Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth among favorites with $12M at stake

Breaking down the 10 must-see golfers at US Open

Ian Poulter makes a fast start to the US Open and grabs a share of the morning lead at Shinnecock Hills. It was there in the first round where Woods shot his highest-ever U.S. Open round, an 80.

Dustin Johnson played some of his best golf Thursday (Friday NZ time) and yet the world's No 1 player barely beat par in the treacherous wind at Shinnecock Hills.

The nine Australians did not escape the battle fatigue. So will Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Marc Leishman.

And McIlroy, who started on the 10th tee, was only just managing to play bogey golf, shooting a seven-over-par 42 on his first nine holes before dropping three more shots at the first and second. "I just think today was the toughest day we'll have all week".

"If I'd shot a 72 or 73, it would be a good day's work as well". "Every day out here is going to be hard". He tried it again with the same result, and then rapped his putter up the hill by the hole and missed the putt.

The top 60 players and ties will make the cut, and Day is 118th.

From the middle of the first fairway, he went long over the green.

More news: Kim has a 'one-time shot'

The course never relented and the big names suffered as well.

Tiger Woods reacts with disgust after his second shot at the first hole.

Fresh off a six-shot victory last week, Johnson managed all aspects of his game Thursday on a classic U.S. Open course that required nothing less. Rory McIlroy could not break 80.

However, worst round of the day so far goes to former British Amateur champion Scott Gregory, who suffered through a 22-over 92. It was the first score in the 90s in the Open since 2002. The average score for the field on the par-70 layout was a stout 76.5.

He's also just six shots behind world number one Dustin Johnson, Scott Piercy, Russell Henley and Ian Poulter, who defied winds gusting to 25mph to card one-under 69s for a one-stroke lead over former US PGA victor Jason Dufner with the likes of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson lurking on one-over after grinding out 71s.

"It was pretty evident nobody was making any birdies in the morning - lots and lots of bogeys and 'others, "' Woods said.

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