Justin Rose lead US Open as players roll over Pebble Beach

Annette Crawford
June 14, 2019

The U.S. Open is supposed to be the most hard test among the sport's four majors, and the one that challenges a player's complete game the most.

The USGA has come under heavy criticism leading into this U.S. Open because of the way the last few have played out, with Phil Mickelson saying officials have messed up the course "100% of the time" when it doesn't rain to Golf Digest quoting anonymous players as saying a boycott was considered in the past.

In 2000 when Pebble Beach hosted for the fourth time, Tiger Woods was dominant with a win by 15 strokes, the largest margin by a victor in U.S. Open history.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka, who's trying to become the first player in 114 years to win three consecutive U.S. Opens, looked like he was ready to torch the place when he got to 4-under through six holes, but he cooled a bit and finished 2-under, four shots behind Rose.

Fowler, who is still seeking his first major title, shot a five-under 66 to open his account.

So the USGA has spent extra time leading up to this year's tournament talking to dozens of players about how best to lay out the course so it can still achieve the goal of being the "toughest test" in golf, while not crossing the line and being unfair to the players.

Thirty-nine players posted scores under par, led by the man at the top, 2013 U.S. Open victor Justin Rose, who shot a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise, all of whom posted 5-under 66s. There's been heartbreak, clearly, as well as downright absurdity: remember past year, when he putted a moving ball at Shinnecock?

"It's a battle if you're not going to hit fairways", he said.

Former world number one Woods carded a one-under-par 70 to end Thursday's opening round five shots off the pace.

No player has ever won the U.S. Open after winning a PGA Tour event the previous week.

"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".

What: 2019 U.S. Open.

Koepka birdied four of his first six holes, including one on the par-3 fifth, where he chipped in from the rough.

Mickelson faced a 20-inch tap-in for par on the 3rd hole.and he missed it. "I tried to miss the ball in the correct spots, and a couple of times where I had wedges in my hand, I was just dumping, center of the green, move on, get my 30-, 40-footer and move on about my business and take my medicine when I was in a bad spot and just kind of grind it out". "I'm right there. I feel like if I get off tomorrow to a good start, I'm right back into it". "And I'm playing well enough to do it".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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