SCORES AFTER ROUND 1 -6 Justin Rose; -5 Rickie Fowler, Aaron Wise, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele; -4 Scott Piercy, Nate Lashley. SELECTED OTHERS -3 Rory McIlroy; -2 Brooks Koepka; -1 Tiger Woods; E Dustin Johnson; +1 Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson
That's how Tiger Woods summed up his first round at the US Open.
The Masters champion, bidding to win the title for the fourth time, battled to a one-under 70 to lie five shots off the lead held by playing partner Justin Rose at Pebble Beach.
An uncharacteristically poor day with his irons left Woods battling to salvage a score. Despite a good day off the tee, hitting ten of his 14 fairways, he found only nine greens in regulation. Had it not been for a hot putter – he needed only 25 putts all day – his score could have been significantly worse… and he knows it.
“I didn’t quite hit my irons as crisp as I’d like,” said Woods. “At Pebble Beach, you’ve got the first seven holes to get it going. After that, it’s a fight and I kind of proved that today. I just kind of hung in there. It was one of those days.”
Rose, meanwhile, closed out his round with three consecutive birdies to take a one-shot lead into day two.
Like Woods, the Englishman had an up-and-down kind of day. He ranked 116th and 96th in Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee and Approach respectively, but was second in Stroke Gained: Around The Green and led the field in putting.
In the end, that all added up to a six-under 65 for the 2013 champion – a score that equalled the record low round in a US Open at Pebble Beach set by Woods in 2000.
Afterwards, Rose admitted he became aware of the record after watching the coverage of the early starters on television before he teed off.
“Rickie [Fowler] had a putt from ten to 15 feet on the last and I heard it was to tie Tiger’s record 65 in 2000,” he said. “There are some things you can’t un-hear so, playing the last, I was definitely aware of it and it was nice to do it in front of the man himself but that’s just a nice side-note.
"The start is more important than that. Today was a great day with the putter and my short game was on-song.”