CLOSEshinnecock setup strong winds humble golfs biggest stars at u s open - Shinnecock setup, strong winds humble golf's biggest stars at U.S. Open

SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Steve DiMeglio dissects the historical direction which final hosted the U.S. Open in 2004.
USA TODAY Sports activities

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Carnage didn’t run into visitors issues Thursday en path to Shinnecock Hills Golfing Membership and the 118th U.S. Open.

Whilst bumper-to-bumper congestion on within reach thoroughfares aggravated all inside of their automobiles, Shinnecock’s sunlit inexperienced boulevards brought about quite a lot of inflammation within the first spherical of the nationwide championship.

Winds whipping off the Lengthy Island Sound have been cussed and forceful from the primary tee time to the final and grew to become the historical monitor right into a check of survival as an alternative of an attack on par. The predicted winds, which reached 20 mph with gusts of 25 mph, precipitated the U.S. Golfing Affiliation to change the setup and pin places earlier than the spherical to take a look at and restrict the wear.

It’s laborious to consider how issues will have been worse.

Tiger Woods began his spherical with a triple bogey and four-putted the 13th. Jordan Spieth made triple on his 2nd gap and added 5 bogeys and a double bogey. Rory McIlroy had a trio of double bogeys for the primary time in main.

With many increased vegetables that includes unhealthy shaved-down runoffs on the mercy of the airstreams, tall, thick fescue rimming the holes and slick placing surfaces waiting for on every gap, the par-70, 7,448-yard direction performed to a median of 76.2. With a couple of avid gamers left to complete their rounds, simplest 4 within the box of 156 have been underneath par.

The mayhem was once not more amplified than through the morning marquee workforce of Spieth, McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, winners of 12 majors amongst them.

Extra: Scott Piercy, a surprising early clubhouse leader, barely made the field

More: Tiger Woods’ Thursday round at the U.S. Open shot-by-shot

Thirty minutes into his round, Spieth was 4-over after missing a three-footer for par on his first hole — the 10th — and making triple on the 11th when his bunker shot went over the green and his subsequent chip came back to his feet.

Meanwhile, McIlroy made two bogeys and two double bogeys in his first five holes and Mickelson bogeyed four of his six holes.

By the time the three reached the scoring trailer, Mickelson was the low man in the group with a 77 despite missing just one fairway in regulation. Spieth shot 78, his highest score in a major, while McIlroy shot 80.

Others in misery included Bryson DeChambeau with a 76, Bubba Watson with a 77, Jon Rahm with a 78 and Jason Day with a 79. Scott Gregory, the 2016 British Amateur champion, shot 92, which ties the highest score in this tournament since 1990.

Somehow, Scott Piercy shot 69 a day after wondering what was wrong with his game after an abbreviated practice round.

“I walked off the golf course after four holes because I was so frustrated with my preparation,” said Piercy, who added he lost five golf balls in four holes. “I didn’t really expect this this morning. Just kind of regrouped last night, tried to go back to a couple things that have worked throughout the year.

“I was able to kind of piece it together again.”

Russell Henley additionally shot 69 in spite of a last-hole bogey.

“I simply attempted to stick affected person,” he mentioned. “I knew it was once going to be a tricky day with this wind, so that you simply need to be affected person and provides your self as many probabilities as you’ll. The direction were given harder and the vegetables were given harder to putt.”

And Ian Poulter pieced in combination his spherical of 69 with a brand new angle. He mentioned he hasn’t loved taking part in in lots of U.S. Opens that they left him feeling like his tooth have been being pulled on each gap.

“I’m right here to experience my golfing this week, to play freely, to head out and simply play golfing,” Poulter mentioned. “If I hit it within the tough, I hit it within the tough. I’m going to take a look at and make par the laborious approach and simply no longer get too slowed down with it.

“It’s tricky in the market. It’s tricky for everybody. These days is only a excellent day, and I’ve were given 3 difficult days left.”

Feels like everybody else does, too.

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