Justin Thomas leading the pack at Winged Foot



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Justin Thomas leading the pack at Winged Foot

Hubert Green, winner of the 1977 US Open, once said something to the effect of “it is so difficult that the course will devour your lunch and the container it came in,” when asked about Winged Foot. After the first round on Thursday, most of the players in this year’s US Open, will have no choice but to agree with them.

The course devoured them, with only a small percentage ending the day under par. American Justin Thomas was the best of the early starters and walked off the course at as clubhouse leader with an impressive 65 (5-under) Fellow countryman, Patrick Reed, was one shot behind him at 66, while Rory McIlroy carded 67 at the end of the day.

Reed’s impressive round included a hole-in-one, while Thomas carded six birdies, including one at his first hole, proving again he likes to make the game look easy. Two South Africans, Erik van Rooyen and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, ended in a tie (70), while JC Ritchie carded 74.

Winged foot is showing it's rough side

Winged foot is showing it's rough side. While the rough at Winged Foot is a spectacular green, it lured balls like a magnet. Balls often even got lost in the ankle-deep grass, mere meters away from the fairways.

Someone who had to learn very quickly just how unpredictable golf with the greats can be, was Collin Morikawa. He carded a shocking 6-over (76) at the end of day one. Tiger Woods also had a frustrating day. Woods was left to regret an exasperating finish to his opening round at the US Open on Thursday.

He failed to take benefit from the perfect conditions at the infamously hard Winged Foot course. Woods recovered from two over par after five holes with the aid of a hat-trick of birdies around the turn, only to bogey the 17th and run up a double bogey on the last after duffing a pitch from short of the green.

Even Phil Mickelson, who can always be relied on to lighten the mood or crack a joke on course, had no fun 1 of the US Open. By the time he got to the ninth tee box, he had not hit a fairway. "I'm so sick of this," he said as he bent over in disgust. "I drove it poorly, and I putted poorly," he said in offering a succinct summary of an awful day.