U.S. Open 2019 live blog: Tiger Woods cards one-under 70, Justin Rose grabs solo lead with six-under 65
This proves to be one of the best weeks of the year. Not only is it the U.S. Open, but it's Pebble Beach—the familiar seaside confines that will play host its sixth U.S. Open this week. You're familiar with all the storylines: Tiger Woods, returning to Pebble Beach, site of his 15-shot romp at the 2000 U.S. Open, off his Masters victory a few months ago. Dustin Johnson, looking to avenge his final-round blow-up at the 2010 U.S. Open, as the favorite, and hoping to wrestle these majors from his buddy Brooks Koepka, who has looked unbeatable in most majors the past two years, taking the title in four of his past eight major championships.
(U.S. Open 2019: Scroll down for the latest updates)
That's not even to mention Rory McIlroy, who nearly shot a final-round 59 just days ago in Canada. Phil Mickelson, pursuing the Career Grand Slam for perhaps his last realistic chance, back at Pebble Beach after his victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach in February. Or Jordan Spieth, fresh off three straight top-10 finishes, after struggling for the most part over the past two seasons.
Featured coverage starts at 10:45 a.m. (eastern) on the U.S. Open's app and streaming video, with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Marc Leishman teeing off the 10th tee at 10:51 a.m. eastern (7:51 local time), and Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell pegging it off No. 10 at 11:13 a.m.
(All times eastern)
10:04 p.m.: Turns out Tiger didn't have much of a stance, and was forced to take his medicine and blast one out way past the hole. His 31-foot birdie try comes up a few inches short and he makes par to post a one-under 70 despite not having his best stuff. If he can figure out the irons, he'll be right in the mix.
Justin Rose hit an excellent bunker shot that rolled 10 feet past, and he buried the birdie putt to take the solo lead and tie Tiger's first-round 65 that he shot in his opening round in 2000. Tiger grinded all day, but Rose's grinding was quietly more impressive. He managed to shoot six under hitting six fairways and only half his greens. Absurd.
As for Jordan Spieth, he posts one-over 72, putting him seven back.
That's a wrap on a birdie-filled Day 1 at the U.S. Open. Check back here tomorrow for all the important updates from Round 2 at Pebble Beach.
9:56 p.m.: Tiger takes a swipe with a wood to get to the green and pulls it, causing everyone to hold their breath. It safely lands in the bunker, where he'll have a tough shot to get close and set up a birdie. Justin Rose also found a green side bunker, though he's short and right.
9:47 p.m.: After watching Rose and Spieth hit 3-wood off the tee, Tiger smartly follows suit and rips one past the tree in the middle of the 18th fairway. Sigh of relief after that one.
Way back at No. 9, Matt Kuchar holes one from DEEP to post a two-under 69. Guy is always lurking.
9:42 p.m.: Tiger splashes one out to a few feet and should make his par, while Francesco Molinari finishes off a round of three-under 68 at the 18th. Viktor Hovland makes birdie as well to post 69 after falling all the way back to even par. What a finish for the amateur. Brooks Koepka missed his short birdie look, settling for par and a two-under 69.
While that was going on, Justin Rose finds the bottom of the cup for just the eighth birdie of the day at 17. He's at five under with one to go, and has a great chance to take the lead. Tiger makes another save from six feet, this one just catching the left edge, to stay at one under. Can he actually pull this off? Needs a good drive at 18.
9:37 p.m.: Justin Rose tees off first at No. 17 and finds the left side of the green with a 4 iron. Spieth follows and pulls his just left of the green, but it catches the rough and stays out of the bunker. Tiger goes last and comes up way, way short in the bunker. We're probably beating a dead horse, but him being under par is nothing short of a miracle the way he's struck his irons. Not exactly looking like the guy that was on fire on Sunday at Memorial.
Up at 18, Brooks Koepka rips one off the cart path up near the green and then hits his third to a few feet. He might go from potential bogey or worse to a birdie here thanks to that break off the tee.
9:31 p.m.: Tiger was walking EARLY after his birdie putt at 16, but it must have been because he hated it. It just missed on the low side and he settled for par. Par-birdie finish here and he'd be very much in the mix.
9:30 p.m.: Koepka just got the break of all breaks at the 18th, blocking his drive so bad that it was headed out of bounds. But he got a kick save from a fan that kept it in play on the cart path. Wild sequence of events.
9:23 p.m.: Brooks Koepka wasn't exactly "dead" like Azinger declared, but he did walk away with bogey after hitting a solid bunker shot that rolled out to 13 feet. He's now at two under, three back. Soon after, amateur Viktor Hovland holes just the seventh birdie of the day at the 17th, putting him back in red figures at one under.
Tiger safely played an iron off the tee and left himself with 160 yards to the flag, where he went the safe route again and played it well left of the flag. He'll have a long birdie try coming up.
Back at the ninth, Henrik Stenson finishes off his 68 that featured four straight birdies beginning at the fifth hole.
9:18 p.m.: Tiger has done some impressive grinding, but so has one of his playing partners, Justin Rose, who has now parred six straight holes to keep it at three under for the round. The third member of this group, Jordan Spieth, is at one over.
