With day 1 in the books, Erin Hills surrendered the most players in red numbers after a first round in US Open History. Ricki Fowler shot a -7 under round to lead over all. Paul Casey was just 1 shot back along with Amateur Xander Schaufelle. There were three more tied at -5 under. The weather will continue being hot well into Saturday with only a chance of a thundershowers on Saturday or Sunday. Which means the greens that were fairly receptive today at times will slowly stop being so.
Erin Hills Golf Course, with it’s wide fairways allowed many more players to compete at a high level than usual. There were some good scores early, but a lot more red numbers by the end of the afternoon. At one point, there were at least 47 players at par or better.
Another interesting fact is after day one, there are more amateurs in red numbers than players in the top 10 in the world. Good chance that changes but after day 1 but it does make for an interesting look the tournament.
Jordan Speith and Dustin Johnson both struggled today on the greens. So much so that after the round, Jordan joked about he and Dustin’s putting.
“Neither one of us could make a putt,” Spieth said of Johnson, who shot 3 over. “I’m surprised Martin could make a couple of them, given he was watching me and DJ the whole day.
“DJ and I will be on the practice green. We might have a pillow-fight putting contest, just to see if we can spark anything.”
Although the red numbers were abundant, more than two-thirds of the field were over par but for all kinds of reasons. Very few players remarked that the course was difficult.
Paul Casey was asked if this felt like a US Open he said (paraphrased) that the crowds made it feel like a major. It had the feel of a very competitive PGA tour event. The course looked like a major, but it did not have the feel of a US Open referring to the difficulty level. With that said, he was very complimentary of the course and said is a great venue.
Look for the USGA to work on the course to increase the difficulty level for round 2. With no rain opportunity till the weekend, and that being of the scattered variety, that should serve as an assist. Also, with as many tee box locations on the course, the course can have some further adjustments to increase difficulty levels in certain places.
Other veteran Notables under par in the tournament Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, and Ernie Els all tied -2 under. Zach Johnson, Davis Love, and Angel Cabrera all at -1 under with Adam Scott and Justin Rose at even.