PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 13: A red-tailed hawk looks on during the first round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 13, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

We knew Pinehurst was going to be a battle for the best golfers in the world this week, but if the start of the first round of the 2024 U.S. Open is any indication, it’s going to be a wild weekend.

Halfway through the first round, just three of the 18 holes on No. 2 are playing under par, and even those are barely there. The two Par 5 holes – 5 and 10 – are playing just under par on average, and the 18th is averaging a 3.970 on the Par 4.

Taking advantage of the few scoring opportunities to be had was Patrick Cantlay, who tied the lowest front 9 score ever at a U.S. Open at Pinehurst. He finished with six birdies and one bogey on his round, and is the clubhouse leader at 5-under, 65.

Just behind him is Ludvig Aberg, who made a name for himself at The Masters this year, who managed a 4-under, 66 in his first ever round at a U.S. Open.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, fan favorites like Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson struggled through their first rounds. Tiger birdied the first hole he played (10), but six bogeys and just one other birdie left him at 4-over, with a 74. Johnson was also at 4-over.

Any hopes of completing the career grand slam for Phil Mickelson are absolutely out of the window. He shot a 9-over, 79 and is tied for last place currently.

A nice round for Sergio Garcia saw him become only the sixth golfer in U.S. Open history at Pinehurst to shoot a bogey-free round. He finished 1-under, 69.

The afternoon wave has just begun, with Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy just getting their rounds started.

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