level for his round through 14. Birdie for Open champion Els at 10, he gets back to +4, five off the lead. Schwartzel across the eighth... 40-footer, comes up just short, taps in for par. Stricker to tie for the lead, too much break.

  92. 2146: 

    Stricker at seven, skimming under the radar, and here's another peach of an approach. Schwartzel, co-leader, with his second at eight - into the guts. Mickelson with a doozy of a par putt at six, I bet that felt like a long, hard hug.

  93. 2143: 

    Bogey for Harrington at 11, he falls to +5. Scotland's Paul Lawrie OBE putting a handy round together, he's one under with six to play. McIlroy, par attempt, long range... misses, he's going backwards fast... Mickelson's third at six and he leaves himself a knee-knocker for par. Senden on seven, bang middle of the fairway, stiffs it to within six feet.

  94. 2139: 

    Poulter with a 20-footer for birdie at the eighth... CRACKERJACK! The Englishman moves to +1, two off the lead. Looking steely, the man of Hertfordshire...

  95. 2137: 

    Donald from the rough at six... that's not clever, going for it instead of laying up, finds more nonsense. Mickelson carving out of a trap and that's pretty good from there. Horschel with 186 yards in... lands it on the back, got a beast coming back down hill...

  96. 2135: 

    Thanks Hodgo, here is Ben Dirs. Donald finds rough off the tee at six, making a hard hole even harder, Senden's par putt lips out at six, leaving Donald as leader on his own... for about five seconds, Charl Schwartzel rolls in for birdie at seven...

  97. 2133: 

    Rose bogeyed the fifth, by the way to slide back to join the group at level. Schwartzel gives himself a good look at a birdie on the seventh. The 2011 Masters champion is level par currently. Woods finds the green on the short ninth, McIlroy finds sand. And with that, here's Ben Dirs for a chat.

  98. 2128: 

    McIlroy misses his birdie to stay five over after eight. Donald makes his par to stay one under with Senden after five.

  99. 2126: 
    Leaders: -1 Senden, Donald Level Rose, Schwartzel, Stricker

    Mickelson pitches up to the pin on the tough fifth and leaves it on top of the slope to the right - will have a quick one for par....but slides it past. Plenty of golf left, but he knocks it in for bogey to go back to one over. Donald has a long, breaking putt up the fifth green but leaves himself about five feet. Woods fires a good one into the eighth green, bouncing from foot to foot as it lands about 10t feet away. Can't make it. McIlroy plonks his inside Woods. Horschel misses his par putt on five.

  100. 2117: 

    Rose tidies up for a bogey on the fifth to slip back to level par. Donald dings a two iron bang on line down the long par-four fifth fairway. Comes up about 25ft short in three. Horschel short, too.

  101. 2114: 

    McIlroy makes his birdie on seven to edge to five over. Stricker drains a decent par putt on five to stay at level par.

    Jay Townsend, BBC Radio 5 live summariser

    "It will be a weekend of attrition, who can last, and Woods and McIlroy are not the guys who are going to do it. The subtleties of Merion have really flummoxed the players and if you don't play seven-13 well you'll have problems scoring, because the last five holes are brutally tough - only Steve Stricker has played them below par in the first two rounds."

  103. 2107: 

    McIlroy fizzes a good second into the seventh to set up a birdie chance - needs to start that score heading south - or is it north? -at some point. Why not now? Harrington has a par chance on the ninth but pulls it left and drops to four over. He won the last of his three majors in 2008 - and the second, for that matter - and has been tinkering with his swing ever since. Ian Poulter makes a cracking birdie on six to edge to two over.

  104. 2102: 
    Leaders: -1 Senden, Rose, Donald Level Mickelson, Horschel, Schwartzel, Stricker

    Donald drains his long one across the fourth green to join Rose and Senden in the lead. Mickelson's is a left, right, left dribbler but it stays out and he can't gatecrash the one-under party. McIlroy races his par put all the way past on six to slide to six over.

  105. 2054: 

    Woods makes a hash of his chip on six and sees it plop in front of him and dribble back off the green. He chips up but it narrowly misses and that's another bogey for five over. Donald has a lengthy discussion with his caddie on the fourth and makes a decent fist of an eight iron to about 15ft. Mickelson flies in a good one, spinning it back towards the pin.

