Golf News

Hiroyuki Fujita in control, continues to lead at 2024 U.S. Senior Open

Hiroyuki Fujita in control, continues to lead at 2024 U.S. Senior Open

NEWPORT, R.I.  — The rest of the field at this 44th U.S. Senior Open might wind up needing some help.

Hiroyuki Fujita looks in control entering the final round at Newport Country Club. Saturday did nothing to dent his advantage or his confidence atop the leaderboard.

Fujita got up and down at the tough par-4 18th to finish a 3-under 67, expanding his edge by one shot. He sits at 14 under heading into Sunday, the only player in the field who avoided carding a bogey in this third round.

Fujita collected three birdies and 15 pars in what looked to be a stress-free stroll under the afternoon clouds. He’s missed just one fairway this week, and that came late in his opening round on Thursday. Fujita made early birdies at the par-5 first, par-4 sixth and par-4 ninth, the last coming on a curling putt from the right side of the elevated green.

“Incredible,” Barrington native Brett Quigley said after finishing with his own even-par 70. “I looked a couple of times — I just couldn’t believe he was shooting that low a score.

“That’s playing some really good golf.”

Steve Stricker and Richard Green added some late pressure with a combined five birdies in the last seven holes. Fujita’s four-shot lead at the turn was cut to two by the finish, with Stricker rolling in a long putt from the front of the green at the 17th to highlight a third straight 66. He’s at 12 under for the week and Green is one back at 11 under after a 69.

“The way (Fujita is) playing right now I’d have to go real low tomorrow,” said Bob Estes, who finished with a 4-under 66 and sits six shots back. “But Sunday is Sunday. Sometimes things are a little bit different on that final day.”

Estes rattled off four straight birdies to begin his round, including a precise 7-iron to the uphill par-3 fourth. His ball settled just above the hole on the left side, and Estes coaxed his putt home to cap a quick start. Estes played even-par golf from there and is alone in fifth place at 8 under.

“You’ve got to go out and hit shots,” Bristol native Billy Andrade said after a 1-over 71. “You’ve got to do it under pressure.”

There was a chance to make a move up the leaderboard, particularly on the more inland front nine. Justin Leonard racked up four birdies before the turn on his way to a second 3-under 67 of the week. Leonard is in a tie for 13th place at 4 under, and all but one of the four men alongside him also broke par on Saturday.



Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…