14 June 2019: On a perfect spring morning in the Monterey Peninsula, the world’s best, made light of the stiff Pebble Beach challenge indulging in a birdie binge. Rickie Fowler, still looking for his first major, as is Xander Schauffele raced out of the gates with a comforting 66 to snatch the early lead. Louis Oosthuizen knows a thing or two more than those two gentlemen, having won the 2010 Open Championship. The South African joined the party at the top with a 66 dampened by just the lone bogey at the 16th hole.
Hideki Matsuyama was the best placed Asian, firing a two-under 69 in the opening round. The Japanese made a terrific eagle at the 14th hole, chipping in from just outside the green. But he also conceded bogey at the 7th, 10th and 18th to settle for a 69, good enough for T13 midway through the round.
Anirban Lahiri had a horrid start. He went Bogey-Bogey-Double Bogey soon as he started off the 10th tee. He drove 300 yards to the left and was dealing with the unforgiving rough at Pebble Beach. He reached the green with his third but left himself twelve feet to the cup, leading to the bogey.
At the par-3 12th, Anirban was stuck in the deep rough before he worked his way back to the green and two-putted from inside ten feet for that double.
He did well to steady the boat though, making a string of pars to settle into a nice rhythm. At the 16th, Anirban was forced to hack out back on to the fairway with his second shot from the left. Unperturbed he sent his third right under the flag before knocking in the par putt from four feet.
Fowler had an opportunity to emulate Tiger Woods and post a 65, the best opening round in a US Open at the Pebble Beach. But his birdie putt on the 18th kissed the edge of the cup but refused to drop.