Date: June 19, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes @ US Open

Ogilvy thrives before screws are turned

Geoff Ogilvy is one of 25 men under par after round one of the US Open.

He’s pretty confident that number will dwindle rapidly as the week progresses.

The 2006 champion, in his trademark entertaining style, joked with reporters after his opening one-under-par 69 that the organising USGA had made the potentially gruelling Chambers Bay as easy as possible to begin the tournament.

“With a course like this, it’s a sensible strategy,” he said.

“They’ll keep us all happy on Thursday and then gradually wear us out.”

Ogilvy continues to wind back the clock in the direction of his vintage best and he didn’t endure a dropped shot today until an errant tee shot in suddenly stronger winds on the 15th to show that his best is still well and truly good enough.

“I hit the ball a lot better than I scored, but anything under par in the US Open is a good score,” said the Victorian who missed makeable birdie tries on the ninth and 11th that would have ensured one of the best afternoon rounds.

“I hit a lot of really good shots… I played nicely and if I’d holed a couple more (putts) it could have been better, but under par in this tournament is a good score.”

Earlier, John Senden was almost as happy with his 72 after two early three-putt bogeys put him on the back foot.

“I couldn’t get anything (going) on the greens, and those three-putts put me in a spot out where I needed to get it going,” the big Queenslander said.

“But I struck the ball well enough to hold up with the severity of the golf course.

“Two over is nothing to be sneezed at … I had a reasonably good score for how I felt. I didn’t feel like it was a really good round, but I hung tough out there.”

Senden hit a magnificent shot in tight on the par-three third hole (his 12th) to really turn the corner after being three over.

“That was a nice little birdie there. I felt good from then on.”

“I think I’m still in a pretty good spot if I can keep that going.”

Senden finished alongside burly New South Welshman Kurt Barnes, who endured a rollercoaster ride to reach his 72 – his second best score in five major championship rounds.

Barnes, of Muswellbrook, in his first US Open, turned at one under after three outward birdies, then dropped four shots in four holes before pulling one back on the seventh (his 16th).