  106. 2053: 
    Leaders: -1 Senden, Rose Level Mickelson, Horschel, Schwartzel, Stricker, Donald

    Rose putts from the "cush" on the edge of the fourth green and makes it. Joins Senden in the lead at one under.

  107. 2050: 

    Woods misses the sixth fairway and has a lash at the next one from the rough. It comes up a few yards short. Poulter slots in a short par putt on the fifth to stay three over. Senden has another birdie chance on four but it takes a right turn late on and misses the right edge. Still a one-shot lead, though.

  108. 2043: 
    Leaders: -1 Senden Level Mickelson, Donald, Horschel, Schwartzel, Rose

    Mickelson can't quite believe his par putt slid past the left lip on the fourth. Shot gone for Lefty, back to level. Luke Donald and Billy Horschel miss their par putts, too, leaving Senden the sole leader at one under.

  109. 2040: 

    McIlroy drops a shot at the fifth, too, so he's now five over. Wrong direction, fellas. Poulter gives a fairway wood a decent whack on the fifth and sticks it to about 12ft.

  110. 2036: 

    Woods moves slowly around his par putt on the fifth, eventually settling over it and giving it the merest of nudges but the strike is poor and the ball dribbles left. Shot gone for Woods, slides to four over.

  111. 2034: 

    Donald in rough to left of third but he makes good contact and strokes it to a few feet. Mickelson in a similar spot but the ball comes out a bit hotter and runs to five feet past.

  112. 2033: 

    Poulter slots home a par putt on four to stay three over. Rose makes a decent nerve-jangler on three for par to stay level. Woods's effort from the front edge comes up about eight feet short on the fifth.

  113. 2028: 

    Mickelson takes his four wood out after a wait on the third tee, but backs off as the breeze switches. A quick chat with caddie Bones and he nuts one up there, but he's over cut it and it lands short and left, nestling down in the luxurious fringe. Billy Horschel sticks it in the left bunker.

  114. 2026: 

    Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel slips in a cheeky little birdie on three to join Mahan and Loar on one over. Rose chips up from greenside fringe on third, leaves himself about eight feet. Woods comes up short with his approach to the fifth.

  115. 2020: 

    Horschel splashes out of the sand to 10ft or so but boldly rams the next one in to save par. Donald and Mickelson make pars. Colsaerts makes a bogey on three to drop to two over.

  116. 2017: 

    Billy Horschel in trouble in thick stuff left of the second. Colourful shirt, like the old TV test cards. White pants, in the American sense. Swishes it out but it catches the bunker - his first missed green in regulation in 20 holes.

  117. 2011: 

    Woods makes his par to stay three over after four. Back on the third, Mickelson hacks out from heavy rough and pumps it to about 12ft. Birdie chance coming up.

  118. 2009: 

    Tiger Woods stalks a 25fter on four, takes the putter back, through...and it bends past the left edge. Rose rams home the one coming back for par and stays level. McIlroy misses his birdie chance on the fourth but taps in for par. Senden makes his birdie on two to join leaders at one under.

  119. 2004: 

    Evening. All well? Nice. McIlroy fires a cracker into about six feet at the fourth. Poulter misses a short par putt on the third to drop back to three over. Sendo Senden fashions a cute little chip from the rough and over a bunker to about 10ft on the second. Rose races a long one past on two. Knee-wobbler coming back.

  120. 2000: 

    Not sure what happened with Poulter at the second but whatever it was, he escaped with a par to remain two over. Colsaerts for eagle at two and he's nailed it, making up for that double at the first. The Belgian boy is good for a watch. Tiger from the rough at the par-five fourth, out of the frying pan and into the fire over the other side. Donald going with iron on two, plonks one down there... Mickelson has hoicked his left, he'll have to just chisel it out from there. Horschel doinks one down the middle... here's Rob Hodgetts for a bit...

  121. 1955: 

    McIlroy on the fourth, needs something here. That's wild and windy. Horschel pops in for par, no change at the top of the leaderboard. Another double bogey for Stefani on 10, I'm being told one of his arms might have fallen off overnight...

