We take a look at the most notable stars to have fared poorly at Erin Hills. He went from pouring putts into the center of the cup to burning the edges, and his 39 on the back nine cost him the lead, though not his chances of breaking through for that first major.
McIlroy missed the cut for a second consecutive U.S. Open.
In the 116 previous U.S. Opens, only six players had ever reached 10-under par or better, never in the same tournament. Only a half-dozen of them have even experienced Sunday contention in golf's biggest events. "And I know if I go out and play the golf I'm capable of, good things should happen". There were 18 rounds in the 60s on Saturday.
Thomas finished in style, and it had nothing to do with his hot pink trousers. Koepka had the outright lead with four holes left in his round before a bogey on the par-3 sixth hole. "I didn't score and then I hit a couple loose shots off the tee that cost me my day".
Brian Harman stood on the podium with hands on hips, giving answers in the kind of matter-of-fact voice expected from someone used to the spotlight of a major championship.
"The finish was awesome". With every scream of anguish, I smile even more because these are usually the same conditions the average golfer faces every day.
But not long after he signed for his record score and an 11-under 205, he began to appreciate the significance of a 63 on this day.
"Yeah, I don't think it was the putter", he said wryly. The 30-year-old lefty shot a very solid 67 in Round 3 and is 11/2 to win the tournament.
"It was a lot tougher with tricky pins, so I am pretty happy". "Today I started off a bit ropey".
It means Scott, Day, Wade Ormsby (six-over after a second 75) and Nick Flanagan (10-over after a 79) are all looking at a free weekend.
In all, 32 players are within five shots of the lead. He bogeyed the 11th, 12th and 13th holes and missed a short birdie putt on the par-five 14th. He got that up-and-down for a bogey and a 68. He was 10 under.
"It was a really good round of golf and you don't realise until you start talking about it that I hardly missed a shot all day".
"I think since my dad dropped me off at football practice and told me not to be disappointed if I didn't get to play at all", Harman said.
"I hadn't been out of position all day and suddenly I was staring double bogey in the face".
Not to be overlooked was Si Woo Kim, who captured The Players Championship last month.
When he thinned his pitch through the back of the second and dropped another shot, he angrily speared his wedge into the turf before turning back to fix the damage.
Even with the course drying out, there simply was not enough wind to frighten anyone on their game. He advanced to Erin Hills after earning one of nine qualifying spots at the Memphis sectional tournament.
Thomas set the U.S. Open scoring record despite registering a pair of bogeys, offsetting them with nine birdies and his closing eagle. It took a hard turn to the right and rolled in.
Fowler finished in the top 5 in all four majors in 2014, and it appeared that would be his springboard to the next level. He two-putted for birdie, and he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th. "I took advantage of it the last few days".
But the work is not done. Holmes join Fowler a shot back and five other players are within two shots of the lead.
Southport's Fleetwood said it would be "nice to sit down to dinner knowing you're top of the US Open leaderboard" after overcoming "a ropey start" to his second round.