Tiger Tracker: Round 1 at U.S. Open
Thursday, June 14, 2012
2012 U.S. Open: Wednesday's practice round
Check out photos from Wednesday's practice round at the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club.
SAN FRANCISCO – In the marquee group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, Tiger is the only player to finish in red numbers, at 1 under after Thursday at the U.S. Open.
Mickelson, a five-time U.S. Open runner-up, lost a ball on his opening tee shot, made three consecutive bogeys and finished 6 at Olympic Club.
Watson, the Masters champion, finished at 8 over -- nearly last on the leaderboard among the early starters.
Woods, the most scrutinized member of the star pairing, played steady on his opening 10 holes -- he began on No. 9 -- making the turn in even par, two shots off the early lead. He began to heat up later in his round, with consecutive birdies on Nos. 4 and 5, and maintained solid play to tie for second among the early group.
Check out our Tracker to see how he did it, and how some of the other players are faring Day 1 of the U.S. Open:
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Leaderboard update, 7:50 p.m. EDT
A few notables have made moves to the top of the leaderboard. Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose are all at 1 under, along with John Peterson, Ryo Ishikawa, James Hahn, Brian Gaffney, Tiger Woods and David Toms, who are both finished for the day. Fowler began his day with seven pars and has gone bogey-birdie-birdie in his last three holes. He's now on No. 1. As for the trio of Lee Westwood, Rory McIlory and Luke Donald, things haven't gone nearly as well. The group is through 10 holes with McIlroy and Westwood at 4 over and Donald at 5 over.
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Leaderboard update, 6:30 p.m. EDT
Nick Watney bogeyed four of his first eight holes and was at 3 over entering the par-5 17th. That was until Watney's second shot found the bottom of the cup for a double eagle, which moves him back to even par.
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Leaderboard update, 5:30 p.m. EDT
As the afternoon waves continue to tee off, here's how some notables are doing so far: Former LSU star John Peterson, Peter Lawrie and Ryo Ishikawa lead the afternoon golfers at 1 under - three behind clubhouse leader Michael Thompson. Martin Kaymer, Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar are all even through three holes. Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson are even through one. Oregon men's coach Casey Martin is 4 over after five holes. The par-3 third is the only hole he has par at. Defending champ Rory McIlroy is 1 over after a bogey to start the day at No. 1. He is through three holes playing with Luke Donald (2 over) and Lee Westwood (3 over).
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Leaderboard update, 4:20 p.m. EDT
Casey Martin opened his round with a bogey at the par-4 first hole.
Jeff Curl joined David Toms, Tiger Woods and Alistair Presnell at 1 under. Curl is through two holes.
• • •
No. 8, Par 3, 200 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger catches the ball a bit heavy, landing the ball in the front of the green. He will face a difficult two-putt.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger knocks his birdie attempt to within several feet of the hole, and saves par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 18.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Michael Thompson is now three shots clear of the field and is in the clubhouse at 4 under.
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No. 7, Par 4, 288 yards
OFF THE TEE: After a bit of a delay on the tee waiting for other groups to finish, Tiger hits 3-wood off the tee. He miss hits the ball down the right, possibly the result of the 15-minute wait.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger lands in a bunker.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger manages to get it up and down to save par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 17.
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No. 6, Par 4, 489 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits 2-iron off the tee straight down the fairway.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger hits 6-iron from 224 yards. He lands in a bunker to the left of the green.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger gets the ball out of the bunker but looks disappointed with his shot.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger has a difficult par attempt. He fails to get up and down, falling to one under.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 16.
FROM SEAN MARTIN: Olympic Club’s par-3 13th, notably it’s shaved slope left of the green, drew criticism before the tournament for the potential to deliver too harsh a penalty for a slight miss.
In other news, Michael Thompson is your U.S. Open leader at 3 under par through 15 holes. Thompson has a good history at Olympic Club. He was runner-up here in the 2007 U.S. Amateur. The man who beat him in that event, Colt Knost, also was in Thompson’s threesome on Thursday. Knost was 5 over par.