  122. 1952: 

    Mickelson for birdie at the first... 25 feet out, just misses left. Els into the fourth, that's two magnificent hits for an eagle chance - he let a shot go at three. Woods misses the fairway right at four, Donald's birdie putt misses by a fag paper's width at the first.

  123. 1949: 

    McIlroy's saver at three comes up a whisker short, he drops to +4. Shot gone for Woods, too, he's now +3. A third straight par for Fernandez-Castano... Horschel, who made 18 greens in regulation yesterday (the first time that's been done since Johnny Miller in 1973) and he makes it 19 in a row with a peach into the first. Mickelson and Donald also safely on...

  124. 1946: 
    Australia up

    Justin Rose at the first, lovely little curler that stops outside the back door, he stays one off the lead. John Senden of Australia birdied the first and is level.

  125. 1942: 

    Donald, Mickelson and Horschel all away at the first and they're all on the short stuff... the galleries making no secret about who they want to win this thing, it's Lefty all the way...

  126. 1940: 

    Pars for Schwartzel and Mahan at the first, they stay +1. Not getting any better for Shawn Stefani - rounds of 72 and 73 but he's opened up with six bogeys, a double and a triple in his first nine holes. His official website tells us he's "soft-hearted, very generous, and loving". Not after this round, not after this round...

  127. 1936: 

    Not forgetting, of course, that there is a third member in that group and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has opened up with two pars. Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium has kicked off with a rather unfortunate double bogey, he drops to +3. Birdie for perennial major contender Jason Day at the heave-ho, par-five fourth, the Aussie is now +3.

  128. 1931: 

    Scotland's Russell Knox has birdied the third and is +3, four off the lead. McIlroy only let one go at the second, fine save, Woods made par to stay +2...

    Tiger Woods (left) and Rory McIlroy
  129. 1927: 

    McIlroy chipping on at the second... it's a worker but he's got a six-footer for bogey, could very easily lose two shots there. Justin Rose making his way to the first tee, he's going off with Stricker and Senden. Poulter has just stuck his tee shot at two over the fence, just like McIlroy. I have a question for you: what do you envisage the leading third-round score being? I'm plumping for -2...Let me know your thoughts on text at 81111 or Twitter #bbcgolf.


    From Andrew Priestley on Twitter: "Saturday of a major is always known as Moving Day. But at the US Open (especially here) you'll be doing well not to lose any ground."

  131. 1924: 

    Poulter putting across the first, leaves it a touch short. Dustin Johnson very nearly holes his approach at the 11th and pops in for birdie. Jason Day of Australia with his second at four and he's cleared the rough with a hefty clump. Fernandez-Castano safely on in three at two, but it's not too clever, here's Woods... cuts it onto the front and it dribbles off again...

  132. 1919: 

    Poulter with his second into the first and it's a touch shy. Knox of Scotland for his bird at three and he makes it to get to +3. Woods from the rough at two, hacking onto the shorter stuff. McIlroy with his fourth shot, pulled it, could be a couple gone here.

  133. 1914: 

    ... McIlroy reloads, muff this one and it could be game over for the wee man... finds the fairway out to the right... Bo Van Pelt at three, playing at 246 yards today, jubbed it to within a few feet...

  134. 1914: 

    They've had enough fun already - Merion bites back as McIlroy thrashes his tee shot at two over a fence and far away. Woods in rough, Fernandez-Castano is too...

  135. 1912: 

    McIlroy is rocking and rolling after a bender in a bun of a birdie at the first, he moves to +2. Tiger starting his birdie putt out miles left... KICKS THE SIDE DOOR IN! It's moving day and Woods and McIlroy have got their charabancs running. Charley Hoffman in on the act! Chipping in at four to get to +4. There's a buzz out there today, kids...

  136. 1908: 

    Not sure what Shawn Stefani was up to last night but he's gone out with five bogeys and a double. Dig out the CCTV, I think you might find him and Sergio stumbling in at 5.15... Harrington off the tee at three, doesn't quite make it up the hill.

  137. 1905: 

    McIlroy safely on in two at the first, as is Tiger, and indeed Fernandez-Castano. Well done all three. Ernie Els has parred the first, stays three over...

