Aussies well placed after morning round at US Open

Major championship debutant Cameron Smith fired an even par round of 70 to open his and the Australian account at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

In ideal scoring conditions, the Queenslander took advantage of his early tee time with a solid display including a brilliant par save at his final hole, the long par-three 9th, after catching the bunker short of the green with his tee shot.

Cameron Smith Cameron Smith takes the early Aussie lead at his first US Open (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

In the group behind, NSW’s Kurt Barnes started strongly but dropped four strokes in three holes after the turn. He recovered to finish his remaining holes in one-under to post a two-over 72 while Victorian Marcus Fraser was also well pleased with his one-over 71.

John Senden also shot 72 today after not having his best stuff all day.

“I hung pretty tough after an ordinary start on the greens but I struck the ball well enough to shoot a reasonably good score,” he said.

“This course is trickier than even Augusta, because of the condition. It’s a true test and the USGA should be pretty proud of what they’ve got because they’ve got it setup pretty good. It’s tough.”

Adam Scott matched Smith with an even par round of 70, which could have been better after jumping out of the blocks quickly with early birdies. Despite dropping some shots and salvaging a bogey on the final hole, Scott was more than satisfied with the score.

“Absolutely. I think you’ve got to remember that even par or better at a U.S. Open is a good round. They were great scoring conditions and I had it under par but it’s still not easy.”

“It’s a four round tourney and I wasn’t going to win it today but I could have lost it, so I’m in pretty good shape. You have to think about the big picture.”

Scott seemed to slip seamlessly back into the groove with former caddie Steve Williams back on the bag, who Scott has coaxed out of retirement for the remaining majors this summer.

Williams might be questioning his decision to return to such physically taxing layout in Chambers Bay, although Scott laughed that “He (Williams) would never admit that he’s feeling sore!”

“It was good out there, he was really good. This is his kind of course, his style, it’s a good challenge and you have to think your way around there.”

Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Geoff Ogilvy were all on course with afternoon tee time conditions remaining fairly placid on the shores of Puget Sound.