Thompson played in one previous U.S. Open, in 2008. He tied for 29th in 2008 at Torrey Pines to earn low-amateur honors. Olympic Club favors a left-to-right ball-flight, which is Thompson’s preferred shot. He also performs best at on courses where par is a premium. That’s working thus far at Olympic.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Tiger isn't the only one who just moved to 2 under. David Toms birdied the par-4 fourth to move to within a shot of the lead.
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No. 5, Par 4, 498 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger goes with an iron on this long par 4 in order to keep it in the fairway. He asks for camera people to move back, as he wants to take this shot down the right side.
The ball lands in the right side of the fairway, but the severe slope causes it to roll down to the left side.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger hits 5-iron from 235 yards. The ball lands in the center of the green and rolls towards the back.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger faces a right-to-left birdie attempt with a significant amount of break. He holes the putt, falling further into the red.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 15.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Some minor shuffling going on atop the leaderboard as Michael Thompson moves to 3 under. Jason Bohn and Rafael Cabrera-Bello are T-2 at 2 under. Tiger is one of six golfers at 1 under. Also, 17-year-old Beau Hossler, is at even through 15 holes.
• • •
No. 4, Par 4, 438 yards
OFF THE TEE: On this sharp dogleg-left hole, Tiger hits iron off the tee, playing a high-right shot that lands in the first cut of rough.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger is 178 yards from the hole, but the wind is causing this shot to play closer to 188. He hits a low punch with his 7-iron. This creative shot lands on the green several feet from the hole.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger makes a right-to-left birdie putt to get into the red.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 14.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil three-putts for a sixth bogey, moving to 5 over. Bubba remains at 7 over.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Michael Thompson and Rafael Cabrera-Bello have moved to 2 under. Thompson birdied Nos. 11 and 12 while Cabrera Bello had a birdie on the par-5 16th.
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No. 3, Par 3, 247 yards
Tiger's playing some pretty stress-free golf. He has some downtime as he waits on the third tee, just enough time to eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich to stay fueled.
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits 7-iron, which turns out not to be enough club as the ball lands in the first cut of rough just in front of the green.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger hits an aggressive, yet crisp, flop shot out of the rough, landing just near the hole.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger pours his must-make putt in to remain at even.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 13.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil makes a fifth-straight par to remain at 4 over. Bubba makes a bogey, moving to 7 over.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Jason Bohn (3 under) now leads the field by two strokes after Kevin Na's double on the par-3 third hole to move back to even.
• • •
No. 2, Par 4, 428 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits a bullet 3-iron down the left side of the fairway.
SECOND SHOT: With 163 yards to the flag, Tiger hits a full 8-iron. He lands several feet below the hole.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger pulls his short birdie attempt from this line by a hair and the ball turns around the hole. He taps in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 12.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Branden Grace has fallen out of the lead after a bogey on the par-4 first hole and a double on the par-4 second, which he began with a tee shot that went way left and then hit his second shot into some more trees. Just as Grace falls back to even, Jason Bohn moves into the lead at 3 under through 11 holes.
Michael Allen makes the shot of the day so far with an eagle on the par-4 14th. He moves to even for the tournament, going on to stick his tee shot on the par-3 15th to within a few feet.
• • •
No. 1, Par 4, 520 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger lands his tee shot in the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger hits a great 8-iron that lands just near the pin, but rolls off the back of the green. Tiger looks pleased with the shot, though.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger putts from just off the green. He pulls the putt to the left, but is able to tap in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 11.
• • •
No. 18, Par 4, 344 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits a mid-iron, aiming left and fading the ball into the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger makes good contact but lands his wedge in the front of the green.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger has a long put over a slight ridge in the green, but leaves himself in a good place just below the hole. He makes par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 10.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Bubba Watson makes double and is 3 over in his last four holes. He currently is at 5 over with eight holes left. Mickelson saves par again, but is at 4 over.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Padraig Harrington is 2 under through his last three holes thanks to birdies on Nos. 13 and 14. He moves to 1 under, two strokes behind leader Branden Grace. Kevin Na's bogey on No. 18 has dropped him back to T-2 with Jason Bohn.
