Tough conditions produce highest 1st-round U.S. Open scoring average since '86
There may be a four-way tie atop the leaderboard after 18 holes at the U.S. Open, but Shinnecock Hills emerged from Round 1 as the real winner, with the historic course hammering the best golfers in the world.
Heavy winds and firm conditions saw scores balloon throughout the day, with the field posting an average of 76.48, and only four players breaking par.
That scoring average represents the highest in the opening round of a U.S. Open since 1986 when the event was also held at Shinnecock Hills.
After last year saw the field attack a vulnerable Erin Hills layout, one had to expect the USGA to present a tougher task this year, and that was certainly true Thursday. Many of the top players in the world struggled, with the top 10 golfers in the world ranking combining to shoot 52-over-par.
While the top-ranked player in the world, Dustin Johnson, holds a share of the lead at 1-under, only No. 3 Justin Rose finds himself in the top 15 at 1-over.
Here's how the top 10 fared on a very difficult day on Long Island.
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Among the most shocking struggles was Rory McIlroy's 10-over-par 80. That represents his highest single-round score in relation to par since 2008. The 29-year-old has spent the last few weeks on Long Island familiarizing himself with the area and the golf, and many expected a strong showing from the 2011 champion.
Jordan Spieth began his round with a bogey, triple-bogey start, immediately putting him at 4-over for the championship. Tiger Woods, who isn't currently inside the top 10, also battled a difficult start, triple-bogeying the opening hole on his way to an 8-over 78.
Luckily for everyone in the field, the wind is supposed to subside Friday which should lend itself to much more favorable scoring conditions.
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