9:16 p.m.: Brooks Koepka flies the green in the back bunker at 17, yielding a "that's dead" from Paul Azinger. We'll see if he's right. Just before Koepka's tee shot, Francesco Molinari found the green with a 4 iron and has a good chance to reach three under. Viktor Hovland went last, finding the green as well with a 4 iron. He's looking to get back into red figures.
9:13 p.m.: From 57 feet, Tiger rolls one up to gimme territory and cleans up his par. Can he finish this round strong?
9:11 p.m.: Tiger's ball was actually in the first cut, a good break he didn't take advantage of with his second. He went for the high cut and it hit the green and spun back to the front edge, leaving him with a mile-long birdie putt. Amazing he's under par with some of these approach shots he's hit on Thursday.
9:09 p.m.: Tiger's drive at 15 just catches the right rough, but it should be a decent enough lie to find the green from. At 16, Brooks Koepka is still grinding away. After missing the green short and right, he plays a chip from the thick rough to seven feet and holes the putt for par.
9:04 p.m.: Four in a row for Henrik Stenson as he rolls in another at the eighth to get to three under. Seems ideal to play your best stretch of golf on one of the best stretches of golf holes on the planet.
9 p.m.: WOW. After running his fourth shot about 30 feet past the hole, Tiger drains it for par and lets out a huge fist pump. That is one of the par saves of the year. He is somehow still at one under.
8:55 p.m.: Oh dear. Tiger tried to pick one clean from the bunker at the 14th and caught all ball, sailing it 10 yards over the green and into the thick rough. Going from potential birdie to bogey or worse territory here.
8:52 p.m.: Chez Reavie, yes, Chez Reavie just holed a big-time birdie putt at No. 9 to post 68, putting him two off the lead. Chez!
In a stunning turn of events, Brooks Koepka missed that four-foot birdie putt on the high side. He remains at three under.
8:50 p.m.: From 282, Tiger tries to peel a cut up the green and it comes up short in the left bunker. Should be able to get it close with some wizardry and set up a birdie look.
8:47 p.m.: Brooks Koepka splits the fairway at the 15th and then sticks one to four feet. Looks like he'll get back to four under here. Viktor Hovland followed by nearly one-hopping one in the hole and spinning it back to around 12 feet. Kid has GAME.
Back at No. 7, we get a glimpse of Henrik Stenson for what feels like the first time all day, as he rolls in his third straight birdie to climb to two under. Talk about lurking.
8:43 p.m.: After a woeful drive at 13, Tiger Woods responds with a laser beam cut at No. 14 that finds the fairway. Will be interesting to see if he gets aggressive and goes for it in two or goes the tactical route by laying up and trying to stick a third close.
8:39 p.m.: Koepka does some grinding himself at the 14th, chipping his fourth to kick-in range to save his par and remain at three under. Also at three under is Justin Rose, who has parred five consecutive holes.
Amateur Viktor Hovland, who was four under through six holes on Thursday, just dropped back to even par with a bogey at the 14th. It was a good bogey save too, but he was flying high early on in his round and has come back down to earth. Even par is still a decent place to be for now though.
8:35 p.m.: Tiger hits a beauty at the 13th that rolls about four feet past the hole, and he banged the next one in for par. What. A. Grindfest.
8:32 p.m.: Koepka's third goes long and left, but hangs on in the fringe. Couple good breaks in a row.
8:29 p.m.: Koepka's layup almost went horribly wrong, as his ball rolled toward the rough down the left side. It just stopped about a foot short in the second cut, where he should be able to find the green. Back at 13, Tiger chopped one out about 20 yards short of the green. Tough up and down coming up.
Aaron Wise joins the leaders in the clubhouse at five under with a two-putt par at the ninth, his final hole of the day. This is his third U.S. Open, and he's missed the cut in his previous two.
8:23 p.m.: Welp, Tiger did NOT hit the fairway at the 13th, blocking it way right where he'd do well to get it anywhere on the putting surface. Brooks Koepka also blocked his tee shot well right at the 14th, though he'll be able to hack out and likely knock his third on.
8:20 p.m.: Strong two-putt par from Tiger at No. 12. Couple good birdie holes coming up, provided he hits the fairway.
8:12 p.m.: Brooks Koepka has showed his human on a few occasions on Thursday, including just now at the 13th, where his drive found a fairway bunker and then his second shot hit the lip of the bunker despite it not looking like it would come into play. He put his next on but has a long look at par coming up. At the 12th, Tiger's shot hits the green hard and just rolls off the back.
Aaron Wise just pulled off his best par save of the day at No. 8, his 17th hole, getting up and down from long and left, which has cause many players nightmares today. One more par and he's tied for the lead at the U.S. Open through one round, and a birdie would put him alone at the top.
Just as we finished typing that, Koepka nearly rolled in his par putt, settling for bogey to drop back to three under. Over at the ninth green, Nate Lashley posts four-under 67, putting him one off the lead in his first major start.
8:05 p.m.: If Justin Rose is able to finish at three under, where he stands now through 10 holes, he'll remember this shot for a long time. Can't help but tip our caps here:
Ridiculous shot is right. Tiger almost just one-upped him from a bunker at 11, hitting the pin with his third. Another nice par save from Big Cat.
