US Open golf 2022: first round – live! | US Open

Joaquin Niemann watched in horror at Southern Hills last month, as his friend and compatriot Mito Pereira threw away his chance to win the PGA Championship with that daft, overly aggressive play from the tee at 18. Niemann’s always been the player most likely to win Chile’s first major title, though. Having started out with bogey at 1 today, he’s bounced back in some style, following up birdie at 6 with a stunning eagle at 8, bashing his second from 210 yards to four feet and making no mistake with the short putt. He joins the group at -2.

The wind is picking up a little bit. Nothing too serious, but it’s expected to get even fresher for the second wave this afternoon, reaching 20 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 25. On Sky, the 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem suggests this shouldn’t be too much of a game-changer, providing the greens don’t firm up dramatically.

Rory McIlroy turns in 33. He walks in a gentle left-to-right 20-footer on 18, and the in-form Canadian Open champion looks in the mood for his first major since 2014. Then again, how many times have we said that since, er, 2014, so let’s not heap any unnecessary expectation on him yet. Early days, all that. He’s -2, though, just one off the pace set by Matthew NeSmith and Collin Morikawa.

Jordan Spieth is trending in the right direction. Birdie at 9, and having dropped three shots in the first four holes, he’ll be cock-a-hoop at making the turn in 36 shots. The 2015 champ is +1, and one way or another, is never anything other than entertaining.

A slow start for the PGA runner-up Will Zalatoris. The 25-year-old Californian has a mixed record at the US Open: missed cuts in 2018 and last year, but a top-six finish at Winged Foot in 2020, when he made one ace in the first round and very nearly another six holes later. Bogeys at 1 and 4, though he’s just repaired some of the damage with birdie at 7. He’s +1.

They’re not in the leading group for long. Collin Morikawa makes a 15-footer at 9, then Matthew NeSmith nails a 20-footer on the dinky 122-yard par-three 11th. Jon Rahm meanwhile moves the other way after bogey at 9, the punishment for sending his approach into sand on the right. The big Spaniard slips to -1.

-3: NeSmith (11), Morikawa (9)
-2: Lingmerth (9*), Homa (8), Muñoz (7)

Collin Morikawa making good early progress.
Collin Morikawa making good early progress. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

A couple of new members join the leading group. Max Homa, having started his round with bogey, makes three birdies in four holes at 5, 6 and now 8. He’ll probably feel he should have the lead all to himself, having missed a right-to-left curler from ten feet for eagle, but this is the US Open, let’s not get too greedy. Meanwhile David Lingmerth recalls the heady days of 2015, when he began the PGA with a 67, by rolling in his second birdie of the day from distance at 18.

Rory McIlroy cards his first birdie of the day. He sends his tee shot at the par-three 17th to 20 feet. His putt looks to be staying up stubbornly on the high side, but turns sharply right just before it gets to the hole and drops. The 2011 champion is -1, having completed the hardest stretch on the course. Meanwhile a three-putt double bogey for Russell Henley at 15, and he slips back into the pack at level par.

Had Chile’s Mito Pereira not blown up down the 72nd hole at the PGA last month, South America would have had its third major champion, after the Argentinians Roberto De Vicenzo and Angel Cabrera. Perhaps Sebastián Muñoz can make it instead? The 29-year-old Colombian has followed up birdie at 3 with a tramliner at 6 to join the leading group at -2 … a group that also now includes the defending champ Jon Rahm, who nearly eagles the par-five 8th with a long right-to-left drifter, but settles for his birdie.

-2: NeSmith (9), Morikawa (8), Rahm (8), Muñoz (6), Henley (5*)

Jordan Spieth continues to struggle and entertain in equal measure. After missing the green at the par-three 6th by several miles to the right, for his fourth bogey of the day, he whips his approach at 7 to five feet, and rolls in the birdie putt. Just the one par for Spieth through his first seven holes, and he’s +2.

One of those aforementioned birdie-pars at 15 for Rory McIlroy. He shoves his tee shot at 15 into thick oomska down the right. Forced to gouge out, he leaves himself with a 15-foot downhill putt to save his par … and he rolls it confidently into the centre of the cup. That’s his second fine scramble already: he drove into trouble down the right of 13, but found the front of the two-tier green and made a very testing two-putt par. McIlroy currently playing with the confidence of a man coming off a final round of 62 and victory at last week’s Canadian Open.

