OAKMONT, Pa. -- Jason Day said he’s “never been more stressed in his life” and played like it en route to a first round 76.
The six-over-par start was his highest score in the U.S. Open, and fueled by unusually sloppy ball-striking for the World No. 1. Day hit 8 of 14 fairways and just nine of 18 greens Friday morning after never starting during Thursday’s delayed first round. Day’s struggles capped off a rough start for the “Big Three,” with counterparts Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy helping the world's top three players combine for a +15 start.
The round’s biggest implosion came at the 488-yard 7th when Day skulled his first bunker shot, only to have it bury badly in another greenside bunker. He failed to get that shot out of the sand and was fortunate to make six.
Day’s 76 tied his worst score in the U.S. Open and does not portend well for victory since no player has won with an opening 76 or higher since Jack Fleck at the 1955 US Open.
Day at least doesn’t have to worry about what his son is doing today. Bubba Watson, who will not tee off in round 2 until Friday, took son Caleb and Dash Day to the movies.