8:01 p.m.: After saving his par at the 11th, Brooks Koepka feeds in a long birdie putt at the par-3 12th to get back to four under. Back in the 11th fairway, Tiger Woods comes up short from 114 yards. Not great, bob.
7:51 p.m.: Tiger goes with the putter at the 10th and gives it a good roll, leaving it about three feet short. After Jordan Spieth just missed his birdie putt, Woods saves his par to remain at one under.
How about ... Nate Lashley? The 36-year-old journeyman is four under through 16 holes, and just found the green at the par-4 eighth, his 17th hole. This is his first start in any major, period. What a start.
7:47 p.m.: Woods comes up well short with his second shot at No. 10, but should have an easy up and down for par coming up.
7:40 p.m.: Tiger Woods pipes one right down the middle at the 10th. Nice fairway find there. Up at 11, Brooks Koepka muscles one out of the thick rough that finds the green.
7:33 p.m.: Tiger hits a deft chip from the rough short of the green at No. 9 to tap-in range as the FOX coverage starts. Tiger will make the turn at 1-under, just four back of the leaders.
Brooks Koepka is 3-under playing the 11th hole after a par at 10. He's bested in the afternoon wave by only Aaron Wise, who has the best round on the course, sitting at 5-under and tied for the lead through his first 14 holes.
7:24 p.m.: It's an uncharacteristic mis-hit from Tiger Woods from the middle of the fairway at nine, as he comes up short of the green. He came up out of it quickly and wasn't pleased. Justin Rose also missed the green, but he had a really difficult downhill lie in the right rough. They'll be some scrambling attempts upcoming at 9.
7:16 p.m.: Tiger crushes driver off the tee at the long, 502-yard par-4 ninth hole into the fairway. That's a must at this difficult hole—and now two straight strong driver swings from Tiger after the sixth hole, too.
7:08 p.m.: Tiger's birdie never scares the hole, but he'll settle for the par at the difficult eighth hole—staying 1-under through his first eight holes. Jordan Spieth rolls in a 10-footer to save bogey to avoid dropping two shots. He drops to 1-over.
Aaron Wise just rolled in his sixth birdie of the day, making another one at the fourth hole (his 13th of the day) to tie Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen atop the lead.
7:00 p.m.: Tiger gets a good break ahead at the eighth green, as he thought he hit a poor approach, but it hops out to about 20 feet, which he'll have for birdie as he looks to continue this bounce-back stretch.
His playing partner, Jordan Spieth, is not all smiles. His tee shot ran through the fairway and down the cliff at the eighth, causing him to have to drop and hit his third from 160 out. That shot sails the green into the thick rough, so he'll have his work cut out to save bogey. As he walks toward the green, he seems to be blaming his caddie Michael Greller for giving him a couple bad yardages. Spieth thought he hit two "perfect" shots there at 8, as he said.
6:51 p.m.: Tiger has two birdies in a row! From 25 feet below the hole, Tiger rolls a long, curling birdie into the bottom of the hole at the famed par-3 seventh. That gets Tiger back to 1-under—a huge string of birdies here to keep Tiger in it (very early).
Tiger's playing partner, Justin Rose, is on fire! He's four-under in his past four holes, also birdieing the seventh hole, following up an eagle at 6, to get 1 back of the lead of Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele.
Now Aaron Wise has it to 4-under, too, birdieing the third hole (his 12th of the day) to move one back of the lead.
Here's a quick leaderboard check:
T1 Rickie Fowler -5 T1 Xander Schauffele -5 T1 Louis Oosthuizen -5 T4 Scott Piercy -4 T4 Aaron Wise -4 T4 Justin Rose -4 T7 Sepp Straka -3 T7 Emiliano Grillo -3 T7 Rory McIlroy -3 T7 Gary Woodland -3 T7 Nate Lashley -3 T7 Francesco Molinari -3 T7 Brooks Koepka -3
6:47 p.m.: Tiger lands his tee shot at the downhill par-3 seventh hole about hole high, but it spins back to about 35 feet. He'll have a long birdie try upcoming.
Up ahead, there's some carnage at the difficult par-4 eighth. Brooks Koepka bogeys after getting a little unlucky on his approach, taking a huge hop into the rough. Koepka's back to 3-under. And Viktor Hovland doubles after leaving his bunker shot short. Hovland's back to 2-under through 8.
6:43 p.m.: Tiger plays a sporty chip from the rough short of the par-5 sixth hole to about four feet, and nails the birdie to bounce back from that double bogey at 5. Tiger's back to even-par now heading to the most famous short par 3 in the world.
6:31 p.m.: Rory Sabbatini just made one of the more unlikely holes-in-one you'll ever see! At the ultra difficult par-3 12th hole, Sabbatini's tee ball took two hops then hopped straight into the hole. Wow!
Tiger's tee shot at the sixth hole finds the first cut of rough, but he'll have a good chance to reach the green at this par 5.