Abraham Ancer finished in the top ten at the PGA last month. The 31-year-old Mexican won’t be repeating his Southern Hills heroics this week. He’s been forced to withdraw after falling ill, and Patton Kizzire will take his place. Rickie Fowler is the next cab on the rank should anyone else withdraw.

Matthew NeSmith has no record whatsoever in the majors. Well, that’s not quite accurate: a missed cut at the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay, and that’s it for the 28-year-old South Carolinian. But he’s now a joint leader of this one. Part of the second group out early this morning, he’s followed up birdie at 5 with another at the par-five 8th. Meanwhile on the other par five at Brookline, the 14th, Xander Schauffele rolls in a ten footer to move to -1.

-2: NeSmith (8), Morikawa (7), Henley (4*)

It’s been a solid start for Rory McIlroy. Four pars, 10 through 13, on what some argue is the most testing stretch of the course. McIlroy’s paired with Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama. Schauffele – who has never finished lower than seventh in his five US Open appearances – has matched Rory shot for shot so far. Not so the 2021 Masters champ Matsuyama, who followed birdie at 11 with a three-putt double bogey at 12. He’s +1.

Rory McIlroy putts on the 12th.
Rory McIlroy putts on the 12th. Photograph: Charlie Riedel/AP

Jon Rahm has warmed up the putter. Back-to-back birdies at 5 and 6, and he’s into red figures in short order. He’s -1. The defending champ is going around with Collin Morikawa today; the Open champion leaves his tee shot at the par-three 6th short and right, but whips out from thick cabbage to four feet, and scrambles his par. It’s a US Open, and more often than not, those babies feel like birdies. He remains in a share of lead with Russell Henley at -2.

The 2015 champion Jordan Spieth is currently demonstrating the benefits of finding the fairway. Never the most accurate from the tee, he’s yet to hit one, and as a result he’s dropped shots at 1, 3 and 4. He’ll need all his scrambling genius this week, and he demonstrates that, too, getting up and down from sand at the short par-four 5th to haul himself back to +2. Spieth’s combined score for last four opening rounds at the US Open is +18. He’ll need to go some to put a dent into that surprisingly awful record today.

Henley is quickly joined at the top by Collin Morikawa. The reigning Open champion could be very dangerous here this week, with approach play at a premium to Brookline’s often small and tightly guarded greens. The best iron player in the world birdies 2 and 5, and while it’s early doors, the leaderboard is already taking shape.

-2: Morikawa (5), Henley (3*)
-1: Buckley (7*), NeSmith (7), Vick -a- (6), Scott (4), Muñoz (3)

Russell Henley is making his eighth start at the US Open this week. The 33-year-old from Georgia has yet to finish in the top ten, but he did tie for low amateur in 2010 at Pebble Beach, and enjoyed his best result last year at Torrey Pines with a tie for 13th. He’s started fast today, following up birdie at 10 by almost holing out from 180 yards at 12. He taps in for a second birdie and becomes the first man to reach -2.

Shall we start with news of the defending champion? It only seems right. Jon Rahm won last year’s event at Torrey Pines by steering in two big left-to-right breakers on 17 and 18. Golf being golf, his flat stick is letting him down as he sets about his defence. Short putts missed at 3 and 4, one for par, another for birdie, and he’s +1 so far. The second miss was a particular shame, as he’d sent a delightful short iron into 4, using the right-to-left slope of the green to gather his ball to four feet. Having said that, it was a downhill putt, and you don’t want to be leaving yourself too many of those this week.

Preamble

Yes, yes, the LIV Tour has been hanging around the run-up to the 122nd US Open at Brookline like a bad smell. But let’s not allow it to linger, for none of the players involved with the breakaway tour are considered particularly likely winners of the USGA’s flagship event. In fact, three of the top four favourites this week – Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and defending champion Jon Rahm – have been vocal in their defence of the PGA Tour, while the other – new Masters champion Scottie Scheffler – gave the new format some side-eye ahead of last week’s Canadian Open, pointing out that “maybe outside of DJ”, he hadn’t “really noticed anyone missing this week”. Ouch!

Other dudes have to be taken into serious consideration. The Players champion and Masters nearly man Cam Smith. The FedEx champ Patrick Cantlay. Sam Burns, a three-time winner on Tour this season. The in-form Matthew Fitzpatrick. PGA runner-up Will Zalatoris. The two-time major winner Collin Morikawa. Hideki Matsuyama. Shane Lowry. Im Sung-jae. Xander Schauffele. Tony Finau. Viktor Hovland. Jordan Spieth. The Sonics. The Sonics. The Sonics.

