U.S. Open Round 1: Rose leads, Brooks in the hunt, Phil's putt, Bjerregaard's 11 and Spieth criticised for blaming his caddie


Six things you missed from the opening day at the U.S Open: Rose leads, Brooks in the hunt, Phil's putt, a hole in one and Spieth criticised for blaming his caddie

Justin Rose is the man in front after the first round of the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, having tied the lowest ever score shot on this golf course in this event. 

Playing with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, Rose carded a six-under 65 to lead a congested leaderboard by a single shot, having birdied all of his final three holes to do so. 

He undoubtedly took advantage of the fairly benign course conditions, which was a topic on the lips of most as Rory McIlroy declared it 'very soft for a U.S Open right now'. 

Meanwhile, defending champion Brooks Koepka was pleased after an opening round of 70 after getting in the hunt early and then scrambling well, and Rory Sabbatini got the opening hole in one of the tournament on the par-three 12th.

Elsewhere, Jordan Spieth received criticism for blaming the frustrations of two shots on his caddie Michael Greller, Phil Mickelson had some more trouble on the greens at a U.S Open, and one Tour pro takes 11 shots on the 18th.

Here's what you need to know.

Justin Rose sets the pace on day one

The 2013 U.S. Open champion finished his round with three birdies in a row from the 16th to post a six-under 65 and gain a one shot lead over a congested leaderboard.

It was a day of relatively benign conditions that left 39 players under par after the opening day, and Rose took advantage. He made his first birdie of the round at the fourth before following up with an eagle at six and a further birdie at the seventh to get to within one shot of the clubhouse target set by Rickie Fowler. 

His only dropped shot of the day came at the next, and he was quick to admit that he scrambled well with seven consecutive pars before a late flurry of birdies from the 16th pulled him in to the lead thanks to lengthy birdie putts. 

"Obviously a fun day of golf," Rose said afterwards. "I guess the round was going nicely. I was 3-under par, had a rough patch, had to scramble, work hard, keep my round together.

"Even when I made a mistake, I was willing to accept. I was kind of playing, okay, if you can go back to 2-under -- I was trying to stay patient with myself mentally, but kept up-and-downing the ball, kept the momentum up. And then got rewarded with a hot finish, birdieing the last three, took a good round to a great round."

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Jordan Spieth under fire for blaming caddie

Jordan Spieth and Michael Greller are often talked about as one of the best player-caddie partnerships out there, but the three-time major champion came under fire on Thursday after blaming Greller for two consecutively unlucky shots. 

Standing on the eighth hole, Spieth elected to play it fairly safe with a 4-iron and couldn't believe his luck when he saw that it had taken a firm bounce and gone off the cliff-edge. Following a drop in to the fairway, Spieth's next shot took a hard bounce on the green and went over the back in to the rough. 

When they were walking to the green, Spieth turned to Greller and told him, "Two perfect shots there, Michael. You got me one in the water and one over the green."

He got a bit of heat from golf twitter over the exchange, with plenty of people wondering if this was the start of the end of their long-time partnership. 

But both Spieth and Greller played off the incident afterwards. 

"I hit two perfect shots and they both ended up in the wrong location," said Spieth, who finished at one-over-par.

"We were talking about potentially one less [club on the third shot], and I said, 'But isn't it playing about 60 with a fade?' And then he said yes. So we both agreed on that. It was clearly a 4-iron off the tee. At the same time, when you hit a couple of shots exactly where you want to, and the first one is in the water and the next one is dead over the green, I'm going to be frustrated that as a team we didn't figure out how to make sure that didn't happen.

"Yeah, I may have looked like the bad guy there, but my intentions were that we should be in play if the ball is hit solidly, and I was out of play on both shots."

As for Greller? He told ESPN he didn't even remember it. 

"What exchange? What did he say? I don't remember." Greller said.

Phil Mickelson misses 20-inch putt in U.S. Open 

Phil Mickelson could make history this week by completing the grand-slam, and at a venue where he has won five PGA Tour titles no less, but it didn't get off to a great start. 

The six-time U.S. Open runner-up had a tough time on the greens on Thursday, ranking 139th for number of putts during round one.

Of course, it didn't helped that he missed a putt from just 20 inches on the third green.

''I flinched. My concentration, I should be able to tap that in,'' said Mickelson, offering up his explanation for the unbelievable moment. 

It comes a year after he now infamously took out his frustrations on the greens at Shinnecock by deliberately running after and hitting his moving ball - but it's not the shortest putt ever missed by a professional. 

That accolade belongs to Hale Irwin, who famously missed a one-inch putt when he was n contention during the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1983.

Rory Sabbatini makes the first hole in one at the U.S Oopen

Rory Sabbatini got the first hole-in-one of the 119th U.S. Open with an ace on the 12th hole of Pebble Beach on Thursday from 202 yards.