  138. 1903: 

    Here's that eagle putt from Loar, it was only a 12-footer as well. Fowler for birdie at the 15th, in it goes, he moves to four over. Sergio Garcia, I'm unhappy to report, has just carded a 10 at the par-four, 397-yard 15th. If you are going to go verbal sparring with Tiger...

  139. 1859: 

    It's time for the world's top two, McIlroy to go off first, with an iron... that's pretty much perfect... Tiger up next, also with iron... away she goes. The third member of that group is Fernandez-Castano of Spain, he found the sand...

  140. 1857: 

    EAGLE! Haven't been many of those this week, in fact that's the seventh. Edward Loar of the United States is the man on the second, the burly Dallas native.

  141. 1855: 

    Charley Hoffman is into the red for the day with birdie at three, Padraig Harrington has pocketed a birdie at the second to get to +3, big old putt as well. The willowy Justin Rose down on the range, he's off at 1929. Seems like a nice man, Justin...

  142. 1847: 

    David Lingmerth of Sweden moves to four over with a birdie at the fourth and Paul Lawrie has come storming out of the traps with all guns blazing, what an approach this is to the 14th, another birdie chance.

  143. 1843: 

    Another shot gone for Dufner at four, as Garcia gets a few chicken noises from the crowd as he's putting on 14, another shot gone for the Spaniard. Alas, Sergio, you are destined to be assailed by the noise of poultry for the rest of your days...

  144. 1838: 

    Harrington for birdie at the first and it's another one of those yippy little tugs with his belly putter, chance gone. Rory McIlroy arriving, him and his Nike mate Tiger are off in 20 minutes. Swindon's David Howell, The Most Affable Man in Golf, is out and about, good to see him doing battle on the big stage.

  145. 1834: 

    Paul Lawrie makes birdie at 13 and is now six over, as does Lee Westwood. That hole is pretty much looking like a par 2.5 today. Bubba for a bird at 12, doesn't do enough work for him. Early signs are that there are chances to be had out there today, maybe there is a 66 to be squeezed from this course after all...

  146. 1830: 

    Scott Langley nicks a birdie at the second to get to +4. Sample Scott Langley quote? "Is there a law in physics that allows you to open a cup of yogurt without it shooting at you? C'mon Yoplait be a pal." Remarkable....

  147. 1827: 

    Paul Lawrie with a sweet up and down, the Scot stays seven over. Westwood on the 13th - this hole could provide a lot of fun today - and he's stuck it in Rickie Fowler country. Martin Laird of Scotland drains a long-ranger for birdie on 11...

  148. 1824: 

    Garcia's birdie putt at 13 stays right, he stays seven over. Not a great start for The Waggler, Jason Dufner has made bogeys at one and three. Fellow American Shawn Stefani has blobbed the first three. Fowler for birdie at 13, from six feet, in it goes. A rare eagle putt from Kyle Stanley at the second but it stays right.

  149. 1818: 

    Rickie Fowler on tee at the 13th, which is playing 98 yards today, and he goes pretty close. Garcia now, decent enough, all over the basket*


  150. 1814: 

    Bubba Watson with a magnificent approach at 11, could be a birdie there for the former Masters champ. Birdie for current Masters champion Adam Scott at the 11th, the first of the day, he moves to six over.

  151. 1806: 

    No birdies as yet today, few shots gone though, including Welshman Jamie Donaldson letting one go at 12...

  152. 1800: 

    Paul Lawrie OBE with his second into the 11th and that's pretty handy by the Scot. Looks like a smasher of a day over in Philly and here's Westwood, looking like a giant custard cream, with a neat chip at the 11th.

  153. 1756: 

    Previous winners at Merion? Olin Dutra (1934), Ben Hogan (1950), Lee Trevino (1971) and Australia's David Graham (1981). In truth, Dutra's was probably the greatest feat, seeing as he managed to win the US Open while suffering with dysentery and dining on sugar cubes for the duration of the tournament. Good save by Garcia at the 11th...


    Co-leader Phil Mickelson: "I don't know how anyone is going to separate too far from the field. There might be a hot round and there might be a hot round on Sunday, but it's unlikely to be the same player."

