A vintage display of putting prowess kept Tiger Woods in the hunt for a 16th major title, but it was playing partner Justin Rose who surged into the lead after the first round of the 119th US Open.
Rose, who won the title at Merion in 2013, birdied his last three holes to card an opening six-under-par 65, equalling the lowest round ever in a US Open at Pebble Beach set by Woods on his way to a record 15-shot victory in 2000.
Woods was nowhere near that kind of form but the Masters champion scrambled superbly and single-putted 11 greens to card a 70, the same score he posted in the first round at Augusta National in April.
Rose enjoyed a one-shot lead over former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and the American trio of Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, with Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari part of an eight-strong group on three under.
“The only reason I knew my putt on the last was to match Tiger’s score is that Rickie had that putt earlier and I was watching some of the (television) coverage,” Rose said. “I thought this would be kind of cool doing this in front of the great man himself.”
Tweet of the day
The Guardian’s Ewan Murray reacts to a wild tee shot from Tiger Woods on the fifth, which would lead to a double bogey
Quote of the day
Jordan Spieth is furious with caddie Michael Greller after driving through the fairway on the eighth and then hitting his approach over the green
Shot of the day
Rory Sabbatini was one over par for the day before producing a perfect tee shot on the 202-yard 12th, his ball bouncing twice before plunging into the hole.
Round of the day
Justin Rose insisted the only thing he did well was scramble, but the 2013 champion carded an eagle, five birdies and a solitary bogey to equal the lowest round in a US Open at Pebble Beach.
Statistic of the day
Tiger Woods ranked 121st in strokes gained approaching the green but fourth in strokes gained putting.
Rose was one of eight players to make an eagle on the 518-yard par-five sixth hole, which also offered up 67 birdies for a scoring average of 4.628.
The 493-yard 10th hole played as the toughest with 64 bogeys and eight double bogeys, although England’s Callum Tarren did record the only eagle when he holed his approach from a fairway bunker.
On the up
Chances of the USGA deciding to turn off the sprinklers after 39 players took advantage of unusually soft greens to break par in the opening round.
On the slide
Possibly Michael Greller’s job prospects after Jordan Spieth audibly blamed his caddie for hitting his drive on the eighth over a cliff and then hitting his approach over the green.