ARDMORE, Penn. (June 15, 2013) -- One of the greatest parts of the U.S. Open for golf nuts is the ability to watch the next crop of up-and-coming amateurs against the biggest and brightest stars of the professional ranks.
On Day 3 of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, it's clear that the remaining amateurs didn't come just for the experience. No, they came to contend.
And that's just what one is as the fourth and final round is set to tee off early Sunday.
Michael Kim, an incoming senior at Cal and the recent recipient of the Haskins Award for the top player in college golf, played extremely well on Saturday. He closed out an even-par 70 in the second round and then shot 1-over 71 in his third round. That puts Kim alone in 10th place, just five off the lead. He'll tee off at 2:36 p.m. Sunday alongside fellow California kid and former top amateur Rickie Fowler.
Cheng-Tsung Pan, a to-be junior at Washington, shot 72 in Round 2 and followed it with a third-round 75, which put him in a tie for 31st. He'll tee off alongside John Huh at 12:24.
Recent North Florida graduate Kevin Phelan of Ireland led the amateur race for much of the first two days. While he made the cut, he struggled with 77-78 in the second and third rounds and will tee off in a tie for 65th. He'll play alongside Peter Hedblom.
Mike Weaver, the Cal teammate of Kim, is also tied for 65th. He shot 78 in the third round and will tee off at 9:28 with John Peterson.