Here is a recap of Thursday’s opening round at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.:
LEADING: There are four tied for the lead, with some serving as surprises. But one for sure is not.
That would be World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who was the outright leader after starting his afternoon 3 under through 11. He made late bogeys at Nos. 12 and 14 but still came out tied at the top by day’s end with a 1-under 69.
Johnson enters the week off a dominant six-shot win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic – a title he finished off with a walk-off hole-out eagle. Johnson hasn’t finished worse than T-17 in his last five starts, either. And he won the U.S. Open just two years ago.
But he’s not alone at the top through Round 1.
Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy came out in the morning and posted matching 1-under 69s to sit in a tie for the lead. The Englishman wasn’t the first name who came to mind as a leader, but it’s far from a total shock considering he’s finished top 20 in his last four starts and before that won the Houston Open.
Piercy, though, is straight out of left field. Yes, he finished T-2 at the 2016 U.S. Open, but Piercy was an alternate out of sectionals before getting in the Open field this week. He was so frustrated in his preparation Wednesday at Shinnecock that he walked off the course during his practice round.
But he figured things out (find out how here) and a day later is atop the leaderboard.
The final member is Russell Henley, who used an eagle-par-birdie-birdie stretch from Nos. 5-8 to reach 3 under and the outright lead in the afternoon. He double bogeyed the 10th and then chipped in for birdie at the 12th. A closing bogey meant a 1-under 69. Henley finished in a tie for 15th at the Masters, but he hasn’t had a top 25 since.
CHASING: Jason Dufner sits in solo fifth at Even par. Seven players are tied for sixth at 1 over. Among those are Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Sam Burns and Charles Howell III.
SHOT OF THE DAY: The perfect way to finish your round of 5-over 75, courtesy of Dean Burmester…
QUOTABLE: “I qualified last week, so I can’t be that bad.” – Scott Gregory following his opening 22-over 92
SHORT SHOTS: Xander Schauffele follows his breakout performance at last year’s U.S. Open with a 2-over 72 Thursday to sit T-13. … Will Grimmer, the Ohio State player returning to the U.S. Open for the first time since competing in the event as a 17-year-old in 2014, fires an opening 73 to sit T-19. That puts him in a tie for the low amateur spot (with LSU’s Luis Gagne) through Round 1. … Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler are also among those T-19 at 3 over. … Justin Thomas is T-37 at 4 over. … Defending champion Brooks Koepka fires a 75 and is T-47. … So many big names struggled. Among them: Phil Mickelson (7 over, T-88), Tiger Woods (8 over, T-101), Jordan Spieth (8 over, T-101), Jason Day (9 over, T-115) and Rory McIlroy (10 over, T-130).