  155. 1748: 

    Webb Simpson misses his birdie effort at the 11th, his first, and the defending champion stays six over. Shot gone for Stefani...

  156. 1738: 

    Overnight leaders Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel are off at 1940 BST, alongside Englishman Luke Donald. Another Englishman, Justin Rose, is off with John Senden of Australia and American Steve Stricker at 1929 BST, Ian Poulter at 1907, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at 1856. Have some of that.

  157. 1732: 

    Hello. This is Ben Dirs. I don't really relish writing that. I believe the third round has just kicked off with K J Choi of Korea and Shawn Stefani - no relation to American singer-songwriter Gwen, at least as far as I am aware - away from the first and defending champion Webb Simpson, Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama away from the 11th. I'll see you around.

  158. 1515: 

    In an effort to make up for lost time, the third round will also feature groups of three going off at the first and 11th holes with the players heading out from 17:28 BST

    That's a couple of hours away, so I'm off for a break and Ben Dirs and Rob Hodgetts will be back from 17:00 BST with all the action from Merion. Thanks for your company.

  159. 1511: 

    And all that excitement means we will have 73 players in with a shout of winning the 2013 US Open. And everyone single one of those who have made the cut, has a chance of walking off with the trophy.

  160. 1506: 

    I'm hearing shouts of Nelson in my head and it brings back memories of my stag do, watching Bradford play Brentford at Griffin Park and the Bees goalkeeper, who was also called Nelson getting some friendly banter from the crowd. I digress.

    The scores are in. I really wanted it to be a SEVEN but the reason it took so long for the final group to play the final hole is because Nelson took six shots. And that was three too many for him.


    Nick Arundale on Twitter: Would love to see Poulter win it, he deserves a major after all of his Ryder Cup exploits.

    Stevelassman on Twitter: Sergio to make a run today and make up for the missing out on the players.

    Tim Bradley on Twitter: C'mon Donald, c'mon Rose and c'mon Poulter. Hoping one of these can bring it home in the next couple of days.

  162. 1459: 

    Nelson, a 35-year-old University of Portland graduate, who is ranked a spectacular 1,543rd in the world, bogeyed the ninth to leave himself in this predicament.

  163. 1458: 

    The tension is killing me here. How long does it take to play a 313-yard par-four hole?

  164. 1456: 

    Drum roll please...will we have 73 players for the final two rounds, or 74? Ryan, it's over to you...

  165. 1455: 

    Pan pars the last, I'm sure you'll be pleased to learn, so all that's left to tidy up from round two is Nelson's fate...

  166. 1447: 

    Bogey finish for Irish Amateur Phelan but his seven-over-par round of 77 is good enough for eight over and a place in the final two rounds. Ryan Nelson of the US of A is the only other man who can make the cut now. He is nine over playing the 10th, his last. If ever he needed a birdie...


    Bill GM Fyfe on Twitter: Even bolder prediction! Tiger going to come back and win in a play-off.

    Adam Isaacs on Twitter: Still like Ernie to be right in the mix for this one. He's not too far away and a proven US Open contender/winner.

    Sandy on Twitter: I can see Schwartzel winning. Just like the Masters in '11, he sneaked under the radar all tournament. Perfectly placed to strike!

    David R on Twitter: My friend predicted the winner would come from Chinese Taipei, but his opinion was universally panned. #bbcgolf

  168. 1435: 

    Pan, Pan, Pan, what are you doing sunshine? I take my eye off you for half an hour and you leak shots left, right and er...centre if that's possible in golf? The bogey on 14 has been followed by another on 15. A par on the 16th momentarily stopped the rot but a double-bogey on the par-three 17th and has seen him drop away to four over. What does the 18th hold? Stick with me and I'll let you know.


    Mit from Wembley, via text on 81111: A bold prediction: Phil Mickelson to run away with this one by at least 3.

    Anybody got a bolder one? #bbcgolf on Twitter or text to 81111.

  170. 1427: 

    Probably about time I mentioned young Rory McIlroy as well. The Northern Irishman is handily placed at three over, just four behind Mickelson and Horschel. The 2011 US Open champion may well be playing with Tiger again on Saturday as the world number one is also three over par. Just a dozen to complete round two.