Brookline is mainly remembered these days for the 1999 Ryder Cup, Justin Leonard, Ollie’s line, all that. But it’s hosted three previous US Opens, won by Curtis Strange in 1988, Julius Boros in 1963, and most famously of all, the amateur Francis Ouimet in 1913. A fame-infused roll call, right there.

Speaking of which, some of the big names go out early. It’s going to be a long day, so without further ado, here are the starting tee times for the first round. Pick your favourite and settle down for four days of major-championship golf. Three-round confections with shotgun starts have nothing on the United States Open Championship, baby. It’s on!

Starting at hole 1:
11:45 Matt McCarty, (a) Michael Thorbjornsen, Erik Barnes
11:56 Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers, (a) Travis Vick
12:07 Troy Merritt, (a) William Mouw, Andrew Putnam
12:18 Collin Morikawa, James Piot, Jon Rahm (Spa)
12:29 Max Homa, Adam Scott (Aus), Jordan Spieth
12:40 Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Horschel
12:51 Sebastian Munoz (Col), Alexander Noren (Swe), Harold Varner III
13:02 Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris
13:13 (a) Stewart Hagestad, Grayson Murray, Adam Schenk
13:24 Branden Grace (Rsa), Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Guido Migliozzi (Ita)
13:35 Beau Hossler, Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Kalle Samooja (Fin)
13:46 Richard Mansell (Eng), Roger Sloan (Can), Tomoyasu Sugiyama (Jpn)
13:57 Keith Greene, Benjamin Silverman (Can), (a) Caleb Manuel
17:30 Kevin Chappell, Andrew Novak, Chase Seiffert
17:41 Thorbjoern Olesen (Den), Brian Stuard, Nick Hardy
17:52 Sam Horsfield (Eng), Shaun Norris (Rsa), Cameron Tringale
18:03 Sung Jae Im (Kor), Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi), Erik van Rooyen (Rsa)
18:14 Tony Finau, Viktor Hovland (Nor), Justin Thomas
18:25 Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor), Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Seamus Power (Irl)
18:36 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson
18:47 Shane Lowry (Irl), Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
18:58 Danny Lee (Nzl), (a) Keita Nakajima (Jpn), Nick Taylor (Can)
19:09 (a) Nick Dunlap, Jim Furyk, Adam Hadwin (Can)
19:20 Richard Bland (Eng), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn)
19:31 Jonas Blixt (Swe), Bo Hoag, Todd Sinnott (Aus)
19:42 Sean Jacklin (Sco), (a) Charles Reiter, Isaiah Salinda

Starting at hole 10:
11:45 Hayden Buckley, Fran Quinn, Callum Tarren (Eng)
11:56 (a) Sam Bennett, Kurt Kitayama, Denny McCarthy
12:07 Wil Besseling (Ned), Wyndham Clark, Brandon Matthews
12:18 Si Woo Kim (Kor), Sepp Straka (Aut), David Lingmerth (Swe)
12:29 Victor Perez (Fra), Davis Riley, Scott Stallings
12:40 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Xander Schauffele
12:51 Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner
13:02 Keegan Bradley, Marc Leishman (Aus), Aaron Wise
13:13 Stewart Cink, Francesco Molinari (Ita), (a) Laird Shepherd (Eng)
13:24 Marcel Schneider (Ger), Joseph Bramlett, Chan Kim
13:35 Joel Dahmen, Lanto Griffin, Jinichiro Kozuma (Jpn)
13:46 (a) Fred Biondi (Bra), Harry Hall (Eng), Chris Gotterup
13:57 Luke Gannon, Chris Naegel, Andrew Beckler
17:30 Sean Crocker, Jediah Morgan (Aus), Taylor Montgomery
17:41 M. J. Daffue (Rsa), (a) Maxwell Moldovan, Yannik Paul (Ger)
17:52 Adria Arnaus (Spa), Talor Gooch, Tom Hoge
18:03 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Kevin Na
18:14 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Sam Burns, Thomas Pieters (Bel)
18:25 Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith (Aus)
18:36 Corey Conners (Can), (a) Austin Greaser, Luke List
18:47 Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose (Eng), Gary Woodland
18:58 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor), Patrick Reed
19:09 Harris English, Lucas Herbert (Aus), Jason Kokrak
19:20 (a) Ben Lorenz, Davis Shore, Samuel Stevens
19:31 (a) Adrien Dumont (Bel), Daijiro Izumida (Jpn), Sebastian Soederberg (Swe)
19:42 Brady Calkins, Ryan Gerard, Jesse Mueller

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