Digits of destruction: 9 numbers that tell the U.S. Open’s first-round story

June 15, 2018

Carnage is the early buzzword of the 2018 U.S. Open. After 18 holes of play — or rather, 18 holes of carnage — at Shinnecock Hills, only four players were able to break par. At this point last year, that number was 44.

Brutal wind and difficult scoring conditions on a tough golf course kept most of the field begging for birdies much of the day. Henrik Stenson was the most lethal scorer, making five birdies himself, more than anyone in the field. He shot one over and will tee off Friday at 8:02 a.m.

Here are nine other numbers that defined the day:

52 — Combined score over par of the top 10 players in the world golf ranking. Only Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose managed to shoot 2 over or better.

92.8 — Percentage of fairways hit by Phil Mickelson. The 47-year-old is ranked 131st on Tour in SG: Off the Tee, so a burst of fairways would have seemed to bring him a solid round. Mickelson struggled on the greens Thursday, eventually signing for a 7-over 77.

4 — Number of putts Tiger Woods took on the 13th green. Woods four-putted for the fourth time in his career at a major. It was the third time he did so at a U.S. Open.

25 — Number of players who failed to make a birdie Thursday.

92 — Number of strokes made by Scott Gregory during his first round. Gregory qualified out of the England sectional, and even began his day with a par on the first. He made just two other pars and no birdies, signing for a 22-over 92.

135 — Yards between the 9th hole drives of Justin Thomas (422) and Dustin Johnson (287). Thomas’s drive was the longest of his career, using the slope to give him a short wedge shot in. Johnson had 199 yards left for his 8-iron. They both made par.[image:14159971]

4.808 — Average number of strokes taken on the 536-yard par-4 14th, the toughest hole of the day at Shinnecock Hills. Only eight players made birdie while 29 made double bogey, and another eight made triple bogey or worse.

76.474 — Scoring average during the first round. Think that’s abnormally brutal? First round scoring at the 1986 Open at Shinnecock was even more difficult, coming in at 77.877.

0 — Number of birdies made by Rickie Fowler during his 3-over 73 Thursday. Fowler made one bogey, one double bogey and 16 pars. At T20, he is the highest player on the leaderboard to play birdie-free Thursday.