Austin Eckroat, a rookie on the PGA TOUR and former collegiate player at Oklahoma State, made a remarkable start to the final round of the U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club. Following Tom Kim's record-tying front-nine 29 on Saturday, Eckroat matched the feat with his own 6-under 29 on Sunday, becoming the sixth player in history to achieve this score at the prestigious tournament.
After a disappointing third round of 73, Eckroat displayed immense resilience and determination. He kicked off his final round by sinking a 6-foot birdie putt at the par-5 first hole, setting the tone for what would be an extraordinary performance. He continued his dominance by notching three consecutive birdies from holes 4 to 6, all from distances between 7 and 10 feet.
Despite facing a challenging par-3 seventh hole, Eckroat showcased his short game prowess by saving par with an up-and-down from 44 yards. The highlight of his round came at the par-5 eighth, where he executed a phenomenal 235-yard approach shot to within 26 feet of the hole and sunk the eagle putt. With this exceptional display of skill, Eckroat surged into the top 10 on the leaderboard, elevating his chances of a remarkable finish in just his second U.S. Open appearance.
As he approached the par-3 ninth, Eckroat had an opportunity to set a new U.S. Open nine-hole scoring record with a birdie. Although his 11-foot putt narrowly missed on the right side, his overall performance was nothing short of impressive.
Eckroat had secured his place in the U.S. Open through Final Qualifying at the Dallas site in late May. He comfortably made the cut for the tournament after posting solid rounds of 71 and 68. Despite encountering difficulties in the third round, including six bogeys, Eckroat found solace in the early tee time on Sunday, as he had the advantage of playing before the course conditions became more challenging throughout the day.
With his record-tying 29 on the front nine, Austin Eckroat has etched his name in U.S. Open history. His remarkable start to the final round has not only propelled him into contention for a top finish but also demonstrated his immense potential and talent on the professional stage. As the tournament unfolds, golf fans eagerly anticipate witnessing Eckroat's continued performance and the impact he may have on the final leaderboard.