The fast greens and tricky rough of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills are giving headaches to some of golf’s biggest names.
Thursday morning’s marquee group of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson struggled just to get through the back nine after starting the day at No. 10.
McIlroy and Spieth finished the first half of their rounds at 7-over and 4-over, respectively. Mickelson also ended his his first nine at 4-over.
Spieth bogeyed his first hole and triple-bogeyed his second. But he recovered a bit after that, shooting even on 15 through 18.
McIlroy bogeyed 11 and 12 before double-bogeying 13 and 14.
McIllroy birdied 15, but he smacked his third shot on the par-5 16 straight into the face of a bunker and bogeyed that hole. The birdie on 15 was the group’s only one at the turn.
Mickelson bogeyed 10, 12, 13 and 16 but made par on the rest.
Despite hitting every fairway from the tee in the first nine holes, Mickelson has had difficulty with his irons. He hit just three of the nine greens in regulation.
Other big names, including Jason Day and Bubba Watson, also are struggling early in typical US Open fashion. Day and Watson sat at 5-over and 4-over through nine holes.