That took the 24-year-old to 11 under and a share of second place with Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka, who both shot 68 to finish a shot behind leader Brian Harman, who compiled a flawless 67 as he bids to become the first left-hander ever to win the US Open.
Torrential rain that doused the 7,818-yard layout at Erin Hills overnight presented the field with a feast of birdie chances, transforming the leaderboard into a sea of red as dusk fell.
The par-four third hole proved the toughest on day three, with a tricky pin position at the back of the green contributing to 20 bogeys, two double bogeys and just two birdies for a scoring average of 4.368.
“When I saw it was about seven feet away I knew maybe we had a chance of history”. Powerful winds buffeted the US Open today as the final round got under way with a cluster of inexperienced contenders aiming to break their major duck.
“I’m proud of the way I hung in there today”.
“Struck it well, hit a bunch of greens, and that’s what you’ve got to do to play well around here”. Harman was at 12-under 204 and still only had a one-shot lead, with Rickie Fowler two shots behind.
Around a dozen or players are realistically in contention on a crowded leaderboard.
And the prime beneficiary was Thomas, who catapulted up the leaderboard with his record-breaking nine-under-par 63.
Thomas became the fifth player to shoot 63 in the U.S. Open, and the first with a score of 9 under.
Fowler, sharing a house with Thomas this week, was being left behind until he ran off three straight birdies and shot 68.
For the first time this week the easiest hole was not a par five, with a forward tee turning the 15th into a reachable par four of 288 yards.
“That means I’m a part of history”, he said.
“I hope the moment will come as soon as possible. And I’m kind of going out there and just doing it, and letting it go”.
The 30-year-old Harman has five top-10 finishes and two victories since joining the tour in 2012, most recently at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. “It will be a pleasure to go out on a Sunday trying to win a major”.
“It’s going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow”, the world number nine said. “I’m looking forward to my shot at it”.
“This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I’ll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish”.
“I think the biggest thing is not getting ahead of yourself”.
South Korea’s Kim Si-Woo was one behind Fowler on nine under after also shooting 68, while three players – Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and Charley Hoffman were on eight under.
Harman, who is playing his first major since missing the cut in all four in 2015, fired six birdies and one bogey in a 67 to claim pole position in his bid to become the first left-handed victor of the US Open.
However, the Englishman then bogeyed the next hole before carding a damaging eight on the par-five 14th.
The low-scoring sets up a wide open final Sunday, with the world’s top three ranked players – No.1 Dustin Johnson, No.2 Rory McIlroy and No.3 Jason Day – all missing the cut on Friday.