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2022 U.S. Open scores, takeaways: Justin Thomas in familiar position seeking second straight major

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BROOKLINE, Massachusetts — Justin Thomas started at the 2022 US Open. almost exactly the same he started the 2022 PGA Championship, which he won a month ago at the South Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this tournament, Thomas played in a more difficult wave in the first round and hit 67, two times behind Rory McIlroy. At this event, Thomas played in a tougher wave in the first round and hit 69. two backs of McIlroy.

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Differences? there is someone forthcoming from McIlroy this time leader Adam Hadwin, who on Thursday threw only 66 field goals. However, JT is in the perfect spot to make it to Major #3, just like a month ago to make it to Major #2.

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Thomas was in his usual incredible state with an iron in hand and finished sixth in the approach. His stick has also stayed hot and is trending positive for the week for the sixth time in seven tournaments.

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JT also didn’t let the tournament get away from him, keeping the heavyweights in his sights. Even though Hadwin is three shots ahead, JT will be more concerned about those he is tied with (John Rahm, Colleen Morikawa) and those ahead of him (Dustin Johnson 2 under, McIlroy 3 under ).

Stable JT is a terrible proposition. At the PGA in May, he was the horse that stayed in the peloton all the way before closing, like the thoroughbred he established himself as. You can’t always win this way, but he’s been so hot lately that it’s hard to imagine him disappearing in the next few days.

At the PGA Championship, he talked about how to put together four consecutive 67s to win the tournament. Four consecutive 69s can bring it close enough. On Sunday, we could be talking about Thomas becoming the first golfer in seven years (Jordan Spieth in 2015) to win two major championships in a row.

Here are eight more thoughts on the first round of the US Open at The Country Club.

2. More big champions hanging out nearby: John Rahm and Collin Morikawa both played early in the day, scoring 1 under. This was impressive for two reasons. First, Ram almost hit the top three from the 17th target as well as On the 18th, some children took his ball away.. Secondly, Morikawa has been saying all week that he can’t fade at the moment, which has become the most reliable shot in all of golf in the last three years.

“I practically only drew,” said Morikawa. “It was kind of a game plan… I didn’t really need to take too many shots. When I did, I didn’t really follow them. The throw form was today and it was really straight.

“I played a lot of golf last week and a lot of holes to try and trust him. I haven’t played a draw since maybe my freshman year in college. Definitely in high school. This is different. but this week I have to trust him. It’s the only way I’ll hit the target.”

3. Callum Tarren Weirdness: One extremely strange part of Thursday is that Tarren, T2 after 18 holes, was over par for 12 of his first 15 holes and only under par on the last three days he closed. You won’t see many golfers near the lead in the first round who weren’t in the red numbers standing on the penultimate tee of the day.

4. Good morning, Damen: Joel Damen, who scored 67 on Thursday and is also in T2, had not only the best quote of the day on Thursday, but also the top two. First, a serious one: “I am very competitive and I believe in myself and I hate to lose. But for me, the most fun is also when you play with the best players. [Jordan] Spit in the final round came close to the lead twice this year, and at this point, like, I love this kind of thing. I love being in that situation. I love to be nervous. I love it when my hands shake. That’s why we play this game.”

This is excellent material from a man for whom this week’s win could be life-changing. And his quote about how he was going to spend Thursday night solo was even better: “I’ll call him my new best friend, Ben Rector; he is a musician. [Beach] this year, and he’s in town today. We are going to go to his concert. It’s going to be hard to go there and not drink 100 bottles of beer like we usually do at shows.”

5. Fitz Magic: Matthew Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship at this golf course, had perhaps the most electrifying round of the afternoon when he hit 2 under 68. Fitzpatrick seems to have taken the leap in the majors to the point where he can constantly compete, which was not necessarily true early in his career. Fitzpatrick is having the best statistical season of his life, and while a win in Brooklyn would have been almost too much there would be an amazing story on the nose too.

6. Hey Mr. DJ: Story LIV Golf vs. The PGA Tour isn’t going anywhere. One of the faces of the former, Dustin Johnson, is gearing up for his third major win after scoring 68 points in the first round. The clash between DJ and either Rory or JT – both firmly entrenched on the PGA Tour side – is almost too delicious to consider at the start of the week. This will be the first of many future clashes between players from the two leagues. The other storyline here is that the DJ hasn’t performed publicly at a non-LIV event, but if he leads or is at the top on Friday and beyond, he’ll get a lot of questions about how much he’s changed the landscape of his sport. .

7. Beautiful Brookline: The consensus on Thursday was that The Country Club, which has the ambiguous “it just looks like a major” in the links, was perfectly set up for the first day. Thursday’s greens were slower than I thought, but even with that and the fact that the wind died down early, the day’s average was still 2.6 strokes over par.

“It’s very hard,” Ram said. “Honestly, the first five holes, when we had no wind, I thought we were going to blow the roof off this place. Someone will shoot 6, 7 below if the wind doesn’t pick up, right? Obviously, a well-designed golf course is always difficult. When the side wind started to blow, it was hard.”

8. Hard day for Lefties: Phil Mickelson hit 78 shots in the first round and beat only two of the 15 amateurs on the field on Thursday, more broadly emblematic of LIV players. 15 golfers who play in a league rivaling the PGA Tour have scored 53 points, with only DJ and U.S. Amateur Champion James Piot under par.

9. Max Homa hitting the ball: The best iron player on the field on Thursday was Homa, who took over four hits on the run and was only 1-69 out of it. Homa has been adamant about how much he’s learned about not being perfect at the big championships, and it’s clear from his performance over the past few that it leads to better play on the golf course. He will be a tricky player to keep an eye on for the last three days if he continues to hit like he did on the first 18 holes.

Rick Gehman, Kyle Porter and Greg DuCharme recap Thursday’s events at The Country Club. Follow and listen to The First Cut at Apple Podcasts as well as Spotify.


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