This week, just as much as any other week, we are ecstatic for the golf to begin. We’re always beyond excited for the start of a major—we only get four of these a year. But LIV Golf has consumed conversations early week at The Country Club. Now it’s Thursday, and it’s time to put those talks aside for now.
(Scroll down for the latest updates)
Being just the fourth U.S. Open at Brookline, and this tremendous championship venue deserves the spotlight. The Country Club, ranked 17th on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest courses list, has underwent a historic restoration over the past decade by Gil Hanse and his team. Reclaiming green edges at these charmingly small putting surfaces (they are just 3,800 square feet on average, the second smallest sets of greens in major golf behind Pebble Beach) has allowed the club and the USGA the option of many new pin positions that haven’t previously been options. A dry week in the Boston area so far should present a firm and fast test at one of golf’s oldest and most historic venues, which is a thrilling prospect.
Of course, the beauty of a U.S. Open are the never-ending storylines that its competitors present itself. Look no further than the first groups of the day: 58-year-old Massachusetts natives Fran Quinn and 20-year-old Michael Thorbjornsen—both in such different places in their careers—each tee off in the first tee time slots at 6:45 a.m. Their stories embody what we love about the U.S. Open.
We have some amazing groups in the morning wave Thursday that we’re looking forward to. The highlights are: Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm and James Piot at 7:18 a.m.; Jordan Spieth, Max Homa and Adam Scott at 7:29 a.m. Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele at 7:40 a.m. You better fire up your coffeemaker, because the U.S. Open promises to be thrilling early on.
U.S. Open 2022 live updates (all times eastern):
8:52 a.m.: Jordan Spieth gets one back at the short par-4 fifth hole with a nice up-and-down from the bunker. He’s now 2-over through five … and maybe that’ll be a much-needed jolt of momentum.
Meanwhile Jon Rahm is on a little birdie streak—birdieing 5 and 6—to get to 1-under for the tournament. Rahm looked mighty frustrated before, but the defending champ is back and in red numbers.
8:40 a.m.: Henley has company at the top, as Collin Morikawa just rolled another nice birdie putt in at the fifth hole. That follows about a 40-footer for birdie Morikawa rolled in at the par-3 second hole. What a start for the 2020 PGA and 2021 Open champion.
8:30 a.m.: Russell Henley is the first player to 2-under, birdieing the 10th and 12th holes early in his round. The Macon, Ga., native was in the 54-hole leader at last year’s U.S. Open, and he’s back near the top (very) early a year later.
8:18 a.m.: Oh boy … Jordan Spieth just missed another par putt … this one at the third hole. He’s now two-over through three. Spieth is obviously still struggling with his stomach bug.
And speaking of struggles, Hideki just double bogeyed the par-4 12th hole after that birdie at 11. Hideki’s tee shot went way left off the tee, then came up short with his second, leading to the double.
8:03 a.m.: Hideki Matusyama sticks his tee shot at the par-3 11th hole, which is playing as the easiest hole on the course thus far, to grab a share of the lead. He’s got a lot of company at the top now … Hayden Buckley, Patrick Rodgers, Travis Vick, Collin Morikawa, Adam Scott and Russell Henley, who just got a crazy hop on the 10th hole to get his ball inside a foot.
7:45 a.m.: Collin Morikawa joins amateur Travis Vick at the top of the leader board with a birdie at the par-3 second hole. Again, just like Spieth, people were down on Morikawa on the eve of the U.S. Open because he admitted to some reporters he was having trouble hitting a fade. Well … a draw is needed on the par-3 second hole and he just dialed it up perfectly.
Hopefully the Mighty Quinn’s friends and family screenshotted that shot of the leaderboard while he was up there. He just bogeyed the 13th hole to fall back to even par.
7:34 a.m.: There was a lot of chatter about Jordan Spieth’s physical state after he left the range on Wednesday with an apparent stomach bug. Well, he teed off in his first round … then hit a terrific approach from the rough on his first hole of the day.
Of course … this story doesn’t end well for Spieth. His chip stopped shy by about 12 feet, then he missed his par putt. A tough early bogey from Spieth … and just by the eye test, he doesn’t look 100 percent post-stomach bug.
7:08 a.m.: Not only can friends and family grab photos of Fran Quinn being atop the leaderboard, but now he’s the solo leader. The 58-year-old birdied the small par-3 11th to be the first player to red figures. What an incredible honor. The Mighty Quinn!
6:48 a.m.: The action is officially underway at The Country Club! Michael Thorbjornsen, a 20-year-old amateur from Massachusetts teeing it up at Brookline (sound familiar?) had the honor of hitting the first tee shot off the first tee. What an incredible experience for him. He found the rough with his ball, but nonetheless—he’ll have that memory forever.
Off the 10th hole, Fran Quinn, whom our Dan Rapaport profiled here, hit the first tee shot of the morning off and striped it perfectly down the middle. What a great thrill for the 58-year-old.
Thorbjornsen and Quinn both make par to start their round, and their friends and family will be taking pictures of them appearing at the top of the leaderboard in their home state. That’s something worth saving.
We have some late breaking news here: Abraham Ancer is a late WD from the U.S. Open. He’s replaced in the field by Patton Kizzire, who was the first alternate. That also means that Rickie Fowler is now the next alternate up, in case anyone else WDs. Get those stretches in this morning, Rick!
Here are all the pin positions for Thursday at The Country Club:
MORE U.S. OPEN COVERAGE FROM GOLF DIGEST