How difficult was Pinehurst playing in Round 3 of the 2014 US Open?

Phil Mickelson's 72 on Saturday actually wasn't bad. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson's 72 on Saturday actually wasn't bad. (Getty Images)

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There were two scores under par in the third round at the US Open after 36 combined in the first two days.

Let's compare that to the first two US Opens at Pinehurst.

1999: One third round under par
2005: Two third rounds under par

So that's four total rounds over par on Saturday at the US Open at Pinehurst. I think we've established that the third round at Pinehurst is ridiculously difficult. 

The scoring was up over the first two rounds by nearly a stroke (remember, these are the better players who made the cut).

Here's what a few of the golfers had to say about it (third round score in parentheses).

Webb Simpson (73): "They pretty much tipped us out on every hole except for one or two, maybe. It was really difficult, much, much more difficult than the first two days.

Kenny Perry (74): " I tell you what, it's, it was a golf course of 18 of the toughest pins I've ever seen. It was probably the hardest setup I've ever experienced in a Major Championship.

Phil Mickelson (72): "Yeah, there -- I kept waiting. Well, I can't get to this one, I'll get to maybe the next hole. Can't get to this one, I'll get to the next hole. Finally, we got to the 18th and I'm like I can get to the pin (laughter)"

Ernie Els (72): "Well, I wouldn't call a 72 a low score."

The Els one killed me. It was actually tied for the 14th-best round of the day.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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