BRENDON de Jongé remained on course to achieve his first-ever top-10 finish at a major golf championship despite a difficult third round at the 114th United States Open Championship on Saturday.
On a tough day at the Pinehurst No Two course in which only two players shot rounds under par, the 33-year-old Zimbabwean carded three-over par 73 to drop five places on the leaderboard.
De Jongé, whose best finish at a major championship to date was a tie for 26th at the 2011 PGA Championship was expected to enter the final round late last night tied for 10th position on one-over par 211, nine shots behind leader Martin Kaymer from Germany.
Earlier de Jongé had got his third round off to a promising start, leapfrogging all of his competitors into second place after consecutive birdies on the fourth and the fifth.
Despite two more birdies on the ninth and the 10th, three further bogeys and a double bogey in the last six holes, de Jongé’s pursuit of a maiden major championship win came off the rails.
“We knew the golf course was going to be difficult this weekend and we got exactly what we expected,” de Jongé said after the third round.
“There were a couple flags where you look at it — it was easier to putt it off the green than it was to keep it on in a couple of places. It’s what we expected. And I think tomorrow is going to be more of the same,” he said in reference to the wicked placements on the putting greens at Pinehurst on Saturday.
The final round started yesterday at 7pm.