It was a rough opening round at the U.S. Open Thursday, where only four players managed to stay under par… barely. Dustin Johnson, Russell Henley, Ian Poulter, and Scott Piercy finished the day in a four-way tie for first at 1-under par. Jason Dufner came in at even-par.
Many of the favorites and players to watch found themselves well down the leaderboard when the day ended.
The marquee group of Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy had their problems. Mickelson (77) was the best of the bunch, one stroke ahead of Spieth (78) and three strokes ahead of McIlroy (80). It was McIlroy’s worst opening round for a major in his career.
Tiger Woods, who played with Johnson and Justin Thomas in another marquee group, started the day with a triple-bogey and added two double-bogeys later. He finished with an 8-over par 78, well behind Johnson, who actually managed to stay bogey-free. Thomas put up a respectable (for this course on this day) 4-over 74.
Wind was a factor; it’s always something at Shinnecock Hills. After calm conditions in the days leading up, players had to deal with 15-20 mph gusts and ballooning scores as a result. Day 1 included 189 double-bogeys or worse.