The word “challenging” would be a bit of an understatement in describing the first round for the entire field in the 2018 U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
That was no exception for Jordan Spieth, nor his fellow competitors who also once teed it up for the Texas Longhorns.
Spieth struggled out of the gate on Thursday, recording a triple-bogey on his second hole of the day en route to an 8-over par finish of 78 — a less than ideal start for the winner of the 2015 event.
Spieth, who was part of an NCAA Championship team at Texas, was paired alongside fellow major-champion golfers Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, but none of the three golfers could outsmart the difficult links-style course located on Long Island, some 80 miles outside of New York City. The group finished the day a combined 25-over-par, with McIlroy and Mickelson posting scores of 80 and 77, respectively.
Spieth’s position is seemingly common ground for former Texas golfers at Shinnecock this week. Dylan Fritelli also stumbled to a 78 with a back-nine 42 on his scorecard, while Doug Ghim — who just finished his senior year in Austin and was the low amateur at the Masters in April — carded a 9-over-par 79 after being plagued by a 7-over-par start in his first six holes.
Jhonattan Vegas fared slightly better than the rest of the group with a 6-over-par score of 76 on the day, but even he was still 7 strokes off the lead in the early afternoon. With the leaders at just 1-over par nearing 2 p.m. ET, the cut-line on Friday should be much higher than usual as it stands. But another first-round-like performance from Speith, McIlroy and Mickelson on Friday could bring an early end to their week at Shinnecock.
Shinnecock Hills is hosting the U.S. Open for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won the event. You can view a live leaderboard of the 2018 U.S. Open here.