Document scores? 37 gamers underneath par? What is going on on on the U.S. Open?!

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Xander Schauffele was all smiles after his eight-under 62 on Thursday at Los Angeles Nation Membership.

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LOS ANGELES — Twenty-two minutes after Rickie Fowler broke a century-old U.S. Open file, Xander Schauffele matched it.

However Xander wasn’t impressed.

“It’s simply Thursday,” he mentioned. “It’s actually simply the primary day of a match. It’s a great begin.”

We should always level out that Schauffele was, certainly, appropriate. As we speak is Thursday, the primary day of this 123rd U.S. Open at Los Angeles Nation Membership. However the eight-under 62s Schauffele and Fowler shot have been the first-ever 62s fired within the historical past of golf’s nationwide championship, they usually have been simply the second and third ones ever recorded in a significant (matching Branden Grace’s 62 on the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale).

A “good begin”? Yeah, we’d say so.

“I joked a bit earlier, I believe the USGA might be a bit annoyed that the quantity was that low at present,” mentioned Scottie Scheffler. “I don’t suppose you’ll be seeing an excessive amount of of that over the weekend.”

Fowler and Schauffele have firm, too. Dustin Johnson and Wyndham Clark are six underneath, Rory McIlroy and Brian Harman are 5 underneath and a ton extra are three underneath. Thirty-seven complete gamers are underneath par — 12 greater than the primary spherical final yr.

Need extra low-score fodder? OK, the first-round scoring common of 71.34 was — anticipate it — the bottom first-round scoring common in U.S. Open historical past. LACC’s North Course is a par 70, positive, however it’s not the primary par 70 to host a U.S. Open (final yr’s host, The Nation Membership, was additionally a par 70). And plus, the championship’s been round for over a century, however at present was the primary time they by no means had an 80 within the first spherical. For cryin’ out loud!

So, what occurred to our large, unhealthy, stunning U.S. Open setup?

“I assumed the course was extremely arrange,” mentioned Phil Mickelson, who shot 69. “They moved some tees up they usually had some delicate pins to allow us to get off to a great begin, however it’ll play so much tougher because it goes on. However I believe it’s such an awesome setup, that granted, the scores are a bit bit decrease with greens being receptive and so forth, however there’s much more tooth on this course in the event that they wish to use it.”


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The final three U.S. Opens had a successful rating of six underneath. That sport plan was foiled at about 1:30 p.m. native, when Schauffele chalked up the second 62 of the day.

“You’re feeling like it’s important to push it a bit bit [when you see those scores],” Mickelson mentioned. “However you’ll be able to’t push too onerous right here as a result of it’ll come again and chew you.”

On the high-scoring aspect, the largest shock of the day was five-time main winner Brooks Koepka. Koepka gained the PGA Championship final month and was the participant within the discipline most everybody thought could be in rivalry this week. However on Thursday, Koepka shot 71, leaving him 9 strokes off the lead.

His enjoying associate, Rory, had probably the greatest begins of the afternoon wave, birdieing his first two and taking pictures 65. He performed practically flawless golf and didn’t miss a inexperienced till the sixteenth gap. He missed his second inexperienced in regulation on 18 when his ball discovered the tough simply left of the inexperienced. That led to his first actual blemish of the day, an unfortunate whiff when his wedge slid underneath the ball as he was making an attempt to choose it clearly. He hit his subsequent shot to 11 ft and made that to save lots of bogey — an enormous clutch putt to show a foul break into constructive momentum heading into Friday.


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LACC performed at a median of 1.371 strokes over par, which was considerably decrease than final yr’s first spherical at Brookline (5.780 strokes over par) and the primary spherical at Torrey Pines in 2021 (3.720 over par). This tough is gnarly and fairway bunkers listed here are known as “correct penalties” — code for don’t go in them. However the fairways are additionally large, and Schauffele and Fowler hit 10 of 13 of their record-breaking rounds. Aaron Clever? He hit solely six and shot 79. That’s one essential distinction, as nearly all of the sector discovered fairways with extra regularity than the PGA Tour common. Tees have been additionally moved up on a handful of holes, with player-friendly pins and receptive greens giving strategy to higher scoring.

However don’t fret, carnage-lovers. This stuff have a method of night themselves out — pins could be tucked and the turf can run sooner. Keep in mind that six-under rating that gained the previous three U.S. Opens? The primary-round lead the final two years was 4 underneath, and three years in the past the Spherical 1 lead was 5 underneath.

Now the query is, what comes subsequent? The agronomy group met within the early afternoon on Thursday, which might have been a enjoyable assembly to pay attention to if we have been invited. How will they react? Do they react? How will we get LACC tougher with out getting too onerous? Is it simpler to melt a course after it’s robust or toughen it after it’s delicate?

“I all the time fear whenever you play a course that may get agency you’ll be able to usually see Thursday morning performs very delicate, Thursday afternoon clearly a bit bit firmer, however nothing loopy,” Max Homa mentioned. “Normally by Friday afternoon, it may be nuts.”

And, as Xander would inform us, tomorrow is Friday. There’s nonetheless an entire lot extra golf coming.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism diploma from Minnesota State College in Mankato. You’ll be able to attain him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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