The American can turn into the primary participant to win the US Open on his debut within the main since novice Francis Ouimet in 1913 and the primary skilled to attain the feat.
He would even be the youngest US Open champion because the legendary Bobby Jones in 1923 and match the achievement of Jordan Spieth, who claimed the coveted crown as a 21-year-old in 2015.
“It is actually early in my profession, however I really feel like I’ve the sport to win,” Wolff mentioned. “I really feel like I am able to win out right here and win a serious.”
Wolff, already a winner on the PGA Tour final 12 months in his first season, began the day 4 photographs adrift of the chief Patrick Reed however by reaching the midway level of his spherical in simply 30 photographs — five-under-par — he was making a serious assertion of intent.
He shared the lead at that time with Reed, who went to his flip in 34, however the 2018 Masters champion fell away disastrously on the again 9, ending with a 77 after a string of bogeys and a double bogey to complete the day at three-over-par.
Reed’s enjoying accomplice Bryson DeChambeau emerged as the largest menace to Wolff’s lead, with birdies on the 16th and 17th leaving him only one adrift of Wolff, solely to undo that good work with a ending bogey for a level-par 70.
Massive-hitting DeChambeau can be searching for his first main and like Wolff completed tied for fourth at Harding Park in San Francisco within the opening main of a truncated season.
“The previous two majors I’ve performed in I have been proper in competition,” he mentioned after his spherical.
“It is positively validating, albeit there’s much more to go. I’ve acquired to determine much more. I’m excited to be on this place for certain. There isn’t any higher place to be,” he added.
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa is 2 photographs additional again with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and two Individuals, Xander Schauffele and Harris English, within the group at degree par, 5 adrift of the lead.
A robust problem may additionally come from Northern Eire’s Rory McIlroy, one among solely six gamers to interrupt par in one other tough day on the famed Winged Foot course.
His two-under 68 left him on 211 — one-over-par — and with he believes a practical probability of including to his tally of 4 majors.
“If I am inside six going into tomorrow that is not rather a lot on this golf course. I really feel like I am proper in it,” he mentioned.
Different huge names slipped nonetheless additional off the tempo, with first spherical chief Justin Thomas carding a 76 to face four-over-par, one higher than world primary Dustin Johnson, who shot 72.
Greatest spherical of the day got here from Sweden’s Alex Noren, a three-under 67, whereas England’s Paul Casey, runner-up to Morikawa within the PGA Championship, confirmed good type within the majors once more by coming residence in simply 30 photographs for an unlikely 69.
They are going to all be taking pictures for Wolff, like Morikawa a product of the Southern Californian golf scene, however who has an added incentive to carry the trophy.
Wolff revealed after this spherical that his agent was battling abdomen most cancers, having been not too long ago identified.
“I have been occupied with him rather a lot on the market. He does not need anybody to really feel unhealthy for him, however like I mentioned, it simply places issues in perspective,” mentioned Wolff.
“And I’ll go on the market, attempt to make him proud and go have time,” he added.