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Tiger scratches, claws way to one-under 70

14 June 2019

On a cool, dry Northern California day, with little to no wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean, numerous world's best players had their way with one of the most iconic golf courses.

In the five previous U.S. Opens staged at Pebble Beach only six times had a golfer come within one of the record, but that number was almost matched in a single round with Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Aaron Wise and South African Louis Oosthuizen all carding 66s. Rose lightly pumped his fist when it fell and soaked up the moment.

"This golf course is a bit more fun and shows its teeth with wind", he said. "This is just a very small step toward outcome".

"You stay around par at the U.S. Open, you'll be OK", Mickelson said.

Koepka can also become the first player since Willie Anderson to win three consecutive U.S. Opens.

This was the day to take advantage, especially with a cool, overcast sky for most of the day. Fowler missed and had to settle for a 66.

He had top 10 finishes the next two years, including a tie for fourth at Pebble Beach in 2010, but has had little success at this tournament of late. In the second group of the day, he opened with three birdies and an eagle over the first six holes - all but getting on a bullhorn to tell those still on the driving range, or in their hotel rooms, that there were good scores to be had.

Woods kept Thursday's round intact with his putter, most notably with a 30-foot make at the par-5 14th to earn par.

After two straight birdies, he finished with 11 straight pars for a 70. "I kind of proved that today".

"There's a lot of other things that I'd love to be remembered by, work off the golf course and making a difference and changing people's lives".

The American practised with two-time defending champion Koepka on Tuesday and said he took plenty from his countryman's mentality.

He didn't have great chances at the 15th or 16th holes, missed the green short again at 17, and then was in a bunker at 18 and couldn't get it up and down and made par.

Brooks Koepka says he hasn't been anxious about coming back from injury and that he's pleased with his score in Round 1. "I'm right there. I feel like if I get off tomorrow to a good start, I'm right back into it".

Mickelson faced a 20-inch tap-in for par on the 3rd hole.and he missed it.

"He was fun to be around, he was one of the jokesters", Tiger Woods said. In fact, he was over par in the first round of each of the previous seven U.S. Opens.

It's the 45th hole-in-one in U.S. Open history, the eighth in one at Pebble Beach and the first since Zach Johnson made one at Pinehurst's ninth hole in 2014's final round. Even as he saw low scores on the board - he had a bogey-free 69, one of 27 rounds in the 60s - McDowell feared what was to come for those falling into a comfort zone. "But as I said, the first seven holes you can get it going".

"I don't think level par wins this week", he said. "So I'm really happy with where we're at and looking forward to see if we can keep it going".

Tiger scratches, claws way to one-under 70