Oakmont - The new "Big Three" of
golf lost some of their sheen in the first round of the US Open which straddled
two days at Oakmont before concluding Friday afternoon.
Thursday thunderstorms compounded the
toughness of the famed par-70 course and by the time the dust had settled Jason
Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy were a combined 15 over par.
World number one Day, seeking a second
major title after winning the PGA Championship last year, had a 76 which
included a double-bogey six at the seventh where he needed three greenside
Day's preparations for the second of the
year's majors were disrupted by a bad cold, but he said on Tuesday that he did
not expect that to effect his game.
But he did admit that his stress levels
were high as he felt he needed to produce the level of golf expected of a world
"US Opens are always stressful,"
he said. "You just get out there and it's like okay, I've just got to
somehow survive this week and hopefully it works out."
The way the Australian played on Friday
morning he may not be able to survive, but at least he had an immediate chance
to put it right as he embarked on his second round right away.
Day opened well with a birdie at the 10th,
but that was cancelled out by a bogey at 18. Further birdies at the second and
fourth saw him heading in the right direction, but he bunkered his tee-shot to
the par-three sixth and took another bogey to stand five-over with three holes
to play when darkness intervened.
McIlroy cut a disconsolate figure after his
opening 77, which saw him bogey the last three holes on the resumption on
He admitted to having had recent problems
with his swing and said that his mindset was not where he wanted it to be.
"I think for me the toughest thing is
just trying to stay positive and not get too down on myself and try to go out
there, whether it be tonight for a couple of shots or get out there tomorrow
morning and try to play well and make it into the weekend," he said.
"Yeah, I think right now I'm just
trying to stay as positive as I can."
Defending champion Spieth was in a much
better frame of mind and in truth his two-over total left him handily placed
just six shots off the lead shared by world number 624 Andrew Landry and
sixth-ranked Dustin Johnson.
All to play for, the 22-year-old Texan
"I know that at the end of the day,
the USGA is going to try to have even par win the golf tournament, and I know
that I can shoot two-under in the remaining 54 holes no matter how the course
plays. I know I'm capable of it."
Both Spieth and McIlroy will tackle their
second rounds on Saturday morning before those that make the cut play the third
round in the afternoon.