As tough as Chambers Bay Golf Club was supposed to play as the host of the
Johnson made his push on the front nine with four birdies in the first seven holes. Stenson got his on the back with four in the last five holes.
One of the biggest surprises of the day though was amateur Brian Campbell, who qualified for the U.S. Open at the Newport Beach sectional, who was tied at third at four-under through 15 holes with six birdies.
Don't sleep on
The 21-year-old put together a string of three birdies to climb up to 3 under for a tie at sixth through 13 holes at the U.S. Open.
Spieth had a 17-foot putt for birdie on the par 4 No. 13 after his two approach shots on holes 11 and 12 set him up for short, easy puts of 12-inches and four feet.
Woods is at 10 over through 14. Rickie Fowler (+9) and
Woodland has been sick since Sunday according to the Associated Press and needed IV fluids before he started the first round on Thursday.
Woodland agent said he hopes to return for the second round Friday.
Ben Martin is no longer alone in his efforts to chase down
After settling for a bogey on his second hole (the 11th), Kevin Kisner has rallied back with four birdies on the back nine. Martin birdied his seventh hole to get to 4 under, tied for third.
It's early, but amateur Brian Campbell, who qualified for the championship at the Newport Beach sectional, is 3 under with three birdies through his first seven holes.
On the other end of the spectrum,
Will anyone match or catch
Well, Ben Martin is off to a good start at 3 under after three holes. He did it with a birdie on his second hole (the 11th hole on the course) and then an eagle on the 317-yard, par 4 12th hole. There have been eight eagles on Thursday, all on the 12th.
Still, the number for everyone to shoot at is the 5 under Johnson and Stenson.
Things weren’t going so well for
The morning group is all in the clubhouse with
Stenson blistered the course for seven birdies with two bogeys mixed in on the front side. Johnson had six birdies with his only bogey coming on the ninth hole.
The early mover of the golfers teeing off in the afternoon was Brad Elder, who is two under after four holes. He started on the back nine.
He has a two-shot lead over
Codt Gribble, who with an early tee time held the lead early in the morning, was the leader in the clubhouse at 2 under.
The afternoon group, which includes
Hold on, the course has woken up.
The names at the top of the leaderboard have started to back up as play continued into the afternoon.
But he fell back on the first hole (10th played) when he was short of the green with his second shot and then a poor chip left him well short of the pin. He two-putted for the bogey and dropped to 3 under and a share of the lead.
Mickelson dropped to 2 under with a bogey on the 13th, his second bogey on the back nine. On the 14th hole he put his drive near the lip of a fairway bunker and then his second shot caught another bunker short of the green. A poor sand shot and two-putt dropped him back to 1 under.
At 2 under are Kevin Chapell (through 10 holes), Hideki Matsuyama (9),
The course continues to be challenging, but not as difficult as some had feared. The wide fairways have served as an advantage to the long hitters.
Things are looking pretty good for
He birdied the par 3 third, par 4 fifth and par 5 eighth. He missed a short putt on six that could have really separated him from the field in the early going. The U.S. Open is the only major he has never won.
In second, one stroke back are
All of the morning golfers are on the course, going off the first and 10th tees. The afternoon golfers, which includes
Alexander Levy (1 under), Victor Dubuisson (1 under), Cameron Smith (even) and Kurt Barnes (1 under) join Mickelson with three birdies.
What's all this talk about Chambers Bay being a tough course? As virtually all of 76 morning golfers were on the course, 18 were under par and 40 were even par or better. But, it is only Thursday.
The leaderboard is shaping up to be pretty good through the early play. At two under were
Among the better names at 1 under were
As far as scoring, there has been one eagle (
There doesn't appear to be a decided difference between those starting on the first or 10th hole.
No one has separated themselves from the field in the early in the first round of the U.S. Open. There are seven players tied for first, all at 1 under.
The biggest of the names are
Four of the seven leaders started on the 10th hole.
Other golfers you may have heard of include
OK, it’s early, we know. But
Michelson birdied the par 3, 165-yard third hole for his first birdie of the round.
It's hard to say how difficult the Chambers Bay course is playing but, of the 41 players that have finished a hole, only three are under par.
Twenty-two players were even par and the rest are are over par with Josh Persons and Bernd Wiesberger at the bottom at 3 over.
The next marquee group, with a scheduled 8:17 a.m. PDT tee time, although they are behind schedule, is
As the first golfers tackled the Chambers Bay course, fears of six-hour rounds were percolating through the spectators. How easy or difficult will the course be, we'll start to know as the morning unfolds.
The first marquee group of
After the first half hour of play, Cody Gribble sank the first and only birdie of the tournament when he scored a 3 on the par 4, 496-yard first hole.
There were 12 players tied at even par. Josh Persons was bringing up the rear of the 21 golfers on the course at 3 over after two holes. He took a triple bogey on the par 4, 436-yard 10th hole. Groups of three were going off both the first and 10th tees.
The most anticipated
The 115th edition of the national championship, being contested for the first time in the Pacific Northwest, has so many components that make it compelling. They start with the quirky, rugged, links-style course that has received wildly mixed reviews from the 156 players in the field. Some have said it will be a pure and creative test, while others have called it "funky" and "goofy," and some of the drama in the first round will come in hearing how many players rip it apart.
The 8-year-old course is a complete unknown, so there's no telling whether the setup will yield a bunch of birdies or far more horror stories. It's guaranteed to be brutally unforgiving on players who did not study well for this exam.
Inside the ropes, there's considerable buzz about the potential rivalry that could develop between the world No. 1, Irishman Rory McIlroy, seeking his fifth major, and young American star Jordan Spieth, who’s trying to win his second major after capturing the
Coming off a
And what of the most visible rivals of the past,
In that summer of 2008, Cole Hammer was 8 years old, and Woods' famous fist pump became the Houston boy's first television golf memory. The now-15-year-old Hammer reached this Open through qualifying, and don't think the kid is going to be checking his score compared to Woods' at day's end.