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The opening round of the 2023 US Open certainly didn’t disappoint, despite not living up to the event’s rigid reputation of being severely difficult.
That did make for lower scores, though, and with those scintillating rounds came history for a few individuals in the field.
Stealing the headlines were Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele after the American pair carded record-breaking 62s, but Dustin Johnson also had a day to remember.
The LIV golfer signed for a six-under-par 64, which moved Johnson above Jack Nicklaus and alongside Tiger Woods in a statistic that reads well.
Of players to shoot 65 or better in the history of major championships, Johnson is now tied at the top of that list with Woods.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Thursday’s round, which included seven birdies and one bogey, was the tenth time Johnson had achieved the feat in golf’s coveted championships.
Interesting stat here from @EliasSports. Most times shooting 65 or better in the history of major championships.
Tiger — 10
DJ — 10
Jack — 9
Rory — 8
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) June 16, 2023
Nicklaus finished his career with nine rounds of 65 or better, while Rory McIlroy appears next on the list with eight.
On a better putting day, that number might’ve been lower and pushed Johnson up a place or two from his spot in T3.
The 4Aces GC team captain gained 0.01 strokes putting, just the 85th best in the field.
However, it was a stellar day around the course, as Johnson ranked 4th in the field off the tee, gaining over two strokes, and 3rd on approach, gaining 3.69 strokes.
The thick Bermuda rough has been a key talking point ahead of play this week, as it shaped to be one of Los Angeles Country Club’s best defences from low scores.
But Johnson had no issue with that problem, hitting all 13 fairways in the event’s curtain opener.
The former world number one is looking for a third major triumph this week, and a second US Open win after lifting the title in 2016.
Johnson will tee off for his second round with Sam Burns and Keith Mitchell at 4:02 pm.
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