Defending US Open champion Justin Rose came home in 33 for a level par 70 on Saturday but was frustrated by his short game and felt he could have broken par for the second successive round.
Rose, who shot a 69 on Friday, said: "I was frustrated because I dropped four shots in three holes with my short game around the turn.
"I knifed it out of the bunker on nine, which should have been a very routine up and down. I didn't get up and down from the front edge of 10, which was very routine.
The 12th was a little bit of a tougher up and down, but I still had the green to work with. Eight times out of 10, you'd be hopeful there.
"That's four shots that I just gave away like that, plus three-putting the first, so five shots. Allow yourself two mistakes and that three shots gets me a couple under.
"It allows me to dream going into tomorrow that it's possible. I think right now I have to accept that I'm probably playing for the places, but stranger things have happened. Today was the day I needed something special."
At one over par, Rose can be satisfied with his defence, but he is unlikely to become the first man to retain the US Open title since Curtis Strange in 1989.