Geoff Ogilvy is lurking.
EIGHTEEN DOWN, 54 TO GO. Round one of the U.S. Open is in the books, and two non-household names share the lead at three-under 68, Nationwide Tour player Justin Hicks and 29-year-old Kevin Streelman, who seems to emerge on visits to Torrey Pines.
Streelman was a big story at the Buick Invitational in January when he slipped into the field and then played his way into Tiger’s pairing at the midway point.
I’ve never heard of Hicks, who is your stock obscure first-round leader out of central casting. I sometimes hope these types shoot a good second round just to cause a stir, but usually they post 83 and barely make the cut.
When Tiger was asked what he found out after his first competitive round since the Masters, he replied, “Oh, I can walk 18 holes. I guess I don’t need a cart yet.”
Woods shot a one-over 72 with two doubles. Fellow glam grouping players Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott had 71 and 73, respectively.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of the first round because I was flying from Charlotte to LA. But I did see Stricker streak to four under on his opening nine, shooting a 32.
Stricker. Now there’s a guy who could do well this week, I thought. Straight ball hitter, excellent putter. Later I saw a 73 by his name. Stricks shot 41 on his second nine. That’s the Open for you.
There are plenty of big names at the top, including Geoff Ogilvy (69), Stuart Appleby (69), Ernie Els (70), Lee Westwood (70), Luke Donald (71), Vijah Singh (71) and Andres Romero (71).
Today is survive-the-cut day. And, if you’re one of those players near the top, position-yourself-for-the-weekend day.
−The Armchair Golfer