Solid performers, but none on centre stage. That’s the summation of the Aussie assault on the 121st US Open at Torrey Pines today after an opening day of combined grind rather than dazzle.
Only qualifier Steve Allan is too far from the -4 pace of Russ Henley and Louis Oosthuizen (thru 16) to make a challenge, but his six compatriots – headed by a plucky Adam Scott – all remain within reach on a crowded leaderboard.
Both Cameron Smith and Matt Jones were forced from the course by darkness before their rounds were complete after almost 90 minutes were lost to morning fog earlier in the day.
But it was Scott who took advantage of still conditions late on day one with back-to-back closing birdies to post a one-under-par 70 to vault to a share of 11th.
The veteran Queenslander had been two over through the first three holes, but managed to claw a shot back with a superb trap shot to birdie range on the par-5 ninth.
He made a similar up-and-down for par on the long 13th which enabled him to cash in with a bomb for birdie on the 17th and then a last-roll special from the fringe on the 18th as the siren to end play sounded.
Smith has just one bogey and one birdie to date and will resume on the 17th, as will Jones who scrambled well to sit at one over.
Also at one over is South Australian Wade Ormsby who was extremely impressive in just his second major championship appearance.
Ormsby made his share of bogeys during his round, but never strayed from his attacking mantra and answered all bar the last one with a birdie to share 41st.
Brad Kennedy was largely solid en route to a 74, the same number as Marc Leishman who will be disappointed with his finish.
Having started on the 10th, the Victorian loomed late with a birdie on the fifth to be even par, but made three late bogeys in fading light to fall back to a share of 78th, albeit only seven off the pace.
Allan hung tough through the front nine, but it all came apart in a hurry with back-to-back double-bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes as he stumbled to nine over par.