BROOKLINE - Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa and fellow American Joel Dahmen shared the US Open lead as Saturday’s third round began with the top three in the world rankings Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler in hot pursuit.

The stage was set for high drama in the afternoon at The Country Club with several unheralded contenders also tossed into the mix at a historic 7,254-yard layout where golf has been played since the 1890s. Morikawa, chasing his third different major crown in as many years, and 130th-ranked Dahmen, whose lone PGA Tour win came last year in the Dominican Republic, were atop the leaderboard on five-under par 135 after 36 holes.

Defending champion Rahm, the world number two from Spain, and third-ranked McIlroy, a four-time major winner from Northern Ireland, were one back on 136 alongside Americans Hayden Buckley, Aaron Wise and Beau Hossler. Masters winner Scheffler, trying to match Tiger Woods as the only world number ones to win the US Open, was on 137 with US compatriots Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman.

Reigning British Open champion Morikawa, 25, also captured the 2020 PGA Championship and would be the fastest to claim three career major titles if he wins Sunday in his 11th major start. Australian Peter Thomson holds the record, having taken his third major triumph at the 1956 British Open in his 12th major appearance. “Game feels really good,” Morikawa said. “The last few days is a huge confidence booster.”

Dahmen, 34, is a cancer survivor who considered withdrawing from his final qualifier to rest for the PGA John Deere Classic. He played anyway and now leads the field by making 28 of 36 greens in regulation. “This is really cool, but it’s really all for naught if you go lay an egg on the weekend,” Dahmen said. “It would be really fun if I was doing this again Saturday and Sunday.”

McIlroy, 33, seeks his first major victory since 2014. He took last week’s US PGA Canadian Open and could become the first player since 1934 to win the week before and then capture the US Open. Rahm, 27, could become only the second player from outside the United States to win back-to-back US Opens after Scotsman Willie Anderson took three from 1903-1905.

Scheffler, 25, has won four times this year and could become the first man to win two majors in the same year since Brooks Koepka in 2018. He would be the first to manage the US Open-Masters double since Jordan Spieth in 2015 and just the seventh ever after Spieth, Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Craig Wood.

World number 259 Buckley, 26, has missed the cut 11 times with only one top-60 finish over the past four months. Hossler, 27, had two PGA runner-up efforts in 2018 at Houston and the Travelers Championship and the world number 162’s best finish since came in February, third at Pebble Beach. South Afican-born Wise, 25, moved to America with his family at age three and was a college star. His only PGA win came at the 2018 Byron Nelson.

The US Open was the first matchup of Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series players against US PGA Tour talent after the US Golf Association refused to ban rebels despite PGA suspensions imposed when they played last week’s LIV Golf debut event in England. Only four of 15 LIV Golf entrants made the cut to 64, with two-time major winner Dustin Johnson and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed on 141 and 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and England’s Richard Bland on 142. LIV players were a combined 89-over par for the first two rounds, with such notables as six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia missing the cut.