SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):
Paul Casey is taking a big step toward nailing down a spot in the Olympics.
Casey is No. 19 in the world, a fraction ahead of fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick. Casey made it back to even par for the U.S. Open with a 31 on the front nine at Torrey Pines. Fitzpatrick was 4 over through his first five holes and seven shots behind Casey.
Countries get two players for the Olympics next month, with a maximum of four if they are among the top 15 in the world. This is the final week before the 60-man field is set.
The leading British player is Tyrrell Hatton, who has not indicated if he plans to go to Tokyo.
Jordan Spieth is playing alongside Casey. He also had four birdies on the front nine, along with a bogey on No. 4 when he missed the fairway. Spieth was 1 over for the tournament.
It could be an indication of decent scoring opportunities for the rest of the field. Casey and Spieth will be done with the third round about 90 minutes before the final group even tees off.
Saturday is moving day at the U.S. Open, and this one could be fascinating.
The co-leaders are 48-year-old Richard Bland and Russell Henley at 5-under par. Bland is playing his fourth major, one each in the last four decades. Henley has played 26 majors without registering a top 10.
Behind them is a long list of star power and experience. Twenty players are separated by five shots, and six of them are major champions. That includes Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. They have won three of the last four U.S. Opens.
Rory McIlroy is six shots behind and believes he's very much in the mix. Phil Mickelson is another shot back and feels the same way.
In early play, Jordan Spieth has had two birdie putts inside 6 feet to start his third round and made one of them.
More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports