June 17 2012
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Fredrik Jacobson did exactly what he had hoped to do on Saturday. Now he has to take advantage in today's final round of the U.S. Open.
Jacobson went out and fired a 68 in the third round that could have been even better to give himself a chance to win his first major championship. At one point Saturday, the Swede reeled off three straight birdies -- and he narrowly missed two more from inside 15 feet to extend the streak as he made the turn.
As a result, Jacobson will play in the penultimate group Lee Westwood, teeing off at 6 p.m. ET. He owns sole possession of third place at 1 over, two strokes off the lead.
"I knew before the round that if I could put a good number up
today that I most likely could give myself a chance for (Sunday),"
Jacobson said. "It was a big day out there today to try to close
the gap a little bit and get into contention.
"So the first few holes I didn't hit the fairways and they're tough as it is, even if you are in the fairways. So I had to work really hard the first six holes to play those 1 over, and I think that was key. So I hit a good shot on 7 to get myself back to even and then played really solid from there."
Jacobson's best finish in a major is a tie for fifth at the 2003 U.S. Open -- interestingly, the one won by Jim Furyk, who starts the final round tied for the lead with Graeme McDowell. He also tied for sixth that year at the British Open but has yet to post another top-10 in one of golf's crown jewels.
That's not to say Jacobson, who will defend his first PGA TOUR title at the Travelers Championship next week, hasn't played well in majors of late. He's finished in the top 20 in three of the last four he's played, including last year's U.S. Open where he started the final round in sixth place.
Jacobson feels the experience on golf’s biggest stage will help Sunday.
"Any time you can draw from good memories it helps," Jacobson said. "Obviously it's a new situation, it's a new tournament, so we're always starting from scratch; but I think last year being in contention here in the U.S. Open and also playing pretty well in the Masters this year -- at least being around it a little bit and also getting to play the majors over the last two years or year and a half -- helps.
"So I have some consistency going."