Patrick Cantlay entered the Open as one of the favorites to win low amateur honors. Well, he has some work to do after a rough start. Cantlay has bogeyed four of his last five holes. He is through seven holes after starting on No. 1.
• • •
No. 17, Par 5, 522 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger sets up left and hits 3-wood. He lands a stinger in the right short rough.
SECOND SHOT: With 179 yards to the front of the green, Tiger hits a fade from the first cut of rough to the front of the green.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger paces his approach putt well, but leaves it three feet above the hole. He makes his birdie putt.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 9.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Kevin Na misses a long eagle putt on the par-5 17th. He settles for birdie to move back to 3 under. Branden Grace, playing with Na, put his second shot about 7 feet past the hole and makes eagle to move into a share of the lead.
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No. 16, Par 5, 670 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger tees it up on the right side of the tee box. He lands his driver on the right side of the fairway.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger plays a cut inside the tree line, landing on the right side of the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: With the breeze in his face and an uphill shot to the green, Tiger plays a high, soft fade with a wedge. His distance control with the short irons has been off all day, as he lands on the back of the green above the pin.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger has a long, downhill 35-foot putt. He controls the speed well and finishes with a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 8.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Kevin Na suffered his first setback of the tournament, bogeying the par-5 16th to fall back to 2 under. He is tied with Jason Bohn, who missed a birdie putt on No. 8.
• • •
No. 15, Par 3, 154 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger sets up to the left and hits 8-iron. The ball pitches on the corner of a nob on the right side of the green and rolls to the back of the green.
ON THE GREEN: The green is very fast. Tiger paces the putt well, leaving it just past the hole on the right. He holes a short slider for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 7.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Kevin Na continues to find early success, holing about a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th to move to 3 under.
Adam Scott has gotten off to a rough start with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 2 - both par 4s.
• • •
No. 14, Par 4, 419 yards
OFF THE TEE: This hole has a tight fairway, so Tiger plays a low 3-iron straight down the dogleg-left fairway.
SECOND SHOT: Tiger tries to play a soft fade but, in another case of poor distance control, gets on top of it and blades the ball to behind the green.
AROUND THE GREEN: Tiger is forced to take a drop inside a drop zone. He has a lot of green to work with with his pitch shot, but the severe downhill slope of the green makes this a delicate shot. His ball releases toward the hole, but lands above the pin.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger misses his par putt.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 6.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Kevin Na has claimed sole possession of the lead at 2 under. Na birdied the par-4 14th and also had a birdie on No. 10. He has no bogeys through six holes.
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No. 13, Par 3, 199 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger's ball hits the right fringe around the green and kicks left, rolling onto the green.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger aims a good five feet to the right of the hole. His pace is good, but the ball doesn't break as much as he expected. He taps it in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 5.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil makes a much-needed birdie (the first of the group) to fall to 2 over. Bubba makes a par.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Zach Johnson joins the leaders at 1 under after a birdie at No. 1.
Andy Zhang's Open didn't start how he had hoped. The 14-year-old and youngest Open competitor in history tripled the par-4, 520-yard No. 1 hole to start his day at 3 over.
• • •
No. 12, Par 4, 451 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger, looking very much in control, hits 3-wood off the tee and lands in the right side of the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger eats a banana as he walks down the fairway to his drive. With 136 yards, Tiger misjudges the distance and trajectory on his wedge shot and lands on the back of the green above the pin. For the first time in this round, Tiger will be the first to putt, as Phil and Bubba landed their shots close to the pin.
ON THE GREEN: If Tiger hits his putt too hard it will roll off the green. However, he is very much in control and paces the long birdie attempt very well, tapping in for another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 4.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil cards his first par of the round.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Branden Grace bogeys No. 12 to fall back into a six-way tie for first along with Scott Piercy, Jason Bohn, David Toms, Joe Ogilvie and Kevin Na.
• • •
No. 11, Par 4, 430 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits a low-stinging driver off the tee, but lands in the short rough on the right. He and Phil converse as they walk down the fairway.
