JASON DAY was showing very encouraging form during the first round of the 2015 US Open while a virus affected Adam Scott was also happy with his opening foray.
Day, starting in more difficult conditions in the afternoon at the idiosyncratic Chambers Bay course, was threatening for the lead mid round before three late dropped shots saw him finish three strokes behind the morning pacesetters, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson.
With the joint leaders at 5-under, Day got to 4-under before a double bogey on the downhill par three 15th when his tee shot came up short and presented the 27 year old Aussie with an almost impossible downhill, plugged lie in a greenside bunker.
“It was tough this afternoon, it was very, very tough – that bloody 15th hole down the hill,” Day said later.
“I felt like I hit a great shot. As soon as I hit, it got up in the air, I knew it was going to be short. I didn’t know it was going to be that short (20m), and I felt like I practically went under there and flew it back to the lip.”
Day was proud he let go the mental baggage immediately.
“I was glad to come back with a birdie on the 16th,” he said, though there was another hiccup with bogey on the 17th.
“But I’ll take anything under par. This is a marathon this week. It’s physically and mentally demanding.
“So I just have to keep myself in it and give myself a shot on Sunday hopefully. And hopefully it goes my way.”
Day closed on 2-under 68, along with six others including playing partner and Masters champion Jordan Spieth (Pictured).
Patrick Reed (-4) was alone in third place with Matt Kuchar and two others tied at 3-under.
2006 champion Geoff Ogilvy was the next best placed Aussie at 1-under 69 with Adam Scott and Cameron Smith (70), Marcus Fraser (71), John Senden (72), Kurt Barnes (72) and Marc Leishman (73).
Scott was happy to still be in contention after battling body aches and dehydration throughout his opening even par round.
“I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent at all today so I am very happy to get out with even par,” Scott told Golf Australia.
“I had a fever last night and it was rough but luckily it being a bit overcast and just being out there was a blessing I think because I feel better now than I did yesterday afternoon and I think I may have sweated it all out now.
“My body was aching this morning and I did well to get it around.”
Starting on the 10th, Scott opened his round with a birdie and was soon two under with another on the 12th.
But pumping himself full of electrolytes and water on almost every hole kept him out of rhythm as he was forced to make several toilet breaks.
A couple of missed birdie chances on 13 and 14 were compounded by a bogey on the 15th and a pulled birdie putt from 3m on the 18th was further rued when he made bogey on the first.
The 34-year-old managed to get back in red figures by making birdie on the second and looked set to be under par until a final-hole bogey.
“I am right where I want to be because I am pretty sure on Sunday even par will be pretty close so I’ve got three tough days ahead of me to grind it out,” Scott said.
“Hopefully I will be fine tomorrow.”
Three time champion Tiger Woods struggled – though a number of his putts did seem to go awfully close – finishing with an embarrassing 10 over 80. At least that was one better than compatriot Rickie Fowler, whose scorecard looks like something out of a golfing nightmare.
Adam Scott chats after 2015 US Open Round 1: Golf Australia Video
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