UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — One day after he collapsed from a bout of vertigo, Jason Day was standing tall at the U.S. Open.
Everyone else was hanging on at Chambers Bay.
Day crashed to the ground as he finished his second round Friday, was treated at the course and hoped he could make it through the weekend. After a rugged front nine, the Australian poured in four birdies on the back nine and was one shot out of the lead.
The conditions were the toughest they have been all week, no surprise for Saturday at a U.S. Open.
Dustin Johnson built a two-shot lead, only to give it back with a double bogey on the 13th hole with a poor second shot into the bunker. He still had a one-shot lead at 4-under over Day, Branden Grace and Jordan Spieth.
Spieth raced out to a two-shot lead with a pair of long birdie putts early in his round, only to make a pair of three-putt bogeys that had him slapping his knee in disgust. Grace had a one-shot lead until he made three bogeys in a five-hole stretch.
But the big surprise was Day, who moved slowly even to stick a tee in the ground.
Louis Oosthuizen, meanwhile, set himself up for a shot at U.S. Open history. No one since World War II has ever shot 77 in the first round of the U.S. Open and gone on to win. Oosthuizen was part of that horror show with Tiger Woods (80) and Rickie Fowler (81) in the opening round. He figured he would be watching the weekend at his home in Florida. Instead, he shot 66 to make the cut. And then the South African shot another 66 on Saturday and was at 1-under 209.
Meanwhile, the number of players under par kept dropping — 25 after the first day, 16 after the second. As the third round headed into the final hour, only nine players remained under par. And the yellow-and-brown color of the grass was the best indication that those numbers were likely to fall even more.
Rory McIlroy was losing hope in this major. He shot a 70 and was at 4-over 214. Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, lost another bid at the career Grand Slam with a 77 that put him at 10-over 220.