Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Rose equals Tiger record to seize US Open lead

News24
14 Jun 2019, 16:12 GMT+10

Pebble Beach - Justin Rose roared home with three straight birdies to match Tiger Woods' record for the lowest US Open round ever shot at Pebble Beach, a six-under par 65 that gave him a one-shot lead after the first round on Thursday.

SCORECARD: 119th US Open - Round 1

England's Rose, who won the 2013 US Open at Merion, vaulted over a quartet of players sharing second on five-under-par 66 as Pebble Beach showed a welcoming face in cool, overcast conditions with little wind.

Americans Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele and South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise (born in Cape Town but playing under the American flag) were in the clubhouse on 66 when Rose stormed home.

"It was amazing," said Rose, who rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 16th and drained a 26-footer for birdie at the par-three 17th.

He took sole possession of the lead at the last, blasting out of a greenside bunker and draining an 11-foot birdie putt.

Rose wasn't getting too carried away, calling it a "very small step towards an outcome".

Knowing he had equalled the 65 shot by Woods in the first round on the way to his crushing 15-shot US Open triumph at Pebble Beach in 2000, Rose gave a restrained fist pump.

"I was thinking, 'This would be kind of cool doing it front of the great man himself,'" said Rose, who played alongside Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Woods produced an outstanding performance on the greens as he scrambled to a one-under par 70.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka headed a group on two-under 69.

Scott Piercy teed off before 7am and quickly showed that Pebble Beach was there for the taking, moving as low as five-under before finishing on four-under 67. He was joined there in a tie for sixth by fellow American Nate Lashley.

Reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy were among a group of eight players on three-under 68.

That group also included Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who climbed the leaderboard with four straight birdies coming in, Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, and Americans Sepp Straka, Gary Woodland, Chez Reavie and Chesson Hadley.

After the US Golf Association was stung by criticism over course conditions at last year's US Open at wind-dried Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach's small, slanting greens were moist and receptive.

"The putting surfaces are as good as I've seen them," said Koepka, although he and the rest of the field fully expect them to firm up as the week goes on.

Afternoon starter Koepka, who can become just the second player to win three straight US Opens and the first in more than a century, applied pressure on the leaders as he raced to four-under through six holes.

He followed a bogey at eight with a birdie at 12, but was three-under after a bogey at 13 and dropped a shot from a greenside bunker at the par-three 17th.

His tee shot at 18 found an asphalt cart path, but he hit his second shot off the deck on the way to a par, missing a four-foot birdie putt at 18.

"I would have liked to have shot a couple more (under par)," Koepka said. "But considering how I hit it coming in, I'm pretty pleased. Two-under, I didn't shoot myself out of it. I'm right there."

Woods, who captured his 15th major title at the Masters in April to cement his return in the wake of spinal fusion surgery, followed his first birdie at the fourth with a double-bogey at the par-three fifth, where his tee shot bounced off a cart path into deep rough. He rebounded with back-to-back birdies, then parred his last 11 holes.

He drained a 30-footer to save par at the 14th after his second shot landed in dense rough. He needed just 25 putts on the round.

"I was just trying to hang in there," Woods said.

First-round scores on Thursday in the 119th US Open Golf Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links (par-71):

65 - Justin Rose (ENG)

66 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Rickie Fowler (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA), Aaron Wise (USA)

67 - Scott Piercy (USA), Nate Lashley (USA)

68 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Sepp Straka (AUT), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Henrik Stenson (SWE), Gary Woodland (USA), Chez Reavie (USA), Chesson Hadley (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR)

69 - Marc Leishman (AUS), Adrià Arnaus (ESP), Jon Rahm (ESP), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Martin Kaymer (GER), Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Viktor Hovland (NOR), Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Matt Kuchar (USA), Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Graeme McDowell (NIR)

70 - Jason Day (AUS), Adam Scott (AUS), Rafael Cabrera (ESP), An Byeong-Hun (KOR), Carlos Ortiz (MEX), Jovan Rebula (RSA), Jason Dufner (USA), Zach Johnson (USA), Tiger Woods (USA), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Matt Wallace (ENG), Paul Casey (ENG)

71 - Cameron Smith (AUS), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Li Haotong (CHN), Luis Gagne (CRC), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Erik Van Rooyen (RSA), Tom Hoge (USA), Kyle Stanley (USA), Dustin Johnson (USA), Brandon Wu (USA), Patrick Reed (USA), Harris English (USA), Brian Stuard (USA), Collin Morikawa (USA), Chip McDaniel (USA), Michael Thorbjornsen (USA), Danny Willett (ENG), Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)

72 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS), Justin Walters (RSA), Rory Sabbatini (SVK), Sam Saunders (USA), Scottie Scheffler (USA), Brendon Todd (USA), J.B. Holmes (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Richard Lee (USA), Andy Pope (USA), Charlie Danielson (USA), Austin Eckroat (USA), Charles Howell III (USA), David Toms (USA), Kevin Na (USA), Jordan Spieth (USA), Chandler Eaton (USA), Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), Luke Donald (ENG)

73 - Marcus Fraser (AUS), Matthieu Pavon (FRA), Mikumu Horikawa (JPN), Justin Harding (RSA), Billy Hurley III (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Justin Thomas (USA), Kevin Kisner (USA), Rob Oppenheim (USA), Nick Hardy (USA), Ryan Sullivan (USA), Joseph Bramlett (USA), Keegan Bradley (USA), Patrick Cantlay (USA), Lucas Glover (USA), Jim Furyk (USA), Andrew Putnam (USA), Daniel Berger (USA), Lee Slattery (ENG), Ian Poulter (ENG), Callum Tarren (ENG)

74 - Matt Jones (AUS), Nick Taylor (CAN), Mike Weir (CAN), Anirban Lahiri (IND), Abraham Ancer (MEX), Andreas Halvorsen (NOR), Ryan Fox (NZL), Branden Grace (RSA), Marcus Kinhult (SWE), Matt Parziale (USA), Matthew Naumec (USA), Cody Gribble (USA), Stewart Hagestad (USA), Luke List (USA), Webb Simpson (USA), Tony Finau (USA), Spencer Tibbits (USA), Chun An Yu (TPE)

75 - Shane Lowry (IRL), Renato Paratore (ITA), Shugo Shugo Imahira (JPN), Ernie Els (RSA), Alexander Noren (SWE), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Bubba Watson (USA), Cameron Young (USA), Joel Dahmen (USA), Luke Guthrie (USA), Brandt Snedeker (USA), Jimmy Walker (USA), Ollie Schniederjans (USA), Alex Prugh (USA), Brian Davis (ENG), Sam Horsfield (ENG)

76 - Julian Etulain (ARG), Thomas Pieters (BEL), Clement Sordet (FRA), Lee Kyung-Hoon (KOR), Kim Si-Woo (KOR), Daniel Hillier (NZL), Dean Burmester (RSA), Kevin O'Connell (USA), Keith Mitchell (USA)

77 - Brett Drewitt (AUS), Guillermo Pereira (CHI), Chan Kim (USA), Hayden Shieh (USA), Connor Arendell (USA)

78 - Roberto Castro (USA), Rhys Enoch (WAL)

79 - Merrick Bremner (RSA)

80 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN), Kodai Ichihara (JPN), Patton Kizzire (USA), Noah Norton (USA), Cheng Tsung Pan (TPE)

82 - Devon Bling (USA)

83 - Zac Blair (USA), Eric Dietrich (USA)

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