Thursday, September 17

U.S. Open at Winged Foot: Justin Thomas Is the First-Round Leader After a 65

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JUSTIN THOMAS LIKES WINGED FOOT. Actually, it's more like a love affair, especially after an opening 65 alongside Masters champion Tiger Woods and PGA champion Colin Morikawa.

"I loved it," Thomas said about Winged Foot, site of many U.S. Opens and other major events. "It's one of my favorite, if not my favorite, courses I've ever played."

That's high praise.

Thomas hit nine of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens en route to his 65. Fairways and greens, as they say. More of that could earn him his second major victory and first U.S. Open.

Thomas added, "It's one of the best rounds I've played in a while tee to green. There are a couple things here and there that definitely could have been better, but I made sure all of my misses were in the right spot, and that's what you have to do at a U.S. Open."

Meanwhile, his playing partners struggled on the unforgiving layout. Woods finished with a 3-over 73. Morikawa had a 76.

Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters and Mathhew Wolff are one off Thomas's lead after 66s. Rory McIlroy shot a 67.

Phil Mickelson struggled mightily, finding only two fairways off the tee. He finished with a 79, besting only one player in the field.

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