  171. 1424: 

    Of the Scots in the field, 27-year-old Russell Knox is the best-placed on four over, with Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird making the cut on seven over. The Welsh charge is led by Jamie Donaldson, who like Knox, is making his debut and is at six over.

  172. 1418: 

    Swindon's David Howell had a fine one-over-par 71 in his second round to finish on eight over and he too will be around for the weekend. By my reckoning, the only Englishman, out of nine who started on Thursday, to miss the cut is Eddie Pepperell. The 22-year-old had four birdies in his two rounds but a pair of 77s see him finish on 14 over.

  173. 1412: 

    Khan has parred the 18th and he is heading off to the scorer's hut to sign for a four-over-par 74 that matches his first-round effort. He is tied for 57th on eight over. He may have a quick turnaround and be back out for the third round shortly but I'd wager he's not too fussed by that.

  174. 1409: 

    Irish amateur Kevin Phelan, 22, who moved to Florida with his folks 10 years ago, is hanging in there at seven over, playing the last. A couple of bogeys on the 14th and 15th have left him with a tight finish but a par will be good enough for him to make his first US Open cut on his second appearance.

  175. 1402: 

    Remember Simon Khan's bogey, bogey, double, birdie run to get to nine over? Well, he followed that with another birdie on eight and a par on the ninth to get to eight over. He is playing the 10th - a birdie or better and he will make the weekend, a bogey or worse and he won't. A par? Well, that leaves it in the balance.


    Steve from Tunbridge Wells, via text on 81111: It seems strange that by 'moving day' just a few players are under par and so many players are over par. But if the leaders were on -10 and Tiger was on -6 I know where my money would be! And that's where we are at. It just doesn't look right!

  177. 1355: 

    Around two dozen players still hacking their way round Merion's East Course and when I say hacking...America's Brandt Jobe is 10 over for his round and has had six bogeys on the back nine and he still has the 18th to play. His playing partner Jay Don Blake, the oldest man in the field at 54, who finished tied sixth in 1992, is also 10 over for the day. A triple-bogey seven on the 14th blighting his card.

  178. 1346: 

    Bogey for Pan on 14. Is the Chinese Taipei amateur cracking at the start of the tough final five? I know, I'm probably over-egging it a bit but there's not a lot else going on out there at present. Where's the Chinese Taipei down arrow when I need one? What we all really want is the cut and the business end of the tournament to get going. Pan is back to one over, so hardly out of the reckoning...yet.


    Chris D from Coventry, via text on 81111: Good chance of an English winner this weekend. Rose, Donald + Poulter right in the mix at the right end of the leaderboard, can we expect one of them to pull it out the bag, let's hope so!

  180. 1337: 

    It's all gone wrong for Manassero though - another bogey on the 18th for the Italian who finishes on nine over and he can start checking for flights home. Scotland's Chris Doak, barring a birdie and eagle blitz in his final three holes, will also be exiting the tournament at the halfway stage. The 25-year-old is 10 over.

  181. 1333: 

    A two-over-par 72 for Paul Casey sees the Englishman into the weekend on five over. His compatriot John Parry, playing in his first major, also looks set to make the weekend after a terrific one-over-par 71 left him at seven over.

    The 26-year-old from Harrogate, who came through qualifying at Walton Heath, is not short of confidence. He told the Yorkshire Post: "It's a course that plays to my strengths. I drive it pretty straight, I'm hitting it well and it's not the longest course either, so you don't have to smash it round.

    "There's no real pressure on me, it's not like I'm expecting to win it. So the aim is to make the weekend and I think I've got a pretty good chance of doing that."


    Daniel Taktak on Twitter: And here is the proof! Signature at the bottom was Clarke's. My brother got it week before the Open!

    Signed hat
  183. 1322: 

    For the second round, Poulter bogeys the 18th but he is still very much in contention after a second one-over-par 71 leaves him at two over and just three off the lead. He is a cumulative four over through the last five holes this week.

  184. 1319: 

    Simon Khan is battling to make the weekend. After a run of bogey, bogey, double bogey, the Englishman has birdied the par-four seventh to get to nine over. He might need a couple more of those in his remaining three holes.