APPROACH SHOT: With 145 yards to the front and 170 to the hole, Tiger hits a controlled 8-iron to the center of the green.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger aims a foot to the left, but doesn't quite catch it and the ball breaks to the right. He taps it in for a par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thu 3.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil three-putts to make a third-straight bogey. He missed about a 5-foot par putt. Watson also bogeys the hole to fall back to 2-over.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Branden Grace is the new leader at 2 under through three holes. After a par at the par-4 ninth, Grace had birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. 17-year-old Beau Hossler is even through three holes. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Hossler's playing partner, Scott Langley, who is 4-over after three.
• • •
No. 10, Par 4, 424 yards
OFF THE TEE: Tiger hits driver off the tee with, setting himself up for a short wedge shot to the green.
APPROACH SHOT: Tiger's wedge shot lands on the green and releases toward the back. The green is still moist, which prevents his ball from checking.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger's birdie attempt turns to the left; he taps it in for another seemingly effortless par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 2.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil makes a long putt to for another bogey, while Bubba makes par.
• • •
No. 9, Par 4, 449 yards
Tiger, Phil and Bubba walk to the tee on a foggy, 55 degree morning. There's no conversation; the three are ready to get down to business. Tiger is wearing gray pants, a gray sweater and a white hat. For this marquee group, there are at least four FBI agents and seven uniformed San Francisco police officers, with the possibility of more security being added throughout the round.
OFF THE TEE: On this dogleg-right hole, Tiger hits driver off the tee and is the only one in his group to land in the fairway.
SECOND SHOT: With 126 yards to the flag, Tiger lands his second shot on the right side of the green. The ball feeds down, leaving Tiger with a putt that will break eight to nine feet.
ON THE GREEN: Tiger's sloping right-to-left birdie putt just skims by the front of the hole. He taps it in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 1.
PLAYING COMPETITORS: Phil puts his tee shot right into some cypress trees. After five minutes of trying to locate his ball, he was forced to walk back to the tee and re-hit. He would bogey the hole after sticking his fourth shot about 4 feet from the cup. Bubba found the left rough on his tee shot and ended up with a bogey as well.
ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Only two pairings are through their first hole and Matt Bettencourt is the only player with a score of par or better. He birdied the par-4 ninth hole and has an early two-shot lead.
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Check out all of our preview coverage:
• • •
Update #1: 7:02 a.m. PDT
The first players have taken to the tee, with Shane Bertsch taking the first swing of the 2012 U.S. Open. It is chilly in San Francisco, with a dense marine layer overhead. Temperatures are still below 50 degrees with a light, but cool wind. Forecasts call for a high of around 72, but that will not be until mid-afternoon.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson are all on the range, with about 30 minutes until they tee off of No. 9.
• • •
2012 U.S. Open: Wednesday coverage
• Who will win it all? Our staff of eight writers and editors take a crack at who they think will win the 2012 U.S. Open. Picks.
• Boys to men: On the surface, Brooks and Chase Koepka have had a banner eight months with four titles between them. But, life off the course has been anything but easy for the talented brothers. Story. Plus, Brooks Koepka's U.S. Open in photos.
• Wednesday, in photos: Check out the final practice round through the eyes of a photographer. Pictures.
• Gold standard: To pay tribute to a four-time U.S. Open champion, the USGA renamed its gold medal in honor of Jack Nicklaus on Wednesday in San Francisco. Story.
• The short of it: Alvaro Quiros' season has been a struggle. The reason? The Spaniard's long game far outshines his short game, as evidenced by the hole-in-one albatross he made on the seventh hole at Olympic during a U.S. Open Wednesday practice round. Story.
• Roughing it: The rough at Olympic Club can be best summarized in one word: "inconsistent." You might get lucky, you might not. It'll make for good theater come Thursday morning. Story.
• The best man: Four players have won a U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. But has any player been the right winner? Commentary.
• 5 Things: Is Rory McIlroy back on track? Who will stand out among the pairing of Tiger-Phil-Bubba? And, just how killer are those first six holes at Olympic Club? Story.
