Looking forward to the second round of the 2023 U.S. Open

Looking forward to the second round of the 2023 U.S. Open

In men’s professional golf, the United States Golf Association takes pride in having the most challenging test.

The 123rd U.S. Open’s first round on Thursday at Los Angeles Country Club resembled more of a practise test.

A round of 62 in the U.S. Open hasn’t been recorded in 122 years. Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele both accomplished it in a 30-minute period on Thursday. Justin Thomas scored nine birdies and one eagle in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin; Fowler became the first player in U.S. Open history with 10 in a single round.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the first round’s scoring average was 71.38, the lowest for a U.S. Open opening round in the previous 90 years. The North Course at LACC is a par-70 layout. The previous record-low score for the first round was 72.29, set in 1993 at Baltusrol in Springfield Township, New Jersey.

The other scores included two 64s, two 65s, seven 67s, and 11 68s in addition to the two records. In the 1980s, there wasn’t a single score. According to ESPN Stats & Information, no player shot lower than 79 in either the first or second round of the U.S. Open.

According to Harris English, who shot a 3-under 67, “they’re probably not going to like it too much when they see those two 64s.”

The North Course’s spacious fairways and lush greens kept moisture and were very responsive due to the sun being blocked by a heavy maritime layer. There shouldn’t be much wind until the Santa Ana winds arrive a few months early.

According to Schauffele, who scored eight birdies in a round without a bogey, “the sun didn’t come out and it was misting this morning, so I’d say the greens held a little bit more moisture than anticipated.”The fairways are also a little bit softer as a result of the cloudy conditions, and because there isn’t much sun, the ground isn’t really drying up. I believe that greens are a little bit softer and fairways are easier to hit.

It will be up to USGA officials to put the top players in the world to the test in the event that the weather doesn’t improve over the following three days. Additionally, most golfers anticipate Friday’s setting to be significantly more challenging given what Fowler and Schauffele performed on Thursday.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, who is now 1 under after 18 holes, remarked of the course, “There’s a lot more teeth in this one.”

During the last three rounds, the USGA will not position the pins in the deep bunkers or barrancas, the many steep-sided gulleys that dot the course. But given what transpired in the first round, it probably won’t be very enjoyable the rest of the way.

After what Rickie did, I’m sure they’ll make it quite a bit difficult for us tomorrow afternoon, Max Homa, a resident of Los Angeles, said after shooting a 2-under 68.

This isn’t the first time the USGA has changed anything. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf both equaled the record during the first round of the 1980 U.S. Open at Baltusrol with 7-under 63s. After 72 holes, Nicklaus had a score of 8 under par, two strokes better than Isao Aoki of Japan.

Homa predicted that things would grow tougher. I somewhat approve of this tendency. Recently, it feels like they deceive us into believing we have it at U.S. Opens before making it harder as the weekend wears on.

We can only hope that it will be more difficult than what we saw on Thursday.

You simply need to wait till this area settles, said Schauffele. It will be unpleasant.

swinging reverse

The U.S. Open has never been won by a left-handed player. The closest have been Brian Harman and Mickelson. At Erin Hills in Wisconsin in 2017, Harman tied for second place with Mickelson, who has finished second six times.

At LACC, both are reachable, particularly Harman who shot a 5-under 65 in the first round. Harman hadn’t accomplished much after a strong autumn in which he finished second in the World Wide Technology Championship and tied for second at the RSM Classic. At the Masters and the PGA Championship, he failed to make the cut.

“Finally found a little bit of ball-striking,” said Harman, who sank 15 of 18 greens. “The last several months have been difficult. Had a fantastic autumn and was expecting to really get this year off to a good start, but results have been hit or miss. I’m just trying to recommit, get as angry as I can, and attempt to make some accurate shots. Today it did came through.

Mickelson had a score of three under after 13 holes but then made bogeys on holes six and seven. By winning the U.S. Open, he can complete the career Grand Slam. On Friday, he turns 53. He came close to matching Tom Watson for the second-most rounds under par at the U.S. Open with his 26th round, which was under par. 38 of Nicklaus’ rounds were below par.

“I played OK,” said Mickelson. “Today, I had a lot of nice swings and a few terrible swings that lost me a few strokes. It’s a terrific start, and I have an opportunity to go out and shoot a strong round tomorrow morning to set myself up for the weekend.

Recall me?

Sam Bennett, who finished in a tie for second place as the low amateur at the Masters in April, is back in the lead at a major. Bennett shot a 3-under 67 in only his third professional round and is now tied for eighth. Had he not made bogeys on his last two holes, his score may have been significantly higher.

Bennett said, “I thought the front nine was doable, and I noticed there were some low [scores] out there, so I knew there were birdies to be had if you teed it in play. I played well all day, so losing two of the final two games was a fairly unpleasant conclusion.

The former Texas A&M standout made his professional debut last week at the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto, where he tied for 20th place after placing 63rd at The Memorial in Columbus, Ohio.

“I feel at ease. No nerves exist, Bennett said. I feel as if I belong. It was fantastic to play over the weekend at RBC and Memorial. Yes, I feel like I belong and am at ease on this platform simply based on my experience playing the weekends at the Open and the Masters.

To do list

Everyone in the 156-player field found the North Course to be challenging on Thursday. The bottom 60 scores and ties make up the 36-hole cut. Many well-known golfers, including Thomas (3 over), Tommy Fleetwood (3 over), Adam Scott (3 over), Jason Day (3 over), Tom Kim (3 over), Tyrrell Hatton (4 over), and Justin Rose (6 over), will need to play better in the second round if they want to go to the weekend.

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