It's another beautiful day here at Pebble Beach Golf Links. A little overcast, but not too breezy yet. Scroll down to bottom for latest updates:
3 P.M. UPDATE: It's moving day at the U.S. Open and it looks like the scoring might be good today, at least early on. Davis Love III and Kenny Perry each are 4-under for the day on the front nine. Brandt Snedeker is 3-under so far.
Tiger Woods tees off at 4:40 p.m. with Vijay Singh. The leaders don't go off until after 6 p.m. EST so we can have a prime time TV finish tonight. Great for folks back home, but not great for writers on deadline.
Woods will need to beat up on Pebble Beach's early holes if he is going to get into the thick of things. Seven shots can be overcome, but he'll need something around 67 or 68 today and hope that the leaders don't go low as well.
Can Mickelson put on a show today like he did in the third round of the Masters? If he does, he'll likely break that U.S. Open hex and be halfway to a Grand Slam.
Don't count out the Europeans, though. Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter are all within striking distance.
6:30 P.M. UPDATE:
Final groups are just now starting to tee off. Ominous start for Phil Mickelson: 3-putt first green for bogey.
Good scores can be had, though. Davis Love III shot 68. Tom Watson bogeyed two late and still shot 70.
Tiger Woods is even through 8; not the start he wanted.
7:30 P.M. UPDATE:
Graeme McDowell is running away with this thing.
OK, he's four shots up after birdies at first two holes, but still.
Mickelson is 2-over through 4. He needs to stop the bleeding, and soon.
Woods is hanging around, 1-under thru 12. He needs to make a couple more birdies coming in and hope the wind picks up later.
Dustin Johnson is still hanging in there. Most folks discounted his chances, but he knows how to play this course as a two-time AT&T winner.
9 P.M. UPDATE:
Dustin Johnson is the leader, but Tiger Woods is the one making the most noise.
This is why NBC wanted to show it in prime time on the East Coast.
Woods birdied eight holes Saturday to shoot 5-under 66 and vault into contention. He punched the air with his fist on a birdie at the 16th, and then he rolled in a tricky birdie at 17. On the 18th, he played a huge cut around a tree to hit the green in two. His eagle putt came up short.
Johnson played Nos. 4-7 in 4-under with an eagle and two birdies to overtake McDowell.
But right now, all eyes are on Tiger.
11:30 P.M. UPDATE:
While Tiger Woods played his best golf of the year with 5-under-par 66 to vault into contention, Dustin Johnson didn't back off. He seized the lead from Graeme McDowell with an eagle and two birdies on the front, and then held on over the final nine holes. He closed with birdies on his final two holes to shoot 66, which matched Woods and Phil Mickelson for low score of the tournament.
He'll be paired again today with McDowell, who shot 71 and is three shots behind Johnson.
Johnson, who grew up in the Columbia area and played his college golf at Coastal Carolina, is bidding to give South Carolina-raised golfers the last two national championships. Lucas Glover won in 2009.
The long-hitting Johnson doesn't plan to back off today. He'll continue to be aggressive, he said.
"Nothing's going to change for the game plan tomorrow," he said. "I like the driver and I'm going to hit it."
After bogeys at 9 and 13, Johnson curled in a birdie putt on the difficult 17th and gave a small fist pump with his right hand. Johnson will have plenty of positive experiences to draw on today; he's won the last two AT&T National Pro-Am events held at Pebble Beach.
"Ever since I first came here I really liked the place," Johnson said.
McDowell, the 36-hole leader, took advantage of the course setup and birdied the first two holes. He played even par the rest of the way until the 16th and 17th, where he suffered bogeys.
Woods will try to win a major for the first time in two years and for the first time when trailing after 54 holes.
"It does feel good to play this well going into a final round and I put myself back in the tournament," Woods said.
Although Woods has won all 14 of his majors while ahead, he does have an impressive comeback at Pebble Beach. He won the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after trailing by five with 18 to play, the same margin he'll have to overcome today.