Amateur Thompson leads the way in early action

18 Sep 2020

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DANNY Willett of England hits out of a bunker during the first round of the US Open Championship at the Winged Foot Golf Club on Thursday.—AFP
DANNY Willett of England hits out of a bunker during the first round of the US Open Championship at the Winged Foot Golf Club on Thursday.—AFP

MAMARONECK (New York): Amateur Davis Thompson was leading the way as some of golf’s biggest names worked through the turn at the opening round of the US Open on Thursday, as early starters took advantage of ideal scoring conditions at Winged Foot Golf Club.

A senior at the University of Georgia making his first US Open start, Thompson was unfazed by the tough Mamaroneck, New York layout hitting a run of three straight birdies from the sixth to head onto the back nine at three-under.

Thompson was being chased by a group that included Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, Canada’s Corey Conners and American Harris English, all one shot back.

Starting on the back nine McIlroy, the 2011 US Open winner, got off to a bright start rolling in a 20-foot birdie putt at the par three 10 and then did the same at the par three 13th to sit on two-under through eight holes.

Tiger Woods was having a rollercoaster start to his day, dropping shots with bogeys at four and five. The 15-time major winner would pick up his first shot of the day at the sixth but then give it right back with his third bogey on his outward nine at eight to slip to two-over.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson, riding high from victory at the Tour Championship and favourite to claim a second U.S. Open title, is among the afternoon wave starting alongside fellow Americans Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2020