6:23 p.m.: Ugly, ugly stuff from Tiger Woods at the fifth hole. His tee shot was lucky to stay in bounce, way left of the hole and in the thick stuff. He hacked it out into the rough right of the green, then chopped it past the hole about 10 feet. That left him with a downhill, left-to-right breaker ... and he came up short. The end result: A double bogey—bringing him to 1-over and out of red numbers after the birdie at 4. Tiger heads into the heart of Pebble, the 6th, 7th and 8th holes needing a couple birdies to make up for that disaster.
6:18 p.m.: Brooks Koepka nearly cans an eagle from in front of the green at the sixth hole, but he'll settle for a birdie. Viktor Hovland also leaves his eagle bid just short—so they're both going to be 4-under through their first six holes, playing in the same group. Wow ... that's an amazing start for both of them.
6:15 p.m.: Tiger Woods follows up his first birdie of the day in one of the worst ways possible. Actually, it's probably the worst way possible. Tiger just hit a double cross so far left that it hit the cart path and kept going more left. That might be out of bounds ... what a terrible swing from Tiger.
6:08 p.m.: Tiger cards his first birdie of the day at the short par-4 fourth hole, after he stuck his approach to inside 4 feet above the hole. Tiger moves to 1-under through 4 as he heads to the par-3 fifth.
5:58 p.m.: Brooks Koepka is an absolute machine. Left of the par-3 fifth green and shortsided, he chips in to get to 3-under through his first five holes. Even Koepka couldn't help but smile—he knew that chip would've run a good 10 feet by if it didn't hit the flag. Wow ... we continue to witness special, special golf from Brooks Koepka.
Paired with Koepka is Viktor Hovland, who just birdied the fifth hole more conventionally, holing a 10-footer to match Koepka at 3-under through five holes. The U.S. Amateur champ, who won here at Pebble less than a year ago, is showing he's ready to play with the big boys here on tour. The amateur is expected to turn pro after the U.S. Open.
5:53 p.m.: That's another par from Tiger at the third hole, and it's a great par after running his approach putt a good eight feet past the hole. Tiger holes the comebacker to remain at even-par.
5:45 p.m.: Tiger hits it hole high but just into the fringe, around 25 feet from the hole at the third hole. He'll have a longer birdie try upcoming.
Viktor Hovland and Brooks Koepka just miss their birdie putts at the third hole, which would've gotten them to 3-under through 4. Instead they'll settle for pars to stay at 2-under. Francesco Molinari will have a tap-in birdie here to let him join Koepka and Hovland at 2-under.
5:40 p.m.: Tiger rips fairway wood off the third tee and finds the fairway—that was a nice, controlled draw into the middle of the fairway. Way more controlled than Jordan Spieth, who hit a fan way right of the third fairway with his driver.
5:35 p.m.: That's a sporty, 2000-esque par for Tiger Woods at the second hole. He gets up and down from before the barranca, holing a 30-footer for par to stay at even-par.
Up ahead of him, Brooks Koepka birdies the third hole to get to 2-under quick through 3. Rinse and repeat from pretty much every major the past two or three years. This guy's a machine!
Playing along with Tiger, Jordan Spieth has birdied the difficult par-4 second hole to get to 1-under through 2.
5:30 p.m.: It's a pitch-out of that gnarly lie for Tiger at the second. He'll be short of the barranca, needing to get up and down to salvage par.
5:25 p.m.: Tiger's first driver swing has found trouble here at the second hole. There's a little island of wispy, tall fescue in the middle of the left-hand fairway bunker ... and Tiger's ball has buried there. As the announcers said, they haven't seen anyone else in that spot all day. But that's where Tiger's drive has ended up. He went for the cut, and he got the dreaded straight ball to the left. That will probably be a layup upcoming for Tiger.
5:20 p.m.: Oh ... MY. How did Tiger's birdie putt not drop? From 24 feet, Tiger hit what looked like a perfect putt, but put on the breaks JUST in front of the hole. Pretty much hanging on the edge. Wow ... it looked like an opening birdie the whole way. It was almost a perfectly played hole, but it will go down as a par for Tiger to start his round.
5:15 p.m.: Tiger hits a laser, controlled iron from 158 yards to about 15 feet at the first hole. And Tiger starts off with a fairway hit and a green hit, and a chance for an opening birdie to start his round.
Koepka, a hole ahead of him, just missed his birdie try at the second. He's playing alongside Francesco Molinari and Viktor Hovland, who both made birdies at No. 2. Everyone in that group is now 1-under through their first two holes.
5:11 p.m.: Tiger's pursuit of his 16th major title has officially begun off the first hole with Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose.
Tiger's iron off the first tee finds the left-side of the fairway. He'll have a look from about 150 yards to this opening hole. Tiger has a slow walk off the first tee amid thousands upon thousands of people around this first hole. It's a tight hole—and people are taking up all available space to crowd around and get a chance to see Tiger!
Spieth pulled his iron shot waaaay left off the tee into the thick rough. That's a spot many of the spectators here will be familiar with. Many of us have hit from over there before. Rose's ball justtt found the rough on the left-hand side.
4:58 p.m.: Of course Brooks Koepka birdied the first hole. Of course he did. This guy can do nothing wrong!
