PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Justin Rose performed alongside Tiger Woods, after which joined him within the U.S. Open file e-book at Pebble Seaside.
In a delicate begin to the hardest check in golf, Rose birdied his final three holes Thursday for a 6-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead on a day so accommodating that greater than three dozen gamers broke par.
It was an excellent begin for Rose and for the USGA, which desires a easy journey after 4 years of varied mishaps within the U.S. Open. The concept was to start out secure and make the course progressively harder, and a forecast of dry climate for the week ought to make that simpler to manage.
This was the day to take benefit, particularly with a cool, overcast sky for many of the day.
Rose knew what was at stake when he blasted out of a bunker wanting the par-5 18th to about 12 ft. He was watching the telecast earlier when Rickie Fowler had a birdie putt for a 65 to tie the bottom U.S. Open spherical at Pebble Seaside, set by Woods within the first spherical of his record-setting victory in 2000.
”I used to be considering, ‘This could be sort of cool doing it entrance of the good man himself,”’ Rose stated.
He calmly pumped his fist, partly for the file, primarily for the very best begin.
Fowler needed to accept a 66, tied with Aaron Sensible and two others who had large finishes. Xander Schauffele caught a break when his tee shot on the 18th caromed off the rock fringe of the left fairway, establishing a 12-foot eagle. Louis Oosthuizen completed on No. 9 by holing a bunker shot for a birdie. It felt nearly pretty much as good because the wedge he holed from 95 yards for eagle on No. 11.
Woods took benefit of the scoring holes with three birdies, however there was one blunder – a tee shot he hooked on the par-Three fifth that smacked off the cart path into gnarly, deep grass some 20 yards behind the sting of the bleachers. He blasted that out past the inexperienced and made double bogey.
After two straight birdies, he completed with 11 straight pars for a 70.
”Pebble Seaside, you will have the primary seven to get it going, and after that it is a struggle,” Woods stated. ”I proved that right now. I used to be making an attempt to simply hold in there right now. Rosey proved the golf course could possibly be had.”
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka proved the opening holes could possibly be had. He was four below along with his birdie on the par-5 sixth gap and seemed to be on one other main mission till a number of errant tee photographs into nasty tough, a number of missed putts and some bogeys. Even so, he had few complaints about his 69 to start his bid for a record-tying third straight U.S. Open.
”I did not shoot myself out of it,” Koepka stated. ”I am proper there. I really feel like if I get off tomorrow to a very good begin, I am proper again into it.”
Phil Mickelson, in one other U.S. Open quest to finish the profession Grand Slam, did not really feel he was out of it both, regardless of solely two birdies in his spherical of 1-over 72, which included a 22-inch par putt that he missed.
Woods additionally had a one-shot lead when he had his opening 65 in 2000, a lead he stretched to 6 photographs after the second spherical, 10 photographs after the third and 15 photographs on the finish, a file for main championships.
However solely 17 gamers had been below par within the first spherical of 2000. For this U.S. Open, in these comparatively tender circumstances, 39 gamers broke par.
Maybe extra telling concerning the course, and depth of expertise in contrast with twenty years in the past, there have been 17 eagles. That is probably the most for any spherical at any U.S. Open, breaking the file of 13 set in 1983 at Oakmont. The eagles included Callum Tarren holing out from a bunker on No. 10, the toughest gap at Pebble, and Rory Sabbatini making a hole-in-one on No. 12.
Nobody was anticipating a breeze the remainder of the week.
”It is a very tender begin to a U.S. Open, which is an effective factor,” Rory McIlroy stated after a 68, his first sub-70 spherical on the U.S. Open since he received at Congressional in 2011. ”They’ll do no matter they need with from right here. It is not as if you happen to’re beginning with a course that is within the situation like a Sunday, and you then get three days and it kind of begins to get away from you.”
Scott Piercy, who bogeyed the 18th for a 67, was the primary participant to get everybody’s consideration when he was at 5 below by way of six holes.
Graeme McDowell noticed the rating when he walked off the 10th inexperienced initially of his spherical and quipped to his caddie, ”All of the USGA radios are going off they usually’re saying, ‘Flip off the water – NOW!”’
McDowell received the final U.S. Open at Pebble Seaside in 2010 when it was so tough he made just one birdie within the closing spherical and nobody broke par for the week. Whilst he noticed low scores on the board – he had a bogey-free 69, considered one of 27 rounds within the 60s – McDowell feared what was to come back for these falling right into a consolation zone.
”Cautious what you want for, as a result of I believe we will see it come the weekend,” McDowell stated.
”I do not suppose stage par wins this week,” he stated. ”Cautious what you want for, as a result of I believe we will see it come the weekend.”
For sooner or later, Pebble Seaside was paradise.
”I would not say it is exhilarating, as a result of I really feel like my mindset is I’m in a 72-hole match,” Rose stated. ”That is only a very small step towards final result. So you do not really feel that buzz that you’d on a Sunday, however you’ll be able to’t assist however go searching over your shoulder and … rattling, that is Pebble Seaside. Shot 65 and also you’re within the U.S. Open. It is a cool second. No matter transpires the remainder of the week, it was a cool second.”