By Shiv Kapur
The butterflies were there alright, but I managed to control them well. I got off to a great start, but could not keep it up over the second stretch after starting on the tenth.
I played a solid first nine, which was the back stretch of the course. I hit the ball really well from tee to green. Though I gave away a few shots on the second nine, I was satisfied with the round, but I did leave the course with a feeling that I left a couple of shots there. The course was firming up as the day went on. I got out of danger a few times and scrambled well to keep the momentum going. But I was very disappointed with the bogey on the last. I felt one-over would have been a great score.
Two not-so-good second shots and a bad drive cost me three strokes and then the disappointing bogey on the ninth meant I was three-over. I opened with three pars and had my first birdie ever at an US Open after driving with a 3-iron and following it up with a 9-Iron on the par-4 13th, which was playing to just over 390 yards. I was on the green within six feet and the birdie felt great. It was to be my only birdie.
I had a perfect drive on the 18th, but missed the second shot on the left and Pinehurst penalized me with a bogey. On the very next hole, the first, I put my second shot in the greenside bunker. From the bunker I was unable to get up and down. I pulled the drive on the fifth left and had to chip out, which led to another bogey. Then the ninth got me again.
Yet, I would say I got a lot of positives from my debut and feel like I can carry that on to today’s round and that would help me move up the leaderboard.