Even out of a divot, Koepka gouged the ball out of the fairway perfectly to 12 feet, then calmly pours in the birdie putt. It's on!
4:48 p.m.: Brooks Koepka's pursuit of his third straight U.S. Open title, and fifth major in a nine-major span, has begun, as he had pured an iron off the tee at the dogleg-right first hole. Koepka is playing with U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland and Francesco Molinari.
It appears he's drawn a really unfortunate break to start, with his ball sitting in a divot in the fairway. We'll see what he does.
Will Koepka dial his game back to avoid the rough here at Pebble or continue to lean on his driver the way he's done in his previous four majors?
4:34 p.m.: Rickie Fowler has company atop the leader board: Xander Schauffele eagled the par-5 18th hole to tie Rickie for the lead with a 5-under 66. It was a sensational eagle at that:
Louis Oosthuizen also carded an opening 5-under 66, giving us three rounds of 66 in the morning wave. That's certainly lower than most expected—there are a bunch of red numbers on the board after the first wave.
4:13 p.m.: How good was Rickie Fowler's opening round? He hit 13 of 18 fairways, which is his best mark in the 2019 season. And in his post-round interview with FOX's Joel Klatt, Rickie says 66 was the worst round he probably could've carded today. Wow ... Rickie described his pedestrian effort at 9 to get up-and-down, and a handful of other putts he missed, including the good look at 18.
Does that mean a better number is in the cards this afternoon? If the wind starts to blow, don't expect that. And the conditions should dry out just a little from the softer greens the players experienced this morning.
4:04 p.m.: Graeme McDowell drained a long par putt at the ninth hole (his last of the day) to open with a bogey-free 2-under. Of course, Graeme won the 2010 U.S. Open here, and he opened with a 71. His opening 69 bests that.
McDowell played with the guy he edged out in 2010, Dustin Johnson, and DJ carded a disappointing 71. DJ really never had anything going today. And Phil ends at 1-over—not the start he had in mind to complete the Career Grand Slam.
3:53 p.m.: Rickie Fowler nearly finished up his tremendous final-round with one final birdie at the 18th hole, but his birdie bid from about 11 feet at the home hole just slides by to the right. It would've been an unreal up-and-down from the left bunker, but it's still a tremendous opening round for Rickie.
Rickie's first-round 66 ties five others for the second-best score ever at a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. And he had a chance to tie Tiger's opening 65 from the 2000 U.S. Open.
Rickie made six birdies on the day (2, 4, 7, 11, 14 and 145) to go with one bogey (9). What a start for Rickie, as he looks for that elusive first major.
We just saw Xander Schuaffele drop a shot at 16 after getting it to 4-under, so he has it to 3-under.
3:45 p.m.: Rory McIlroy's wedge shot at nine came to rest about 10 feet from the cup, but his birdie try missed on the high side. He cleans up his par for a first-round 68, one of his best opening rounds in a U.S. Open in a long time.
3:43 p.m.: After missing his tee shot badly in a green side bunker, Rickie Fowler gets up and down with ease at the 17th, then follows with a mammoth drive at the par-5 18th. He should easily find the green in two, and at worst make birdie to post six under. Shades of the opening round at Erin Hills for Fowler on Thursday at Pebble.
Speaking of great up and downs, Dustin Johnson hit a woeful second shot left of the green at the eighth, basically death for mere mortals. For DJ, he played a high lob that we'd describe as a 15 out of 10, rolling it out to tap in range for par to stay at even with one hole to go. Phil Mickelson, one of the greatest chippers ever, played a similar shot well past the hole, making DJ's look all the more impressive. Lefty has a tricky par putt coming up to stay at even.
3:37 p.m.: Remember Sergio Garcia? The 2017 Masters winner? He just made eagle at the par-5 sixth to move to three under, two off the lead. Been a wacky year for the Spaniard, but he's still had some solid finishes, so this isn't that out of the blue, although it feels like it.
3:32 p.m.: Rory McIlroy flew the green at the eighth, then made one of the better up and down par saves we'll see all week to remain at three under. At the ninth, his final hole of the day, he absolutely laces a drive that will set him up with a short wedge in.
Everybody's favorite "dark horse," if you can even refer to him as a dark horse anymore, is one back. We're talking about Xander Schauffele, who has birdied four of his last five holes to get to four under.
3:26 p.m.: Oof. Mickelson misses a fairly straightforward birdie putt. He really could be two or three under today. Chances are he won't be thrilled after this round. Same goes for DJ, who two-putted for his par at the seventh to also remain at even par.
3:22 p.m.: Talk about a bounce back. Lefty nearly just dunked one at the seventh, spinning it back to about six feet. Huge birdie putt to get back into red figures coming up.
At the 16th, Rickie Fowler was stepping in another birdie putt but it just didn't catch the lip. A par keeps him at five under through 16.
3:16 p.m.: Phil Mickelson just came oh so close to avenging that short missed putt at No. 3 with an eagle at the par-5 sixth. It came up a revolution short and he settles for birdie to get back to even par, tied with Dustin Johnson, who did not take advantage of the sixth.
