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What he’s done already this week means something. Yang cobbled together a steady round on Saturday — 15 pars, two birdies, one bogey. At most U.S. Opens, it would be precisely the brand of golfing survivalism the traditionally difficult tournament rewards.

Instead, his deficit grew two shots and left the 2009 PGA champion with an amusingly candid outlook on the final round.

“I’ll try and catch up with Rory as much as possible, as much as I can,” Yang said. “But if he doesn’t let go, it’s going to be a race for second place. I’m playing some good golf right now, actually. There are some areas that I need improvement. But at the same time, I can’t complain at the score I have right now on this type of course. Let the best second place win.”