Editor’s note: I’m at the Olympic Club in San Francisco all week for the 112th U.S. Open Championship.
THE OLYMPIC CLUB SURPRISED TIGER WOODS this morning. The three-time U.S. Open champion knew the course would get quicker as the week progressed. What he didn’t expect was that the Lake Course would drastically pick up the pace in just 24 hours.
“I was very surprised at how much it had changed overnight,” Woods said after carding a fine 1-under 69 that puts him near the top of the leaderboard after round one of the 2012 U.S. Open, “just how much speed that the fairways had picked up and the springiness of the greens.”
“We knew the greens were going to be a little quicker,” he added, “but I didn't think they would be this firm this early in the week.”
Tiger made the necessary adjustments and had nearly total control of his game on this sunny Thursday while playing partners Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson struggled all the way around the sloping layout in 76 and 78 strokes, respectively.
As subdued as Woods is in interviews and at media conferences—especially early in the tournament—it was evident that he was more than satisfied with his opening 18.
When asked how pleased he was with his round, Tiger said, “Very pleased. I had a good game plan going in and I executed all the way through and ended up with a score under par, which was nice.”
Woods trails clubhouse leader Michael Thompson (66) by three shots. Also in with 69 is David Toms. Meanwhile, Mickelson and Masters champion Watson will be fighting to post a number on Friday that gets them to the weekend.