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Straka after the opening of the thirty-eighth round of the US Open – Fowler, Scheufele I

Straka after the opening of the thirty-eighth round of the US Open – Fowler, Scheufele I

After the first round of the 123rd US Open, professional golfer Sepp Straka finished 38th. With a round of 70 after two bogeys and two planes each, the 30-year-old Austrian managed an even run at Los Angeles Country Club in Beverly Hills. Americans Rickie Fowler and Xander Schaffell gamely put themselves ahead with strokes of 62 each. There has never been such a low score in the US Open. Fellows Windham Clark and Dustin Johnson both follow strokes behind.

Thursday’s innings average was 71.4 strikeouts, the lowest in the history of this major tournament. Some players were surprised by the low opening scores. “It’s not really what you expect when you play the US Open,” explained the Southern California native. Johnson, in turn, set the record straight: “Of course, the course isn’t that easy. You still have to make a really good golf shot,” said the American star, who competed in the LIV Tour.

Of the top favourites, Rory McIlroy had the best first round finish. The Northern Irishman, who has been waiting for a hit since 2014, is fifth with 5-under-par (65). World number one Scotty Scheffler is currently ranked seventh (67), and Masters champion John Rahm (69) is ranked 25 after day one. 71, 56 is already somewhat late.

Meanwhile, France’s Mathieu Pavon and American player Sam Burns each hit a hole-in-one on the short 15th hole. It was only the third time in the past 40 years that two aces fell into the same hole on the same US Open tour.

The tournament in California is of particular interest, as it’s the first major competition since the surprisingly announced alliance between the PGA, LIV, and the World Tour.

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