By the end of the day, they found themselves sharing the lead with Johnson and defending champion Brooks Koepka, having trailed Johnson by 11 shots when they stood on the first tee.
Fowler, who started the day 13 shots off the lead, posted the lowest round of the tournament, tapping in for birdie at 18. "There was maybe only one or two flags that I felt like were maybe got a little dicey this afternoon, but the rest of them were fine".
The USGA might have lost the golf course, and the tournament's overwhelming leader.
In the second-last group Tommy Fleetwood and Charley Hoffman shot 77 and 78 respectively.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat had the only other round under par.
Fleetwood bogeyed the ninth, but he dominated the 12th through 15 holes, birdieing each one to move himself to two over.
"I feel my game is made for championship golf", said the long-hitting Finau, who believes he is developing a complete, all-round game.
"I wanted 62", he said.
The US Open has a "last man standing" feel about it we are about to find out who the toughest grinder in the game is. He entered the final day in a four-way tie at 3 over and was still only one stroke behind Koepka when they made the turn.More news: Trump Moves to Retaliate Against China's Retaliation for New Tariffs
More news: XXXTentacion shot in Miami, has no pulse, TMZ reports
More news: Bank of International Settlements shoots a withering look at bitcoin and peers
Johnson headed into the final weekend of the 2018 U.S. Open with a steady lead on the field, and appears to have a good chance to win his second major.
In the most freaky moment of the tournament, Phil Mickelson was so exasperated by a runaway putt that he jogged over to it and hit it back at the hole before it stopped moving. Early risers Daniel Berger and Tony Finau both shot 66s. It was the first time since 2013 at Merion that no one broke par, and it was nine shots more than his winning score at Erin Hills. He was one of four players to finish under par in the first round.
Phil Mickelson's reputation after he admitted deliberately hitting a moving ball on the 13th green to gain an advantage - and then told critics of his move to "toughen up". The schedule now says that it will be showing a live stream of featured groups every single day, as well as shots at holes, 7, 9 and 11.
"I've never seen golf course change that quickly", Rose said. "But there is no doubt, if you look at how this morning played vs. this afternoon, it was a tale of two golf courses", Davis said.
Johnson, four-under and leading by four heading into the round, was in trouble early with his first double bogey of the week at the par three second. Koepka took 14 fewer putts than Johnson on the weekend. "It's something very special to shoot 63 in a US Open".
Gretzky was at Oakmont two years ago but had to leave before the final round when Johnson won the U.S. Open.
"I barely made the cut", marveled Finau, who has one PGA Tour win.
Mickelson said he knew the action would bring a two-shot penalty, and that he had hit the ball to prevent it from rolling all the way off the green and to behind a bunker.
After one fan near the 8th green blurted out, "Nobody likes you, dude!" the response was tenfold, with a chorus of "Everyone loves you, Pat!" and "I love you Patrick!" drowning out the naysayer.