Canadian Adam Hadwin impressed as he finished the first day of the US Open at the top of the rankings on Thursday in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Hadwin, who won just one PGA Tour event five years ago, turned in a 66 (-4) to lead the field. It was the best performance of his career in a major tournament, having set his previous mark of 68 at the 2020 Players Championship.
To do so, Hadwin birdied five of the first nine and only bogeyed twice, at the third and twelfth pennants.
A staunch PGA defender in his clash with the new LIV golf tour, Rory McIlroy tied for second with a game of 67 (-3). Callum Tarren of England, David Lingmerth of Sweden, Joel Dahmen of the United States and MJ Daffe of South Africa also fell three strokes from par.
Also, players who joined the LIV circuit were given permission to participate in major tournaments and thus were in the game. Dustin Johnson (-2) did very well, while Bryson DeChambeau (+1) had better rounds. The day, however, looked like a nightmare for Phil Mickelson (+8), Louis Oosthuizen (+7) and Kevin Na (+5), to name a few PGA quitters.
Hadwin and others
Other maple leaf representatives have not been as successful as Hadwin. Corey Conners took the 42nd step by virtue of a card of 71 (+1), while Mackenzie Hughes and Ben Silverman played 72 (+2).
Nick Taylor (+3) and Roger Sloan (+6) will have to outdo each other to dodge the ax and make it to the weekend rounds.
A modest start for Maude-Aimée Leblanc in Michigan
Quebec’s Maude-Aimée Leblanc struck out two pairs during the first round of the Meijer Classic in Belmont, Michigan; an honest result, but that already places it far from the leading group.
After a hectic US Open, the Sherbrooke native started the first round like a lioness by scoring two birdies on the first four pennants of the back nine holes. He had a lackluster day from then on, cutting two more shots from par but bogeying twice. Leblanc thus tied for 45th place (-2).
This performance places her far behind the leader, American Jennifer Kupcho, who shot 63 (-9). The latter had no less than six birdies on the nine of the fairway, in addition to having scored an eagle on the 14th.
Four other golfers hit the ball 65 times or less during the day, including Gerina Mendoza, who finished second at -8.
Canadian Brooke M. Henderson was placed in a good position thanks to a card of 68 (-4). She never failed and she managed an eagle at flag 18, which allowed her to settle on the tied 15th rung.
The only other Maple Leaf representative in the race, Alena Sharp, couldn’t avoid the ax set to -1 as she played par.