Mamaroneck, New York – Justin Thomas opened with a 65 at Winged Foot Golf Club, and will take a one-shot lead into day two of the U.S. Open.
The 27-year old Kentucky native signed for scorecard comprised of a single bogey against six birdies, highlighted by a final-hole gain on No. 18 to secure the first-round marquee position on 5-under par.
“It was a good day for me from the start. I’ve just played really, really solidly. Hit a lot of really quality tee shots. Only had a few squirrely ones, it felt like. The few greens I missed, I hit great bunker shots to give myself good par chances,” said Thomas, whose 65 set the U.S. Open scoring record at Winged Foot.
“It was a really, really solid round of golf. It’s one of the best rounds I’ve played in a while tee to green. There are a couple things here and there that definitely could have been better, but I made sure all of my misses were in the right spot, and that’s what you have to do at a U.S. Open.
Patrick Reed headlined a trio one off the pace at 4-under par. The American star overcame a double bogey on the par-4 5th hole with a birdie on No. 7, followed by a hole-in-one on No. 8. The 2018 Masters champion added three more birdies on his inward nine en route to a 66.
“There’s a lot of golf left, 54 holes, and really you’ve just got to continue attacking, continue sticking to your game plan. At the end of the day if you let up at all or you try to play conservative, that’s when also you can get in trouble here,” said Reed.
“You know, it’s one of those things that for me I’m an aggressive golfer as it is, so if I start trying to dial back too much, then I start to feel like I’m guiding things. And I’d rather feel like I make aggressive golf swings throughout this golf course.”
Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Matthew Wolff were tied with Reed.
One further back at 3-under 67 was a threesome of Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen.
McIlroy finished his first round with one bogey against four birdies, including three of the four par-3 holes at Winged Foot.
“Yeah, obviously had a really good start. Played the par-3s really well. Played those in 3-under for the day,” said McIlroy, who opened with 67 or better in each of his four major titles.
“Drove the ball better. I put the ball in play much more today than I have done in the previous few weeks. That bodes well.
“Hopefully I can keep that going over the next three days, and that’s what you need to do around here, just keep it in the short stuff, and then the greens are still receptive enough where you can give yourself some chances.
“I took a couple of my chances today. It was one of those rounds I felt like could have been a little lower than it was, but at the same time 67 is a really good start.”
A six-player logjam rounded out the top 10 at 2-under 68, including Xander Schauffele, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Harris English, Jason Kokrak, Brendon Todd, and Joaquin Niemann.
Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, and Bryson DeChambeau headlined a group of eight more players at 1-under par 69.
Marquee headliners Jason Day (72), Dustin Johnson (73), Justin Rose (73), Tiger Woods (73), and Jordan Spieth (73) all shot over par and will have work to do on Friday to make the weekend.
2020 U.S. Open
Top 10: Round One
1. Justin Thomas -5 (65)
2. Patrick Reed -4 (66)
2. Thomas Pieters -4 (66)
2. Matthew Wolff -4 (66)
5. Rory McIlroy -3 (67)
5. Lee Westwood -3 (67)
5. Louis Oosthuizen -3 (67)
8. Xander Schauffele -2 (68)
8. Rafa Cabrera Bello -2 (68)
8. Harris English -2 (68)
8. Jason Kokrak -2 (68)
8. Brendon Todd -2 (68)
8. Joaquin Niemann -2 (68)