The first round of the 2012 U.S. Open is in the books, and only six of the 156 golfers are in red numbers and under par. As expected, the Olympic Club was the winner on Thursday, playing firm and fast and yielding few birdies with plenty of bogeys, and often worse. The leader is Michael Thompson, who tied Payne Stewart for the lowest U.S. Open first round at Olympic with a 66. Thompson qualified at nearby Woodmont in Rockville, and he played incredibly well in his fourth appearance in a major.
After Thompson, it's a set of five familiar names at 1-under. The most familiar of them all, Tiger Woods, played his most impressive round of golf in two years. He had total control over his game, shaping the shots he wanted and controlling the trajectory he needed. He hit high cuts and low draws at the right times. Woods also had a low stinger working off the tee, which kept the ball in play throughout the round. It was a performance that has to have the rest of the field concerned.
Tied with Woods at 1-under is former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. The Northern Irishman won just south of Olympic two years ago, but has not been in his best form of late. Nick Watney is also at 1-under, with his round buoyed by an incredible double eagle at the par-5 17th hole. It was just the third double eagle in U.S. Open history and brought him from 3-over to even in one swing.
You can find a full 2012 U.S. Open leaderboard at Golf.com.