• • •
2012 U.S. Open: Tuesday coverage
• Pairings party: Tiger-Phil-Bubba. Donald-McIlroy-Westwood. K.J.-K.T.-Y.E. Someone at the USGA is simply having some fun with the pairings, but do we benefit by it? Story.
• Andy's new world: Andy Zhang stole headlines across the world during the past 24 hours as the youngest player in U.S. Open history, but that only begins to tell the 14-year-old's story. Commentary.
• A day with Zhang: Go behind the scenes with Andy Zhang. Photos.
• Friendly upset: Two days before Phil Mickelson plays the U.S. Open’s headline pairing with Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson, he played a practice round with teenagers Beau Hossler and Alberto Sanchez, who beat Mickelson and club pro Mike McCormick 1 up. Story.
• Major anticipation: After a whirlwind travel schedule and a couple changes on the course, Lee Westwood figures to be well-suited for Olympic's test. Story.
• Shifting the narrative: After an up-and-down season, at this point, a win, a missed cut or a 30th place at the U.S. Open from Tiger Woods won't be a surprise. Story.
• 'He earned it:' It took Colt Knost five seasons to qualify for his first major, but his first majors appearance couldn't have come at a better place. Story.
• Back at home: Michael Allen was also at Olympic Club at the age of 14 - as a member; meanwhile, Steve Stricker reflects on 1998. Notes.
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2012 U.S. Open: Monday coverage
• Making history: Andy Zhang, 14, will be the youngest player to ever play in the U.S. Open, receiving a spot in the field after Paul Casey withdrew due to injury. Story.
• Spieth is in: PGA Tour veteran Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the 2012 U.S. Open due to a rib injury and will be replaced by University of Texas star Jordan Spieth. Story.
• 5 Things: Did you know that Casey Martin won $192 off Tiger Woods? Here are 5 Things you probably didn't know about one of the stars of this week's U.S. Open. Story.
• Mighty Casey: Casey Martin might walk with a limp and use a cart to get around, but our Jim Achenbach says that the Oregon coach embraces it all with grace and dignity. Commentary.
• Amateur hour: From Patrick Cantlay to Beau Hossler, our Sean Martin takes a look at the eight amateurs in the field at the 2012 U.S. Open. Profiles.
• No joke: Dennis Miller - no, not the comedian - is living in a fairy tale and has no intention of leaving it this week at the U.S. Open in San Francisco. Story.
• • •
2012 U.S. Open preview
• He's in: The last week certainly has been a rollercoaster ride for Spencer Levin, culminating with an invitation into the U.S. Open next week at The Olympic Club. Story.
• Opening-round pairings: Among the notable pairings for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, one in particular stands out: the group of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods. Pairings, tee times.
• The complete field: The 151 players who have qualified for the 112th U.S. Open, to be played June 14-17 at The Olympic Club. Story.
• How do alternates get in? The USGA's priority list for U.S. Open spots, should exempt players withdraw, isn't as subjective as it might seem says our Jim McCabe. Story.
• Hole-by-hole breakdown: Our golf-course expert Bradley S. Klein offers insight on what to watch for at the Lake Course at Olympic Club, site of this week's U.S. Open. Story.
• Keep an eye on these guys: A look at 10 players (outside the top 10 in the world ranking) to watch at next week’s U.S. Open in San Francisco, according to our Ryan Lavner. Story.
• Full tilt: The Olympic Club has tested its fair share of golfers with its reverse-camber fairways. Much of the same is expected at this week's U.S. Open says our Bradley Klein. Story.
• Fresh meat: Touring pros have to start somewhere. But for U.S. Open rookies, like Bobby Gates (above) was in 2010, any pretense of a gilded life can meet a rough reality. Story.
• 'I think I won:' Forty-six years after his stunning comeback against Arnold Palmer to win the 1966 U.S. Open, Billy Casper is fine with the way history views his victory at The Olympic Club. Story.
• Olympic circus: So much drama - hot drivers, a disabled golfer in a cart and a carnival hole location - overshadowed the '98 Open. Story.
• Early favorite: A look at the odds for the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, set to be played June 14-17, 2012. Odds.
• Did you know? Facts and figures for the 112th U.S. Open golf championship at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Story.