Johnson in 4-way tie after day of survival at US Open

WATCH Jordan Spieth has a mare on his second hole of US Open

The world's No. 1 player faced greens that felt like putting on glass, so slick that Phil Mickelson swatted a ball while it was still moving on the 13th green. Finally, he rapped his putter up the hill and by the hole and missed the putt. Spieth got even closer, pushing to +7 before making bogey on his last two holes, and missing the cut by a single shot. After pitching to about 14 feet, he missed a bogey putt.

"I wanted to get to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at that time without the two shots (for the penalty)", he said.

Piercy, who was a first-round co-leader, is tied with Hoffman at even par after his 71.

Even so, there's plenty of reminders of how it can all go wrong - some of them from Johnson's own experiences, majority from the final few hours Friday afternoon in ideal weather from those trying to catch him.

Despite struggling to a seven-over 77 in the third round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, on Saturday, Dustin Johnson will enter Sunday's final round in a four-way tie for the lead. He was the only player under par among those who played Friday morning in a odd mixture of weather that began with an overcast sky, gave way to two hours of light rain and then returned to mild sunshine.

"Every time you come in to a U.S. Open you know it's going to be tough".

Johnson was the only golfer to shoot a pair of under-par rounds in the first and second; however, he ran into trouble early and often.

He was a little unlucky at the last, where his approach shot trickled into some gnarly rough some 40 feet above the hole, from where he fluffed his delicate chip that trickled down to within 11 feet of the cup.

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"You still got to play well, but all those go together in a good round if everything still applies. It was a very tough test, but probably too tough this afternoon".

The two-time major victor said after his round that "they've lost the course".

"I peaked and I really played well at the right time". I enjoy the grind, really.

Finau and Berger never have played in the final group at a major. That's a sharp contrast from a year ago at Erin Hills, where 44 players broke par in the opening round to set a U.S. Open record. Koepka made only two birdies in a hard-earned round of 72, leaving him in position to become the first back-to-back victor of the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1989.

But Poulter made a triple-bogey seven at the par-four eighth - his penultimate hole - and bogeyed nine in a two-over 72 that dropped him into a tie for fourth with defending champion Brooks Koepka, England's Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood, Sweden's Henrik Stenson. After a double-bogey 5 on No. 2, he had done both. Five shots behind the leader Rose remains hopeful. Stenson had a 74 and was another shot back.

Mickelson turned 48, and he was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" when he strode to the first tee at Shinnecock Hills to start his third round of the U.S. Open.

"Be care what you wish for", Rose said.

Just when it seemed Dustin Johnson's runaway lead was to be hauled back by two inspired Englishmen, so the US Open issued its harsh but timely reminder. "I thought we could be on the edge, but we've surpassed it".

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