  185. 1315: 

    Birdie for Laird on eight to give himself breathing space. He's now in a group on six over and tied for 40th and can probably afford one bogey on his final two holes should he need the extra shot.

  186. 1311: 

    One player safely in for the weekend is three-time major winner Padraig Harrington - three pars to finish and a one-over 71 sees him five off the lead on four over. Chinese Taipei's Pan continues to knock in the pars - that's seven on the bounce for him and he stays at level through 12.


    David R on Twitter: Westwood and Lawrie are fine. The cut is +7 right now and it's not going to go back to +6. It'll prob be +8 though.

    Daniel TakTak on Twitter: Met @IanJamesPoulter and @JustinRose99 at a charity golf event. I promised if they signed my hat they'd win the US Open. Mystic hat?

    Come, come Daniel, we need picture proof after a claim like that

  188. 1304: 

    Par for Poulter on 17 and he stays at one over - just two off the lead. Bogey for Manassero on 16 and he drops to eight over and tied for 61st place - top 60 and ties get to play again remember. Nervy times for the young Italian who had been picked by some to go well this week.

  189. 1300: 

    So, what are you expecting over these closing holes? Will Poulter's challenge brighten or fade? Will Westwood, Lawrie, Laird and Manassero et al need to check out early? Did you win your morning fourball? Could it possibly be Phil's year? Will Donald or Rose break England's major drought?

    Questions, questions, questions. If you have the answers, you know what to do. Tweet me #bbcgolf of text Golf and your name with your message to 81111 and let's enjoy a beautiful afternoon together.

  190. 1256: 

    Scotland's Martin Laird is tip-toeing towards the close of his round - he is at seven over with three holes left and that projected cut is eight over so he cannot afford any mistakes - at least he only has the eighth, ninth and 10th to play. Italy's Matteo Manassero is in a similar boat to Laird, although he has the, on paper, harder trio of 16, 17 and 18 to negotiate.

  191. 1253: 

    Poulter has just dropped out of the group at level par after bogeying the par-four 16th. And that leaves just one man out on the course who is at level or better - Cheng-Tsung Pan, a 21-year-old amateur from Chinese Taipei. He birdied the second and fifth on Friday to move up to level par and has started well today with two pars on the 10th and 11th.

  192. 1248: 

    At the top of the leaderboard, English duo Luke Donald and Justin Rose are faring well - just one behind Mickelson and Horschel. Donald mixed six bogeys, including a run of four on the trot, with four birdies for a two-over 72 to finish on level par. Rose sank three birdies and had just two dropped shots in a solid 69 that lifted him to level.

  193. 1240: 

    That +8 projection could be good news for England's Lee Westwood who shot a seven-over-par 77 on Friday to finish on seven over overall. Scotland's Paul Lawrie, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, will also be chewing his nails on the same total. The duo are keeping good company with the last two Masters champions Adam Scott and Bubba Watson.

  194. 1230: 

    The US Open website says it is a 'picture-perfect morning at Merion with blue skies and mild temperatures'. With 68 players unable to finish their second rounds on Friday due to the fading light, tournament officials have ordered them out early - it's 07:30 in the US. The plan is to get them round sharpish and then make the cut - which is the top 60 plus ties and currently projected to be at +8 - before starting the third round.

  195. 1225: 

    Of course, Ian James Poulter could add to the tally of golfers under par at the halfway stage, given he is level par with four holes left to play in his second round. And the Englishman is off to a decent start already, with a par on the 15th. Just three left for him - enough holes to take the halfway lead perhaps? Although given the brutal nature of the home stretch, I'm sure he'd be delighted to par his way in.

  196. 1219: 

    Hello and welcome to live text commentary of day three of the 2013 US Open at Merion, Pennsylvania. American pair Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel lead the way on one under after completing two rounds on a course that, given the heavy rain of the last week, was expected to give up far more birdies than bogeys.

  197. 1215: 

    Of the 156 players who began the tournament, just two are under par as we begin the third day of competition.

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US Open, Merion, 13-16 June

Justin Rose Rose lands maiden major at Merion

Justin Rose clinches his maiden major title to become the first Englishman for 43 years to win the US Open.

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