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Bryson DeChambeau

DeChambeau justifies unconventional methods with US Open glory

Bryson DeChambeau stuck by all his theories - no matter how out there - to make the step up from regular PGA Tour winner. Now he's a major champion
 

An awful lot happened on day one of the 2020 US Open in 11 and a half hours of exquisite coverage from Sky Sports. Here are a few nuggets you may have missed…

A good day for…

Rory McIlroy

If you’re a fan of omens, this one’s for you. The Northern Irishman carded an opening-round 67 at Winged Foot.

The last four times he carded 67 or better in the first round of a major championship – the 2012 PGA, 2014 Open, and 2014 PGA – he went on to win.

Justin Thomas

Still battling Dustin Johnson for the title of Best Player That Really Should Have Won More Than One Major By Now, JT raced to a 5-under 65 – the lowest round ever recorded in a US Open at Winged Foot.

The Winged Foot greenkeepers

They got it bang on for the opening round. The course looked spectacular, good play was rewarded, and bad play was punished.

There were only 12 under-par rounds the whole week in 2006, so get those SubAir systems on, please. This is a US Open, don’t you know?

A bad day for…

Jordan Spieth

Spieth’s 3-over 73 doesn’t look that concerning on paper – this is the US Open, after all – it’s the manner in which the three-time major champion got there.

It started with a bogey at the 1st and a lost ball and a double bogey on the 3rd before he railed in three birdies in a row to get back to even-par. There was to be another birdie, but it was sandwiched between four more dropped shots – including a second double at the monster par-5 12th.

“There’s a lot that’s off. I’m not really sure. If I knew, I’d fix it,” Spieth, who hasn’t won since the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale, told Golf.com following his round.

There isn’t a golf fan on the planet who wants him to work it out.

Dustin Johnson

The World No 1 has been the most scintillating player on the planet the past few weeks but it wasn’t to be here.

The putter wasn’t working for DJ, and a 3-over 73 leaves him with a lot of work to do.

Phil Mickelson

He came into the US Open eager to banish the nightmare of 2006. He will need to break all kinds of records on Friday if he wants to avoid going home early after an erratic 9-over 79. Only amateur Lukas Michel – the only player who failed to break 80 – is below Mickelson on the leaderboard.

(Did you know a lefty has never won the US Open? It’s the only men’s major trophy not yet lifted by a left-hand.)

Tiger Watch

The 15-time major champion gave us one of the most entertaining rounds of the day that included just six pars.

There was also five birdies, six bogeys, and a double that added up to a 3-over 73. Watch the highlights here…

Shot(s) of the day

There were not one but two holes-in-one at the 165-yard 7th.

First up Patrick Reed had this one-bounce bucket:

Then Will Zalatoris trickled one in a few hours later:

If you’re keeping track, they were the 46th and 47th aces in US Open history.

That’s not all, Zalatoris almost had a second hole-in-one at 13…

Scintillating stuff.

Putt of the day

Because, on these greens, this deserves its own category.

Here we combine this brilliant putt from Zach Johnson with the equally brilliant joke from Shooter McGavin…

Stat of the day

If you’re on Twitter and not following the ever-brilliant Justin Ray then you need to sort that out.

If someone asked you who had carded the most rounds of 67 or lower at the US Open, who would you pick? Jack? Tiger? Nope…

Worst dressed

Because no one cares about who looks the best…

Some golfers like to make questionable choices at majors. That’s nothing new. But there were two particularly bad efforts from the opening day courtesy of Tommy Fleetwood – who isn’t shy of trying something a bit different – and a bafflingly unnecessary patriotic attempt from Gary Woodland…

No. Just no.

Anything else?

This was quite interesting in the build up to the first day.

Winged Foot have the R&A to thank for the US Open being held at the New York club this week.

USGA CEO Mike Davis explained that when golf’s calendar was being shifted around to account for the coronavirus pandemic, it was assumed the Open would move back into a September slot and America’s national championship would go deeper into winter and on the opposite coast.

“To be very transparent with you, we thought we were going to be playing the US Open in December in Los Angeles,” Davis said. “We were that close.”

But when the R&A decided to postpone the 149th edition of golf’s oldest championship until 2021, it freed up a space for Winged Foot to keep the US Open.

So there you go.

Who do you think will win the US Open? Let me know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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