Justin Rose birdied his final three holes to card a 6-under-par 65 and take a one-shot lead after the first round of the US Open at Pebble Beach.
Four players are tied for second place at five-under, including Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen, and Aaron Wise.
Rose Scrambles to Stay on Top
The strong first round has established Rose as the early favorite at the US Open, with FanDuel Sportsbook listing him at +550 to win the major. Rose previously won the tournament in 2011.
Rose’s 65 tied a mark set in 2000 by Tiger Woods, who was coincidentally playing with Rose on Thursday. Despite the impressive number, however, Rose wasn’t particularly happy with his play.
“I don’t know if I did a good job of anything other than scrambling,” Rose said after the round. “It’s nice to know I can shoot a score like that with more in the tank.”
Woods shot a 1-under 70 to leave himself tied for 28th place, five shots back of the leader. The round started eventfully for Tiger, who overcame a double bogey thanks to three front-nine birdies, then parred out the back nine to post a solid round.
“I was just trying to hang in there,” Woods said afterwards. “Just one of those days.”
Like Rose, Woods was scrambling for much of the day, making several saves to avoid what could have been a disastrous first round. On the par-5 14th hole, he sank a 30-foot putt to avoid bogey.
“I was just trying to hack out, take my medicine, and walk away with six,” said Woods. “I happened to make a putt.”
Woods, Koepka Among Betting Favorites
That result kept Woods in the mix, with FanDuel now listing the 15-time major winner at +1500. But there are a handful of other contenders who are being given better odds of walking away as the US Open champion.
Chief among them is Brooks Koepka (+800). The two-time defending US Open champion is four shots back after shooting a 2-under 69 on Thursday. Koepka struggled at times in the first round, only hitting half of the fairways on the course and only reaching 12 of 18 greens in regulation.
“It’s a battle if you’re not going to hit fairways,” Koepka said after his round. “Considering how I hit it coming in, I’m pretty pleased. I didn’t shoot myself out of it.”
Rory McIlroy (+800) is an equal second choice with Koepka after shooting a 3-under 68 to start his tournament.
“I think I did what I wanted to do, which was hit it in the fairways for the most part, hit a lot of greens and when I didn’t I was able to get it up and down,” McIlroy told reporters. “I did everything you need to do in a US Open.”
Fowler (+950) and Schauffele (+950) are also among the betting favorites after the first round.
Play continues for all golfers on Friday. After the second round, only the top 60 players (and anyone tied for 60th position) will make the cut and continue on to the final two rounds of the tournament.
The post Justin Rose Ties Scoring Record to Take Early Lead After Day 1 of US Open appeared first on Casino.org.