Stats: USGA exceeds yardage range
Four notable first-round stats from Golf World contributing writer Brett Avery, who compiles the Rank and File statistical sections for the magazine's major championship coverage. For more numbers throughout each round, follow him on Twitter (@BWAvery):
--During Wednesday's USGA press conference, Mike Davis said Congressional would range each day between 7,200 and 7,400 yards. The official course setup memo for Thursday's first round pegged the distance at 7,514. Eight holes listed at more than the scorecard yardage, four on each nine. That included 18 yards over the card at the sixth, which played 573 yards.
--Y.E. Yang, playing in the morning half of the field, held the clubhouse lead at three-under-par 68 until McIlroy birdied the first hole (his 10th of the day). Yang's first four rounds in the Open were 74-79 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005 and 73-83 at Pebble Beach last year. He missed both cuts.
--The top three players through 18 holes were from outside the U.S. -- Rory McIlroy (65), Yang and Charl Schwartzel (68 each) -- two years after the top two through the first round at Bethpage Black held the same status (Mike Weir 64, Peter Hanson 66).
--A comparison of players in the 1:35 p.m. EDT grouping off the 10th tee: McIlroy led after 65, 318-yard driving average, hit nine of 14 fairways, 17/18 greens, 29 putts, six birdies and nothing worse than par. Phil Mickelson (74/T68), 313.5 driving average, 5/14 fairways, 8/18 greens, 27 putts, two bogeys, three bogeys and a double.