Johnson collapses to fall into four-way tie for U.S. Open lead

A group of four players are tied for the U.S. Open lead after Dustin Johnson struggled in the third round.

Dustin Johnson shot a seven-over 77 to fall back to three over at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday.   -  (Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson fell back into the pack at the U.S. Open as the world number one endured a rough third round to sit in a four-way tie for the lead.

Johnson shot a seven-over 77 to fall back to three over at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday.

The American ran into trouble early, playing his first eight holes in six over. He then righted the ship for a while, but two late bogeys relinquished his lead.

Tony Finau and Daniel Berger started their third rounds tied for 45th, 11 shots behind Johnson, but finished the third day atop the leaderboard and in Sunday's final pairing.

Both players shot four-under 66s, tying the low round of the tournament to get to three over.

"I feel like my game is built for championship golf just because I make a lot of birdies and I hit it with length and the putter can get hot," Finau said after his round. "I think that's a great combination in championship golf.

"But I think just all around, I've become more of a complete player, and you have to be this week to post anything good."

Defending champion Brooks Koepka became the fourth player at three over by firing a two-over 72 in round three.

Koepka held the lead to himself briefly at even par, but suffered three bogeys on his last seven holes. He is trying to become the first person to win back-to-back U.S. Opens since Curtis Strange (1988-89).

Frequent European Ryder Cup partners Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose played alongside each other on Saturday. Rose shot a 73 to finish four over after three rounds, bogeying two of his last three holes.

Stenson shot a four-over 74 to finish five over. He was even par entering the back nine, but a five-over 40 set him back.

Reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed led a trio of players tied for seventh at six over. United States Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are also at six over.

Phil Mickelson lost his cool on the par-four 13th, where he slapped his moving ball toward the hole instead of watching it roll down a slope. Mickelson shot an 11-over 81, and clearly was displeased with the USGA's setup.

"I don't mean disrespect by anybody. I know it's a two-shot penalty," Mickelson said. "At that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It's my understanding of the rules. I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that, I just finally did it."

Rickie Fowler, who started the day just six shots back at two over, shot a 14-over 84 to fall back to 16 over for the tournament. Fowler had three double bogeys and a triple bogey on his woeful afternoon.

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