PEBBLE PLAYED NICE
Justin Rose 65 (-6)
As I was starting to write the original draft of this article, Justin Rose was still on the course. Rose showed why you should never count him out while he has yet to finish his round. Up to the 16th hole, Rose was not having his best ball striking days, having only hit 6/15 greens in regulation. This changed on 16, where he placed his tee shot on the right side of the fairway allowing him to be aggressive on an otherwise dangerous pin placement. His approach shot landed just inside of 10 feet from the hole, which gave him his first birdie since the 7th hole. His tee shot on the iconic 17th just trickled onto the putting surface and perfectly on line with another difficult pin placement. Capitalizing on the momentum he had gained with his short game all day, Rose drained his 27 foot birdie putt for his second in a row. On the 18th Rose showed how he can go low on a day when he was not striking the ball like normal. His second shot found the front right green side bunker, and yet again Rose put his short game back to work, hitting his bunker shot just outside of 10 feet and giving himself a great opportunity for another birdie.
Birdie – Birdie – Birdie, this is how you gain momentum, send a message, and get a great night sleep. While there is much work left to be done and I fully expect Pebble to show some teeth as we move closer to the weekend, Rose has set the early pace with his fantastic finish to the first round.
65 (-6) Justin Rose
66 (-5) Rickie Fowler
66 (-5) Xander Schauffelle
66 (-5) Louis Oosthuizen
66 (-5) Aaron Wise
Fathers day, Pebble Beach, and an already stacked leaderboard makes this US Open setting up to be one to remember. Tour favorites are all over this leaderboard, some of the notables include: Rory McIlroy -3, Francesco Molinari -3, Brooks Koepka -2, Jason Day -1, Adam Scott -1, Tiger Woods -1, Dustin Johnson E, Phil Michelson +1, Jordan Spieth +1, Justin Thomas +2.
I started the beginning of the week saying Dustin Johnson will win this tournament at -6, and I will hold to that. The USGA seemed to let players relax just a little today, if history shows us anything this is going to get interesting.
ON TO CUT DAY!