Tune in at 4:00 PM ET on Thursday for first round coverage of the U.S. Open. GIno Bottero will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Welcome everyone! I'll be live blogging the first round of the 112th playing of the United States Open Championship.
This year's Open is being played at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.
Lake Course | Par: 70 | Yardage: 7,170
Winner's Share: $1,440,000
FedExCup Points: 600
2011 - Rory McIlroy
2010 - Graeme McDowell
2009 - Lucas Glover
2008 - Tiger Woods
2007 - Angel Cabrera
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus' first major championship victory on Tour. Nicklaus defeated Arnold Palmer in a playoff to claim the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont C.C.
This is the fifth playing of the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Fransisco and the third time in five years that the state of California has hosted the tournament.
The players will tee off on 1 and 9. Players starting on the back will tee of on 9 because the 9th hole is closer to the clubhouse than 10.
The Lake Course is playing 300 yards longer than it did in 1998, when The Olympic Club last hosted the U.S. Open. Players beginning on the front-9 will be greeted with possibly the most difficult stretch of holes on the course on numbers 1 through 6, starting with the 520 yard Par 4 1st. The course will also feature the longest Par 5 in U.S. Open history, with the 16th playing at 670 yards.
Even with the added length on the course, it's the new setup on the 199 yard Par 3 13th that may provide the players with their stiffest test. The shaved rough off the left side of the green leaves no protection from the hazard, and the steep uphill slope to the green makes even the drop shot an adventure.
14-year-old amateur Andy Zhang was named a replacement for the injured Paul Casey on Monday to become the youngest ever competitor in U.S. Open history. Zhang opened on 9 with a triple-bogey.
There are two possible scenarios this week in which World No. 1 Luke Donald could be unseated from his spot atop the World Golf Rankings. A win for Rory McIlroy would give him back the World No. 1 ranking if Donald finishes outside of the top three. The second scenario would see Lee Westwood take the top spot with a win and Donald finishing worse than 58th.
The featured group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Bubba Watson began their round on the 9th at 10:33 AM ET. A rough start for Phil as he missed right off the tee and lost his ball. He was forced to head back to the tee and re-tee. He went on to bogey the hole.
That featured group completed their round not long ago with the following scores:
Tiger Woods: 69
Phil Mickelson: 76
Bubba Watson: 78
Michael Thompson closed out his round with a birdie to take the lead into the clubhouse at 4-under. That final shot put him 3-strokes clear of the field at the time.
Notable Groups that have yet to tee off:
4:29 PM ET (1st Tee): McIlroy - Donald - Westwood
4:36 PM ET (9th Tee): Stricker - Poulter - Kuchar
4:40 PM ET (1st Tee): Furyk - Garcia - McDowell
2012 U.S. Open Championship Leaderboard:
1. M. Thompson -4
T2. T. Woods -1
T2. D. Toms -1
T2. M. Hoffmann -1
T2. A. Presnell -1
The wind has not helped the players today, generally blowing with the slope of the course, making it difficult to keep shots on the green. We've seen plenty of bunker shots thus far, and not many rounds below par.
More birdies than expected thus far, but they've been offset by plenty of bogeys. There are only a handful of players on the course at, or below par.
Let's pick up play on the Par 4 2nd with Casey Martin.
Par 4 2nd: Casey Martin pulled a tricky par putt and tapped in for bogey. He falls back to 2-over.
213 yard Par 3 8th: A 4-iron from the tee for David Toms and his tee shot got caught in the fringe off the right side of the green.
Par 5 16th: Keegan Bradley rolls in a long birdie putt. He's at 3-over.
228 yard Par 3 3rd: Dennis Miller's tee shot rolled off the right side of the green, hanging up in the rough to keep from falling into the sand. Casey Martin cleared the front of the green and got a friendly roll to the center of the green.
The group which features the top-3 players in the World Golf Rankings is set to tee off on 1 in less than five minutes.
Par 3 3rd: Casey Martin left his birdie attempt high. Just a couple of feet left for him to clean up from the other side of the hole. A long par putt for Dennis Miller from just inside the fringe and he left it short.
Par 3 8th: David Toms taps in for his par to close out his round.
Toms in with a round of 69. He's tied for 2nd at 1-under.
Rory McIlroy has the privilege of teeing of first as he gets set to tee off with Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
509 yard Par 4 1st: Rory McIlroy kept his tee shot in the center of the fairway. Luke Donald missed right and into the rough. Lee Westwood with a bomb down the center of the fairway that rolled past McIlroy's and just avoided a divot.
Par 4 1st: Luke Donald with a good recovery out of the rough and his ball comes to rest in the first cut off the right side of the green. Both Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood were punished by the wind as their balls were pushed right of the green, rolling past Donald's and into the taller grass.
The first 6 holes have played 2.61 strokes over par thus far.
Par 4 11th: Peter Lawrie rolls in his putt from the fringe for birdie to get to 2-under.
Par 4 18th: 14-year-old Andy Zhang bends in a closing birdie for a round of 79.
Par 4 1st: A double-bogey for Lee Westwood. Bogey for Rory McIlroy. Bogey for Luke Donald. Keep in mind, these are the top-3 players in the World Golf Rankings, and the only three players who could end this weekend as the world's number-1 ranked player.
428 yard Par 4 2nd: Rory McIlroy kept his tee shot in the center of the fairway. Luke Donald missed right from the tee again. Lee Westwood in good position off the tee once again with his ball landing in the center of the fairway.