Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth among favorites with $12M at stake

Aubrey Yates
June 16, 2018

A glance at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.

Dustin Johnson, Russell Henley, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy finished the first round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in a four-way tie, all at 1-under par.

The worst of the wind on day one, a prolonged bout of rain on day two, coping with the raucous hordes following his playing partner Woods....it all made no difference to Johnson who made the 14-time major champion look old by comparison. At the par-4 13th, he four-putted on his way to a 78.

His reaction said it all, and it mostly said "I can not believe I just made a birdie and an eagle over the final two holes and still shot a 75".

'I'll take that score and run, ' said Fleetwood, who played with the eventual champion Brooks Koepka in the final round a year ago. 1 was phenomenal last weekend in Memphis and cruised to a six-shot victory, and he has yet to falter through 36 holes at the U.S. Open. All but one - Tom McNamara in 1909 - went on to win. He wasn't flawless, but he was under par - barely - and shared the lead at 1-under 69 in an opening round of strong wind, high anxiety and scores that made this feel like a U.S. Open again.

No matter the weather, Shinnecock can punish anyone in a NY minute.

Other notables: Phil Mickelson shot a 77, Jordan Spieth a 78 and Rory McIlroy an 80. He made bogey on his last hole for a 72.

"Overall. very, very good and I am happy to be off the course", he said. "So, yes, I felt stupid knifing the first one".

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He produced some good-quality golf and I think if he is being realistic, he can take a lot out of that going into the Open Championship at Carnoustie next month.

"Unfortunately, it's just what I've done the last few events; I just haven't putted well", he said.

And that was when you could get the ball to stay on the surface. "If you're on the putting green and you haven't seen him, you can still hear that he's around".

Down the stretch, Woods' round frayed like a kite tail in Shinnecock's 32-kilometre-an-hour gusts.

Not one of them is in the top 30 with only Aaron Baddeley and Marc Leishman, who both shot four-over par 74s, remotely in contention. He still missed the cut in a major for the fifth time in his last eight tries, this time by two shots. U.S. Open golf - and especially this golf course - is extremely tricky. Jason Day opened with a 79 and missed the cut. He was 14 over for the tournament through the first 27 holes after posting two bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine on Friday.

McIlroy was the only one of the group to par the 10th hole before he started a brutal four-hole streak of bogey, bogey, double bogey, double bogey.

In total Gregory only carded three pars on the day, and no score below bar.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka made six birdies over his last 11 holes for a 66, matching Tommy Fleetwood for the low round of the tournament.

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