All the way up at No. 15, England's Tyrrell Hatton goes birdie-birdie to reach four under, one back of Fowler. Who wouldn't sign up for Hatton in the mix on Sunday just to witness the chaos that would bring?
3:05 p.m.: The field is feasting on the par 5s on Thursday, including the 18th, but Scott Piercy played it safe off the tee and it ended up biting him. He missed the fairway and was forced to lay up, but his lay up found the bunker down the left side. From there he hit his third to 30 feet and three-putted for bogey to settle for an opening-round 67 that could have been a 64 or 65 the way he was putting. But as he just told FOX's Joel Klatt, he's pretty pleased with the 67 given how he struck the ball, as he hit just six fairways and only 12 greens.
Piercy has the clubhouse lead, but he's one back of Rickie Fowler, who just made his sixth birdie of the day at the par-4 15th to get to five under. Is it finally Rickie's time? Wayyyy too early to say.
Joining Piercy in the clubhouse are Sepp Straka and Emiliano Grillo, who each carded three-under 68s. Did anyone even realize Grillo was on the course? Sneaky good round from the young Argentinian. They are part of a group at three under that includes Rory McIlroy, who has two holes remaining, and Marc Leishman, who was two over through three holes this morning. He also has just two holes to go.
2:35 p.m.: Wow. After back-to-back bogeys at two and three, Dustin Johnson hammers a drive at the fourth that nearly rolls up on the green. Needs birdie to get back to even.
2:33 p.m.: At the par-3 fifth, Rory McIlroy flubbed a chip shot from just off the green about three yards into the fringe. No problem for Rory though, as he banged in his 15 foot par putt from off the green to stay at three under. Huge save with the par-5 sixth coming up. Have to like Rory's chances to tie for the lead there. Speaking of, Scott Piercy gets up and down again from a bunker at the 17th. Guy is firing on all cylinders.
2:30 p.m.: Oh dear. Phil Mickelson just missed a one-foot putt at the par-4 third, causing FOX's Paul Azinger to declare it "the shortest missed putt of any tour player ever." Hot take?? Not quite. It was that bad. Terrible way to fall to one over for Lefty. Not the best of omens for a guy looking to complete the career Grand Slam.
2:20 p.m.: Rory had a great look at birdie from nine feet below the hole at No. 4, but it caught the left lip and missed. He'll stay at three under, as will Jon Rahm, who has made four straight pars to begin the front nine (his back). Scott Piercy missed his birdie try at 16 and is at five under with two to play.
The most surprising name at the top of the board? Sepp Straka. The 26-year-old Austrian is playing in his very first U.S. Open and he's at three under through 17 holes thanks to birdies at No.'s 2, 4 and 6. He's currently on the ninth tee, which has proven to be one of the tougher holes on Thursday. A par would give him the clubhouse lead.
2:16 p.m.: It's been a grindhouse affair for Phil Mickelson, who missed another fairway at No. 2 and then came up just short of the green and hit his third about 10 feet below the hole. He knocked that one in for par to remain at even. If Phil can somehow post an under par round, that'd be very impressive given how he's played off the tee today.
2:07 p.m.: BANG! Rory McIlroy just catches the left edge with an aggressive birdie putt at the par-4 third to reach three under. That could be three back shortly though, as Scott Piercy just stuffed another one at the 16th.
2 p.m.: Tommy Fleetwood quietly makes the turn in three under with his second straight birdie at the 18th. Also quietly at three under is Bryson DeChambeau, who just made a nice par save at the second hole. Up at the 11th, Rickie Fowler took advantage of a mammoth drive by flipping a 95-yard wedge to about seven feet and holing the birdie putt. He's also at three under, two back of Piercy.
1:55 p.m.: All-world par save from Piercy at the 15th to stay at five under. Dustin Johnson had an impressive one himself back at the first to stay at one under, four back. Course is playing very soft today, allowing guys to get up and down from some wild spots.
1:50 p.m.: Looks like we may have jinxed Piercy, who remarkably is five under despite hitting just four (!) fairways on his round. He missed another at the 15th and then hit his third into a green side bunker. Tough up and down for par coming up.
Back at No. 2, Rory McIlroy buries a long birdie putt to get to two under.
1:41 p.m.: If not for a double bogey at the eighth, Scott Piercy would be on #62Watch right now. He just made his fifth birdie of the day at the par-5 14th to reach five under, which is now good enough for a two-shot lead over Rahm and Woodland, who just bogeyed the ninth to turn in 32.
1:32 p.m.: After bogeying the 17th, Dustin Johnson took out a little anger on his ball with his tee shot at 18, smashing one 340 yards and leaving himself with no more than a 7 iron in. He put his second to 23 feet and then just missed his eagle putt, settling for birdie and a front-nine one-under 35. Phil Mickelson, who put his approach in the front right bunker, splashed one to about 15 feet and lipped out his birdie putt. He plays his front nine in even par, but it felt like he could have gone three under despite some poor play off the tee.
1:24 p.m.: Couple of intriguing names creeping around at two under, including Bryson DeChambeau, who just made a nice par save at the 18th to turn in 34.
