Shaun Micheel, Paul Casey and Brendon de Jonge posted 2-under 69s on Thursday to share the firstround lead at the 110th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mike Weir, K.J. Choi, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Ian Poulter, Alex Cejka and Ryo Ishikawa are one stroke behind.
Micheel’s 2-under 69 represents his first round in the 60s in 17 total rounds at the U.S. Open. His 69 equals his best opening round in a major championship, with the other two 69s leading to his two best finishes in a major (1st-2003 PGA Championship, 2nd-2006 PGA Championship).
Casey’s 69 is his first sub-70 opening round in eight starts at the U.S. Open.
De Jonge, a 29-year-old native of Harare, Zimbabwe, is making his first career start in a major championship.
Prior to Thursday’s 4-over 75, the last time Phil Mickelson played a round in the U.S. Open without a birdie was during the opening round in 2007. He went on to miss the cut that week at Oakmont Country Club. Prior to Thursday, the last time he played a PGA TOUR event without a birdie or better was the
2009 Shell Houston Open, carding an opening-round 5-over 77.
Tiger Woods also failed to make a birdie en route to a 3-over 74. Just three times in his professional career has he failed to make a birdie or better in a major championship: 2010 U.S. Open (Round 1, 3-over 74), 2003 Masters (Round 1, 4-over 76) and the 1999 British Open (Round 3, 3-over 74). On two other
occasions, he failed to make a birdie, but did card one eagle: 2008 Masters (Round 1, even-par 72) and the 2003 U.S. Open (Round 1, even-par 70).
Prior to Thursday, the last time Tiger Woods failed to make a birdie in a PGA TOUR event was the first round of the 2007 PLAYERS Championship (3-over 75).
Thursday marks the first time in their professional careers that Mickelson and Woods failed to make a birdie in a major championship on the same day.