The first round of the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay turned for Ryan Moore on two holes.
There was the double-bogey he carded on the par-4 14th hole. Then another double-bogey on the par-3 17th, which featured a pin location Thursday that several players described as particularly devious.
So Moore, a Puyallup native, finished the day with a frustrating 5-over-par 75, 10 shots behind co-leaders Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson.
Moore also bogeyed the second, sixth and 13th holes, and he birded Nos. 5 and 16.
“I just didn’t convert some putts early,” Moore said. “I didn’t even really hit a bad shot there on 17 — just got a little bit hung up in the wind and plugged as horrible as you can plug in the bunker, and obviously not a lot of good happened after that.
“I hit good putts that were in the middle a lot today. Just left a few of them short right in the middle. Obviously, I’ve just got to play a little better tomorrow.”
His 2:50 p.m. tee time Thursday probably didn’t aid his scoring ability. Players who teed off earlier in the day took advantage of softer, more forgiving greens, with some shots even generating enough spin to stop immediately after landing on the putting surface.
That’s rare at a links-style course like Chambers. And it became even rarer as temperatures rose throughout Thursday’s first round, Moore said.
“I watched some of the early coverage, and guys were stopping 8-irons and 7-irons, and we couldn’t sniff doing anything like that our entire round,” Moore said.
“That’s how these type of tournaments work. That’s how these types of golf courses work. If there’s no rain or anything like that, it just gets firmer and faster as the day goes on, and obviously plays a little bit tougher because of it.”
Another player with local ties, former University of Washington standout Cheng-Tsung Pan, teed off late in the day and finished with a 1-over 71 after bogeying the ninth, his final hole (he began on No. 10).
Pan, playing in his first event as a pro, said he didn’t hit his irons as well as he’d have liked, “but I think my scoring was pretty good.”
“I made some putts and saved some shots,” Pan said, “so I think that will carry over to the next couple days and my confidence will be pretty good.”
UW men’s golf coach Matt Thurmond caddied for him.
“It’s very special,” Pan said. “He’s been helping me the last four years, and now I’m graduated, and he’s still trying to help me.
“We’ve always had a
great partnership, and last time he caddied for me was the U.S. Amateur, and I made it to the quarterfinals, so we wanted to keep that going.”