1:19 p.m.: We now have two tied at the top as Gary Woodland rolls in a birdie to reach four under at the eighth hole. Making a birdie there this week is like picking up two shots on everybody. After a long time of being a great player in regular events and not showing up in the majors, Woodland is finally beginning to contend on the big stage. He followed up his first top 10 at the PGA last year (T-6 at Bellerive) with a T-32 at Augusta and then a T-8 at Bethpage.
1:10 p.m.: After smoking a drive at the 18th, Jon Rahm put his second shot to about 14 feet from 211 yards out. He just missed his eagle, then cleaned up his birdie to get back to three under, one off Piercy's leads. Marc Leishman also made birdie to climb back to even through nine holes, while Rory McIlroy saved par after missing the fairway off the tee, giving him a one-under 35 on his front side.
1:04 p.m.: Phil Mickelson's erratic play off the tee finally catches up with him at the par-4 16th. After missing the fairway, he hit his second into a green side bunker then failed to get up and down for par, dropping him back to even. Dustin Johnson was able to make his second birdie in his last three holes, putting him at one under.
At the 12th, Scott Piercy continues to hit greens and ride a hot putter. He just rolled in his fourth birdie of the day to get to four under, back in the solo lead. Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Louis Oosthuizen are all one back.
12:48 p.m.: Well, well, well... look who it is, Jason Day! The Aussie just went birdie-birdie-birdie at 5, 6 and 7 to reach two under. His playing partner Rickie Fowler also just birdied the 7th, which gets him to three under, tied for the lead with Olesen and Piercy. Rahm made bogey at the 16th to drop to two under. Rory McIlroy made birdie, and he's at one under. It's all happening!
12:47 p.m.: For those interested in history, here's Louis Oosthuizen's eagle at 11 earlier in his round, just the second eagle at the 11th in U.S. Open history:
12:42 p.m.: How about this card (and hair) from Jason Dufner?
Nice bounce back after the disastrous start. He joins a large group at two under that features some big names like Fowler, Oosthuizen and Hideki Matsuyama, who just holed out for eagle at the par-5 14th. Matsuyama is one of the top "did you forget about me?" candidates if he contends this week. Absolutely nobody was talking about him when making their picks.
Just as we typed this, Thorbjorn Olesen birdied the 10th to tied for the lead at three under. Thunder Bear!
12:36 p.m.: Great effort from downtown for birdie at the 16th for Jon Rahm, but it just slides by the left edge. He'll remain at three under, tied for the lead with Scott Piercy, who made the turn in 32 with a double and then made par at the 10th.
12:30 p.m.: From no-man's land, Dustin Johnson gets up and down for a ridiculous birdie at the 14th hole to get back to even par. Phil Mickelson followed by getting aggressive with his eagle putt and he rolled it about four feet past. He made the comebacker to get to one under.
12:22 p.m.: At the 15th, it looked like Jon Rahm was staring at a bogey following his approach shot from the right rough, which sailed the green. But Rahm went full Seve, hitting a high lob that landed well short of the pin and nearly rolled all the way into the cup. Kick-in par save coming up to stay at three under. His shot also helped out Rory McIlroy, whose long par putt was on the same line as Rahm's chip. McIlroy holed it for a nice save and he'll remain at even par. The third member of this group, Marc Leishman, is at one over.
Behind them, Dustin Johnson continues to have a shaky start, as he pulls his second at the 14th way left of the green, which will set up a difficult third shot. Phil Mickelson hit a perfect second shot that hit the green, rolled through, but then trickled back toward the hole. Great look at eagle coming up for Lefty.
12:13 p.m.: A pair of South Africans, Erik van Rooyen and Louis Oosthuzien, have joined the group at two under. van Rooyen holed his five-footer for birdie at the ninth to turn in two-under 33, while Oosthuizen holed out for eagle at the par-4 11th, his second hole of the day. Hell of a start.
Ahead at 13, Phil Mickelson two-putts for his fourth straight par to begin his round. He's had two good looks at birdie the last two holes, but even par is always good at the U.S. Open. His playing partner, Dustin Johnson, made bogey at 13 to drop to one over.
12:06 p.m.: Phil Mickelson is up to some very Phil Mickelson things early in his opening round. At 13 he blocked one well left off the tee, but got a good break as his ball ended up in some trampled down rough. From there he found the green and will have less than 15 feet for birdie.
Elsewhere on the course, both Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen have pulled within one of the lead with birdies, Fowler's coming at the short par-4 fourth and Olesen's at the difficult par-4 eighth, where Scott Piercy made double earlier. That's a big-time 3 on the card from the Thunder Bear.
11:57 a.m.: DJ makes an unlikely par from long left of the par-3 12th hole—a huge potential momentum saver for the World No. 2. DJ canned an 18-footer to save the par and stay at even-par. Phil Mickelson couldn't convert on the great look at birdie and stays even for his round, too.
Back at the famous par-4 eighth hole, Scott Piercy has come back to the field—making a double bogey to fall back to 6-under, which is tied with Jon Rahm for the lead. The dream start for Piercy (eagle at 6, birdies at 2, 4 and 5) has been negated somewhat by that double bogey, but Piercy is still atop the leaderboard.
