Will Zalatoris delighted with his 67 in Round 3 of U.S. Open: ‘It felt like I shot a 61, honestly.’

Few golfers had a good day at The Country Club on Saturday. Will Zalatoris was an exception.

Zalatoris put up a 3-under-par 67 in the third round of the U.S. Open. It was the low score of the day and just one of seven under-par rounds among the 64 golfers playing on the weekend. It also was his lowest score in the third round of a major tournament.

The field struggled badly amid wind gusts of nearly 30 mph. According to Twenty-First Group’s Justin Ray, the course played 1.4 strokes tougher Saturday than it did on Friday. That’s a historically large difference.

So Zalatoris’ 67 did more than just put him in the mix. It put him in a tie for the 54-hole lead with upstart Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick. Zalatoris is now in position to secure his first major victory.

MORE: Scores, results, highlights from the Round 3

Zalatoris understood his play took on added importance because of the challenging Brookline climate.

While the wind was intense at times during the first two days, temperatures of nearly 80 degrees on Thursday and nearly 90 degrees on Friday at least made it feel like an event taking place in mid-June.

That wasn’t at all the case on Saturday. Temperatures dropped nearly 15 degrees and the wind proved more biting. Many golfers who impressed Thursday and Friday couldn’t quite hit their groove in Round 3.

Collin Morikawa, Joel Dahmen and Rory McIlroy were at or near the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes, but on Saturday, they toiled. Morikawa shot a 7-over 77, McIlroy carded a 3-over 73 and Dahmen shot a 4-over 74.

So Zalatoris’ 3-under round stood out on a difficult day at The Country Club.

It seems the difficult times may continue Sunday. Temperatures are expected be in the low 60s for Round 4, and wind gusts are still expected to exceed 20 mph. Rain showers are expected in the area as well, according to the National Weather Service. The moisture on the course will slow down the ball.

That should make for yet another unpredictable round. Don’t expect scores to reach the levels of Rounds 1 and 2. Conditions don’t appear to be conducive to low scoring.

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