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Willett Enters Discussion With Day’s Low Round

June 16, 2019 - 11:02 AM
Danny Willett charged up the leader board with a Saturday-best 67 at Pebble Beach. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

The last time Danny Willett was a factor in a major championship was the only time he won one. That was in the 2016 Masters, when his final-round 67 helped him rally past a struggling Jordan Spieth to take the green jacket. In his next 13 majors he missed seven cuts and finished no higher than T-24 in last year's Open Championship at Carnoustie. But after a 4-under-par 67 Saturday in the U.S. Open, Willett at least is part of the conversation going into the final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The 31-year-old Englishman not only posted the low round of the day, but he also broke par in the U.S. Open for the first time in 16 competitive rounds. "It was a real solid day," said Willett, who has battled a bad back off and on since 2013. He'll begin Sunday's final round in a tie for ninth – moving up from T32 to start the day – and in position to improve vastly on his best U.S. Open finish to date, joint 37th in 2016 at Oakmont. And who knows if he doesn't somehow work his way into a chance at winning? "We put ourselves in that position regardless of what the leaders do," he said after finishing four hours ahead of the final group. "We're going to be in nice position to go out there tomorrow and have a decent finish regardless. So try to keep doing the same."