Simpson content to sit and wait at 3 over
"It was a good day all around," Simpson said after his round. "I made a bunch of putts early, really hit it good on the back nine.
"The last couple of days, or first couple of days, were a little tougher; we scraped it around a little more. But I kept the ball in front of me today and was able to make some putts."
Since having a breakout year in 2011 in which he had two wins and 12 top-10s, the former Wake Forest star came into this season poised to contend in the majors. Last year at Congressional in his first U.S. Open, he had a tie for 14th. At the Masters in April, he shot a final-round 78 to finish in a tie for 44th. But now he has a good chance to win the U.S. Open.
He'll have to wait a few more hours before he can devise a strategy for Sunday.
"I'll come up with a game plan tonight a little more after I see the scores, see what the guys are doing, and if they make a run and I'm five back the game plan might change a little," Simpson said. "But if I'm only a couple back going into tomorrow, we'll come out and try to do the same thing."
Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.