"I can't remember what the exact number was, but I just hit as high a 5-iron as I could up in the air with a high cut," said Sabbatini, who finished at one-over-par. "Landed, one bounce into the hole. That's what I was told. I'm not sure exactly. I'm not that tall, so I can't really see over the bunker that well.

"But, no, I just hit it absolutely perfect, and we hit it close to the previous hole. I told my caddie, we've been having a lot of close calls, and one is going to go in sooner or later, but wasn't expecting that."
And while it is by no means the first hole-in-one hit at a U.S. Open, we're pretty confident it's likely the first to be achieved with a yellow golf ball. 

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka 'pleased' with opening round

After three birdies in his first five holes that included a fortunate chip-in on the par-three fifth, it looked like business as usual for the defending champion, who has claimed the U.S. Open title twice in a row. 

He missed an eagle putt at the fifth to join the leaders and plenty predicted another BK domination of the leaderboard as he sat just one shot back, but just two holes later he made a mistake with his second shot and failed to make par. 

Koepka made the turn in three-under and briefly got back to within one after rolling in a putt from 22 feet on the 12th, but handed back shots on both 13 and 17 to finish his round at two-under, four shots behind first round leader Justin Rose. 

Afterwards, Koepka was keen to take the positives of shooting a low number despite not feeling on top of his game. 

"I would have liked to have shot a couple more. But considering how I hit it coming in, I'm pretty pleased. 2-under, I didn't shoot myself out of it. I'm right there. I feel like if I get off tomorrow, get off to a good start, I'm right back into it.

"It's a battle if you're not going to hit fairways. If you're not going to hit greens, it's going to be tough. I'm actually quite pleased. I don't know how many fairways I hit from 8 on in. I didn't hit many. And didn't hit many greens. The up-and-down I made on 16, had a good chance on 15, but sometimes those greens are so slopey, and you've got a four-footer and you're playing it with what feels like two feet of break. It's going to happen."


Lucas Bjerregaard hurles driver over a cliff as he takes ELEVEN shots on Pebble's 18th hole 

Lucas Bjerregaard hit the headlines earlier this year for taking out Tiger Woods in the later stages of the WGC Dell Match Play, but on Thursday his name was being talked about for a different reason. 

He was already three-over for his round when he reached the spectacular par-five 18th hole at Pebble Beach, which has been the site of plenty memorable moments over the years. 

But on Thursday, the 27-year-old made it a hole to forget, hitting two tee shots left in to the water and one right out of bounds on his way to an 11.

He finally the fairway with a wood off the tee, and made a par with his fourth ball for a sextuple bogey - which is only marginally better than the 13 the scorers originally put down for him.

As for his driver? It won't be making the return trip, because he threw that over the cliff. 

“It’s tough,” Bjerregaard said afterwards. “It kind of ruins it all for me.”

“It’s a course where you have to limit your mistakes. You can’t afford to be making 11s.”

Players talk about soft course conditions after 39 players shoot under par on day one

The USGA has come under a lot of fire over the past few years for the set-up of the U.S. Open golf courses, from the 'broccoli' greens at Chambers Bay, the 'too easy' Erin Hills and the quick greens that saw them 'lose the golf course' at Shinnecock. 

A lot of pressure then, came to Pebble Beach, and with a new man at the helm of course set-up and the reputation of golf's toughest test on the line. 

But with little wind and a lot of watering, the course was easier than a lot of players thought it might be. And yet, compliments poured in for the USGA this time around from some, while others described it as easy.

“The course is not going to play any easier than this,” said Sergio Garcia.

"Benign conditions," were the words Rory McIlroy used to describe the golf course on the first day. "It's a very soft start to a U.S. Open, which is a good thing, because you're completely in control of the golf course.

"They can do whatever they want with it from here. It's not as if you're starting with a course that's in the condition like a Sunday and then you get three days and it sort of starts to get away from you. If they want to dial it up and make it a little bit further, they just don't have to put much water on it tonight and we'll come out tomorrow and it will play a little bit trickier. From the scores I'm seeing, that's really what I expect for tomorrow."

"I think this is the best I've ever seen, and I'm sure it will get progressively more difficult," Mickelson said of the greens.

"But this was a chance to get a few under par, and I just didn't quite do it. There's three more days. You don't know how the weather is going to be and all that stuff, but it seems like they did a heck of a job."

"The greens are receptive enough still, they don't have that scare factor in them,” said Adam Scott.

Graeme McDowell, who won the U.S. Open here in 2010, said he was surprised by the soft set-up, but expects it to get firmer from here. 

"Perhaps they got a little scared by that weather on Tuesday, and then the marine layer moved in a little bit," said McDowell, who had a bogey-free round. "So I kind of feel like moisture levels are staying in the greens and the ground longer than they maybe expected. I mean, obviously Tuesday was incredibly warm and dry.

"I think with these conditions right now that the moisture probably remain in the golf course a bit more. But I was a little surprised. But like I say, it's only Thursday morning. Expecting different things tomorrow afternoon."