Even after a bogey at the par-4 18th to go out in Even par-35, everything seemed in good order.
There is just one golfer who is under par at the halfway point of the tournament. After recording just three birdies through the first 30 holes, he nabbed four in a row on the back nine to move to seven over. It held the second U.S. Open in 1896, and then went 90 years until its next one. "Do you think", she asked, "he even realizes you're all British?" And what became of Russell Henley, one of three players tied with Johnson after the first round?
Having birdied three of the preceding four holes to close to within one of Johnson, it was the last thing the 42-year-old expected, particularly as the wind had dipped and Shinnecock Hills at last turned from merciless into (almost) charitable. His first nine holes included four bogeys, two double-bogeys and endless sighs of dismay.
Gregory wasn't the only player to suffer at the hands of the notoriously hard Long Island course, with big guns Phil Mickelson (77) Jordan Spieth (78) and Jason Day (79) also having nightmare rounds. If I would have putted like I did at the beginning of the year with this ball striking, that would be ideal. "I felt like i didn't hit that bad shots yesterday - I just wasn't prepared for those conditions". Charley Hoffman was under par until a bogey on his final hole. And why shouldn't he be?
Dustin Johnson handled the worst of the weather and wound up as the sole survivor to par at the U.S. Open, taking a four-shot lead into the weekend at Shinnecock Hills.
Tiger Woods, who is looking for his first major tournament victory in a decade, had 20-1 odds heading into the U.S. Open's first round Thursday. Gay won his fight, and by extension, Poulter, too; when the Tour recalculated on Gay's behalf, its math also rendered the other golfer eligible.
All three Canadians in the field missed the cut. In the two major events for which he qualified last season-the British Open and the PGA Championship-he made the cut, and on the year finished with $2,098,346 in winnings, more than he'd earned since 2009. At Erin Hills, there were 60 players under par after Round 1.
ESPN.com's Bob Harig noted that the average score of 76.47 on Thursday was the highest at the U.S. Open for a first round in a quarter of a century. Notes: Shinnecock Hills is hosting its fifth U.S. Open and fourth since 1986.
Woods joins several big names in leaving NY early as Jordan Spieth (9-over), Rory McIlroy (10-over), Sergio Garcia (14-over) and Martin Kaymer (18-over) all missed the cut. I enjoy the grind, really.
"I didn't putt well today", said Woods.
It was the sigh of a man who has seen rounds like this before, seen hard U.S. Open setups and almost bested them, but always left disappointed. I'm right here. I'm T-4.
"Absolutely", Woods said after a 36-hole total of 10 over.
While Johnson has a grasp of the course, the same can't be said for other stars. As his competitors dropped back on Friday, he took advantage.
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