Perennial major contender Louis Oosthuizen has sunk a monster eagle putt at the final hole to vault into a three-way tie for the lead going into the final round of the US Open.
South African Oosthuizen's downhill 50-footer slammed into the middle of the flag and toppled in to add another layer of fascination to what already was shaping up to be a compelling final day at Torrey Pines.
With a one-under-par 70, Oosthuizen joined surprising Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (68) and steady American Russell Henley (71) at five-under 208 after the third round.
But the three frontrunners do not have to look far over their shoulders to see heavyweights Rory McIlroy (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (68) waiting to pounce just two strokes behind.
Pre-championship favourite Jon Rahm (72), despite a double-bogey, is among a trio three behind while World No.1 Dustin Johnson charged with a 68 to be a shot further back.
Thirteen players in all are within four shots of the lead.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, has completed the career runner-up grand slam, and just last month was equal second behind Phil Mickelson at the US PGA Championship.
"There's a lot of great players up there that have a chance of winning this, and I just need to go out and play as good as I can tomorrow," Oosthuizen said.
Henley started the day tied for the lead with Richard Bland, and maintained at least a share of it throughout.
"There's a lot of great players up there that have a chance of winning this, and I just need to go out and play as good as I can tomorrow." – Louis Oosthuizen
"I'm 32, I don't know how many more good years I have of golf left," said the three-time PGA Tour winner. "I'm excited, and you always wonder what it would feel like or be like to be in contention."
Hughes vaulted into contention by holing a 35-foot bunker shot at the par-5 13th that prompted an enormous gallery roar.
"I get goosebumps thinking about it. I think it'll feel different tomorrow being in that last group, but you do the same things," Hughes said.
Adam Scott led a disappointing Australian contingent, tied for 31st but eight shots off the pace after a 71.
McIlroy, seven years removed from the most recent of his four major titles, could hardly ask for a better chance to end his drought.
"I'm trying to think of the last time where I really felt like I had a chance," said McIlroy, who had to go back to the 2018 Open Championship where he tied for second.
"I'm just excited for the opportunity to have a chance."
Defending champion DeChambeau, meanwhile, ignored a smattering of heckling to pound his way into contention with another bone-jarring performance of long driving.
He compiled his first ever bogey-free round at a US Open, picking up three birdies and coming ever so close to making a few more.
"I feel like I'm starting to understand major championship golf and how to play it and how to go about managing my game, my attitude and just my patience level," DeChambeau said.
Mickelson, a record six-time US Open runner-up, saw his bid to complete the career grand slam disappear for another year after a sloppy five-over 76 left him at seven-over.
Playing a month after becoming golf's oldest major winner at 50 by claiming the PGA Championship, Mickelson could not produce the same magic in his home town.
- Andrew Both, PAA