The world number one shot 69 along with Ian Poulter and two others on a brutal day at Shinnecock Hills
DJ And Poulter Share Lead On Brutal Opening Day At US Open
World number one Dustin Johnson is in the driving seat at the US Open after a superb 69 on day one.
His score of -1 was matched by Ian Poulter, Russell Henley and Scott Piercy – the only four men under par.
Shinnecock was playing brutally difficult on Thursday, highlighted by a 92 from 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory.
Winds were strong all day and the course had dried out after Wednesday’s heavy rain.
However, Dustin Johnson continued his recent run of form to tame the conditions and get his quest for a second major off to the perfect start.
He found the greenside bunker on the 1st hole and made a great par-saver whilst playing partner Tiger Woods was struggling.
That set the tone for the round.
DJ birdied 4 and 5 and then bogeyed the 6th after finding rough off the tee.
He had a search party helping him look for his ball and Sky Sports’ Rich Beem actually stepped on it. Johnson had to drop it and then chipped back out onto the fairway on his way to a five.
He then holed a bunker shot at the 8th for birdie to get back to -2 and found another birdie at the uphill par-3 11th.
Two bogeys followed at 12 and 14 but it really was a day where bogeys were acceptable in small quantities as long as the big numbers stayed away.
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He parred his way in to post 69.
Ian Poulter was the leading Brit after a superb 69 on day one which included three birdies and just two dropped shots.
Poulter was out early on Thursday and his score remained top of the leaderboard come the end of the day.
Poulter said, “Obviously felt pretty good. US Open golf hasn’t been good for me through the years. It’s the first one I’ve played in three years, and this is the first one I ever played back in ’04. So to come here and enjoy the first round is really quite nice.”
Rory McIlroy shot 80 in the morning which was his joint-worst round in a major, matching his score on the final day of the 2011 Masters.
Rory’s playing partner Jordan Spieth didn’t fare much better, shooting a 78 which included a triple-bogey on his second hole.
Phil Mickelson was the third member of the career grand slam group and his bid to finally win a US Open didn’t get off to the best of starts either.
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Lefty shot 77 (+7) on Thursday to take the group’s total score to +25.
Tiger Woods made a triple even quicker than Spieth – on the first hole.
The 14-time major winner opened up with a seven on the par-4 1st hole after going through the back in two and then took three more to get it on the green.
Woods battled back well on the front nine but four-putted the 13th hole for a double bogey to drop to +6.
He then doubled the next too, after finding rough to the right off the tee and then to left with his second shot.
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Tiger ended at +8.
The putter was cold all day and dreams of a 15th major title this week look like they may have faded away.
Justin Rose’ 71 (+1) puts him in a great position after day one in a week where he is highly fancied to seal his second US Open trophy. That would propel him to the world number one spot for the first time in his career.
“It was about hanging in there,” Rose said.
“If I’d a shot 72 or 73, it would be a good day’s work as well. Today is about eliminating a bad round, and I think it’s turned into a really positive start.”.
Woodland and Rose are out at 10.30pm BST
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Shot of the day
South Africa’s Dean Burmester had the shot of the day after slam-dunking his approach to the 18th hole.
Burmester drove it 411 yards down the 18th and finished his round in style to get back to +5.
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