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Justin Thomas says he is relishing the tough U.S. Open conditions despite seeing his chances of winning back-to-back majors surely disappear.
The 29-year-old, who won the US PGA Championship last month, carded a third-round 72 on Saturday to leave him on three over par going into the final day.
Thomas had no complaints over the set-up at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the wind made life difficult for the best players in the world once again.
"I played really, really well," he told a media conference. "It was very difficult out there. I just didn't get anything out of it.
"I fought back and stayed very patient for having some things not go my way. It's a bummer to finish with a bogey on 18, but I really played solid today.
"I hit it really well. I drove it well. Hit my irons really well. Just had a hard time saving pars when I missed greens, but yeah, tee to green I played beautifully.
"I said to Bones [his caddie Jim Mackay] walking up 18, this is how a U.S. Open should be. It's very difficult. Par is great score on a lot of holes. Bogeys aren't going to kill you.
"We don't do this very often, and I think it's very, very fitting and totally acceptable to have this kind of test and this difficult setup for a U.S. Open, and it's strictly because of conditions.
"The greens are getting firm. It's windy, and it should be tough."
Will Zalatoris moved into the lead on four under with a hugely impressive three-under 67 and he Matthew Fitzpatrick joined him when he birdied the 15th.
Scottie Scheffler had been two shots clear before a double bogey at 11, followed by another three dropped shots in as many holes.