|Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka waves to the crowd after birdies on the third hole in the third round of the US Open on Thursday. — AFP Photo|
PEBBLE BEACH — Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods headed into the back nine at Pebble Beach on Thursday trying to gain ground on a US Open leading group that had swelled to four players.
Aaron Wise had back-to-back birdies on his back nine to join clubhouse leaders Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen on five-under par.
Koepka, trying to become just the second golfer to win three straight US Open titles and the first in more than a century, was four-under through six holes but bogeyed the eighth and was three-under through 10.
Woods, who captured his 15th major title at the Masters in April, was one-over after following a birdie at the fourth with a double-bogey at five, but rebounded with birdies at six and seven and was one-under through nine.
With Pebble Beach showing its softer side in cool, overcast conditions and little wind, 32 players were under par with the afternoon wave on the course. Scott Piercy was in the clubhouse one shot off the lead after a 67. — AFP