All eyes were on the feature pairing early this morning at the 2012 U.S. Open as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson teed off the back nine at the Lakes Course of the Olympic Club. Phil and Bubba faltered hard early and often, though Tiger remained constant the entire day, working his way to a 1-under 69 in the opening round on Thursday, but is chasing youngster Michael Thompson like everyone else.
Tiger rode five straight pars from No. 9 to No. 13, but made an unfortunate bogey on the par-4 14th, but got it right back on the par-5 17th with a short birdie putt. Then it was on to the difficult opening stretch of No. 1-6, though Tiger managed to make birdies on No. 4 and 5 with an excellent approach on the par-4 4th, and dunking a 45 foot putt on the 5th to make his move up the leaderboard. He found the greenside bunker on No. 6, but made a solid pair of pars on his final two holes to close out his round.
As for Mickelson, he found a tree with his opening drive and never really recovered, finishing with a 6-over 76, while Bubba Watson limped into the clubhouse with a 8-over 78.
Michael Thompson finds himself he leader in the clubhouse at the moment after his opening round 4-under 66, which included seven birdies on the day. Hopefully hr can keep it up into the weekend.
Full leaderboard can be found here.