The 111th edition of the U.S. Open began play Thursday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The second of the four major golf tournaments, the Open showcases many of the world’s top golfers. The par-71 course is difficult, and the contestants will be put to the test throughout the weekend.
As has been a growing trend in the golf world for as long as anyone can remember, the leaderboard after day one is decidedly international. There are fewer top-flight golfers in the U.S. than there are around the world, and it shows in tournaments like the Open. When the world’s best golfers get together in one place, the international players flex their collective muscles and prove why they are the best, year in and year out. The top 10 as of now only includes two Americans. Whereas the United States perennially dominates sports such as basketball and baseball, golf is more influenced by the international game. Last year’s U.S. Open champion, Graeme McDowell, is from Northern Ireland himself.
It makes sense that a sport originating overseas is still dominated by international players, but it forces us Americans to take a back seat in a sport for once. Americans are so used to dominating and basically owning anything that we participate in that it comes as a bit of a shock that we are not in control of the golfing realm.
Nonetheless, after day one the leaders are as follows: Rory McIlroy leads the field at six-under, reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is three strokes behind at three-under, and South Korean Y.E. Yang is also tied for second at three-under. The lone American in the top five is Texas native Ryan Palmer at two-under. Palmer is also a graduate of Texas A&M. Spaniard Sergio Garcia is tied for fourth at two-under with Louis Oosthuizen as well. There are 12 golfers tied for 10th place, including Graeme McDowell, Stewart Cink, and Davis Love III.
Play will resume Friday morning and come to conclusion Sunday afternoon.