Shinnecock Hills Golf Club really showed her true colors in the first round of the 2018 U.S. Open Championship.
The links-style golf course had the best players in the world scratching their heads in disbelief as they had to adjust to the wild wind conditions, the fast greens, and the thick rough to navigate themselves across New York’s most historic golf course.
The combination of fast winds, firm greens and thick rough is the perfect formula for high scores, and that is exactly what Shinnecock provided with us today.
Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson are all heavy favorites going into the U.S. Open. Rory winning back in 2011, Spieth winning back in 2015, and Phil looking for his first U.S. Open title to complete the career grand slam of golf, all had huge storylines coming into the week. However, Shinnecock Hills got the best of all three of them in round one.
Rory chalked up an 80 (+10) on his scorecard today, which is the worst score he has had in a major championship since the 2011 Masters (we all know that story). Jordan Speith wasn’t much better as he recorded a 78 (+8) on the day. And to top it all off, the veteran of this threesome, Phil Mickelson scored a 77 (+7) on his round and is in a tight spot if he wants to be in contention come the weekend to complete the career grand slam.
All eyes and ears have been on Tiger Woods this whole season, and so far he has given the crowd exciting Vintage Tiger moments. However, I don’t think Tiger was particularly ready for what Shinnecock had to offer. Tiger started off slow as he triple-bogeyed the first hole of his round and added a bogey on the second hole, holding him to +4 through two holes. From then on, he started to play more consistent and conservative golf as he shot one under through his next eight holes to keep him in contention. Then, Shinnecock told Tiger enough is enough and really showed her tough side on the back nine. Tiger would shoot +5 thru his next four holes putting him at a score of +8. Tiger would later par the last four holes, and end his round with a disappointing 78 (+8).
However, can you ever really count out Tiger Woods in major championships? I don’t think anyone is worried that Tiger won’t make the cut, and neither is Tiger himself.
“Shoot something in the 60s tomorrow and I’ll be just fine,” Woods told Sean Martin of PGATour.com after his round. Tiger tees off round two at 8:02 a.m. and looks to turn that score around to get back into contention.
With all of these big names putting up astronomical scores, there has to be someone doing well this week! Yes, as a matter of fact world number one Dustin Johnson is tied for the lead after day one of the U.S. Open. (I know shocker…) Johnson shot 69 (-1) and is currently in a four-way tie with Scott Piercy, Ian Poulter, and Russell Henley. These four players are the only ones to reach red figures in round one and hope to continue their solid play because, by the looks of it, one under could potentially be the winning score come Sunday.
Some other notables from round one include Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed shooting 73 (+3) currently sitting T19. Justin Rose shooting 71 (+1) sitting at T6 and Justin Thomas shooting a 74 (+4) sitting at T37 along with defending champion Brooks Koepka.
Thursday at the U.S. Open gave fans excitement and gave the players heartbreak. With Thursday being over, that only means Friday is upon us and the leaderboards can flip in a blink of an eye. That is the beauty of the U.S. Open.