Thomas takes advantage of “very difficult” conditions at the Country Club

Scottie Scheffler is taking advantage of the tough conditions at this year’s US Open, sitting two strokes behind co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick heading into Sunday’s final round.

Despite a strong start, the world number one could only manage a 71 at the Country Club on Saturday, finishing on two under after 54 holes.

In windy and cloudy conditions, only seven players posted sub-par scores on moving day at Brookline, with nine under par for the tournament after three rounds.

After his round on Saturday, Scheffler was far from lamenting the difficulties he or the field has faced, insisting that is why he is playing the tournament.

“I think the US Open is very taxing, mentally and physically,” he said. “I think that’s all part of what makes this tournament so fun. You’re going to be tested in all kinds of ways, whether it’s physically, mentally, whatever. This golf tournament is going to test you.

“That’s why I’m showing up here. I think it’s kind of fun. If every golf tournament was like this, it would be a long season for all of us. A few times a year, I think that’s a ton of fun.”

After a spectacular eagle on the par-five eighth to go three under the front nine, conditions hit Scheffler hard, posting a double bogey and then three consecutive bogeys between 11 and 14.

A birdie on 17 was followed by a massive save on the final hole after finding the bunker, and the usually stoic 25-year-old let out a rare display of emotion, triumphantly pumping his fist after a difficult putt .

“It was good because I hit my second shot, and I hit it right where I wanted to,” Scheffler said. “It was flurry, and it came up short. Where we thought the ball was going to end up was just over the bunker where I had no position.

“So a hole that I really thought after a good shot in the second round I was going to come out with five, coming out of there with four was definitely a big boost.

“I knew how tough the putt was, and that’s why I was so frustrated because I had a chance to get it a little bit closer, and I didn’t land a good shot.”