11:49 a.m.: We have a rarity: a par for Jon Rahm. Rahm's streak of three straight birdies ends at the 13th hole, and he even had a great look to make it four birdies in a row to start his round, missing about a 13-footer. But Rahm will take the -3 thru 4 start, as he heads to the par-5 14th hole.
Rahm's playing partners, Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman, birdied the hole to get a stroke back on their round. Rory goes back to even and Leishman gets to 1-over.
Dustin Johnson missed a short one for birdie at 11, as he was above the hole and had to be cautious with his birdie putt. He now has found the thick rough left of the par-3 12th hole, so he'll have a difficult up-and-down upcoming. Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, stuck his tee shot at 12, and he'll have about 8 feet up the hill for his first birdie of the day.
11:35 a.m.: We're not sure many people on this planet can boast that they've birdied 10, 11 and 12 at Pebble Beach in succession. Let alone in U.S. Open conditions. That's exactly what Jon Rahm has done so far to start his round. After the long birdie putt at 10, he stuck his approach at the par-4 11th and his tee shot at 12 to about 10 feet, and coolly rolled in the birdie bids.
11:29 a.m.: Scott Piercy has started his opening round with an absolutely dream beginning. Piercy just eagled the par-5 sixth hole—following birdies at 2, 4 and 5—to get to 5-under through his first six holes. Seriously?! That's just absolutely insane. Piercy has serious game, but for any player in this field, that's incredible playing.
Phil Mickelson, who found the left greenside bunker on his approach, had his work cut out with this hole cut on the front left part of the green. Phil, the magician he is, escaped the bunker to about 14 feet. And Phil rolled in the par putt for an impressive up-and-down to start.
Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell both had long birdie looks but saved their pars.
11:22 p.m.: Jon Rahm is off to an ideal start to his opening round: He stuck a wedge at the 11th hole and cans the 10-footer for a second straight birdie to start his round. The 10th and 11th holes are tough par 4s along the water—but Rahm has birdied both of them. That gets the Spaniard to one back of Scott Piercy after Piercy's piercing hot start.
Here's how Rahm started his round:
11:14 a.m.: Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell each find the fairway at the long, 493-yard par-4 10th hole to begin their rounds. We'll see if they can do better than Rory and Leishman, who bogeyed the 10th—though they were also in the fairway to start their rounds.
11:08 a.m.: Our first featured group—Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Marc Leishman—is off No. 10, and we have some varying results. Rory and Leishman make bogeys to start, while Jon Rahm birdies the 10th hole to start his round in red figures.
Meanwhile, Scott Piercy continues to stay HOT. He just added his third birdie in his first five holes, birdieing the par-3 fifth hole to take the lead by two.
Emiliano Grillo just added a birdie to his round, making it four players in red numbers early. Grillo birdied the short par-4 fourth hole.
10:57 a.m.: Scott Piercy continues to set the pace (very) early at Pebble Beach. Piercy just added a second birdie, carding a 3 at the short par-4 fourth hole to move to 2-under.
There's now just one other person under-par so far—Eric Gagne, who has birdied 13 and 14, after a bogey at No. 12, to move to 1-under.
10:49 a.m.: The first hole at Pebble Beach is a nice little handshake to start your round. Don't tell that to Jason Dufner right now. The 2013 PGA champion just double-bogeyed the opener to find himself in last place after one hole. He's on the course with an all-Auburn pairing (you know, the USGA likes to be creative with its groupings), playing with his buddy Patton Kizzire and Jovan Rebula, who is Ernie Els' nephew.
You might want to avert your eyes ... here's what Dufner did at the first hole. That second shot only advanced 43 yards in the rough ... that gives you an idea of how gnarly this rough is this week.
10:30 a.m.: It has happened! After 41 holes played by the early groups at Pebble Beach, we finally have our first birdie. Scott Piercy cards a red number on the scorecard at the par-4 second hole (usually a par-5 for resort play and the AT&T Pebble Beach) to grab the very, very, very early lead. Piercy has had a consistent year, and he was one of the last players in the field, getting into the top 50 in the world by Sunday.
10:18 a.m.: We're getting close to the featured group coverage at 10:45 a.m., but there are some strong groups on the course now. Bernd Weisberger of Austria, a late addition to this field, starts his round with a par at No. 10. Scott Piercy, Emiliano Grillo and Thorbjorn Olesen also parred the short par-4 first hole.
There are currently nine players tied for the lead at even-par. It's early, but we already have a leaderboard!
9:58 a.m.: Let's go! Sam Saunders makes a par at the first hole, along with playing competitor Marcus Fraser of Australia, and this championship is underway. The third player in the group, Carlos Ortiz, makes a bogey, and we're off.
Off the 10th hole was Sepp Straka, Luis Gagne and Julian Etulian—and they all make pars out at the 493-yard 10th.
9:45 a.m.: The first groups are off the first and 10th tees, and the 119th U.S. Open is officially underway! Fittingly, Sam Saunders—Arnold Palmer's grandson—hit the first tee shot off No. 1, at a place that meant so much to his grandfather, as Arnie was actually a part owner later in his life, and oversaw a round of course updates in the 2000s.
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