MAMARONECK, N.Y. — Matthew Wolff, playing in only his second major, stole the show at an unforgiving Winged Foot with a scorching start and steady finish to grab an unlikely two-shot lead over big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau on Saturday.
Wolff, 21, began the day four shots behind overnight leader Patrick Reed but erased that deficit in seven holes en route to a 5-under-par 65 that tied the low round of the week and brought him to 5-under overall.
“I like to go out there and do what I feel comfortable with, rip dog and see how it goes from there,” said Wolff, who will look to become the first player to win the U.S. Open in his tournament debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.
The front nine at Winged Foot is one of the more daunting stretches in golf but a steadfast Wolff came out firing lasers at tricky pin positions and reached the turn with a blistering 5-under 30 after five birdies.
Wolff, who hit just two of 14 fairways, made his lone bogey at the par-four 16th but responded in style with a birdie at the last after sticking his approach shot to 10 feet.
DeChambeau (70), who began the day one shot back of Reed, made a bogey-bogey start but leaned on his power to chase down Wolff and squandered a chance to finish within one shot of the lead when he two-putted from six-feet for a closing bogey.