ARDMORE, Pa. — Cheng-Tsung Pan had a pretty good day on the course. He felt even better about it when he scanned the scores.
"When I look at the scoreboard with my last name up there, it's pretty cool," he said.
Pan was one of several amateurs who had a respectable showing Thursday in the opening round of the U.S. Open. Pan shot a 2-over 72 at Merion Golf Club and put himself in solid position to make the cut.
Kevin Phelan topped the four amateurs who completed early rounds with a 1-over 71 that put him four shots behind clubhouse leader Phil Mickelson.
Pan and Phelan did great at No. 13: Both parred the hole and picked up a birdie or two elsewhere.
"It's always nice to be able to compare yourself to the best in the world," Phelan said. "It's the first time I've had a round anywhere close to them. It's nice, but there's a long way to go."
Pan, a 21-year-old who hails from Taiwan, is a junior at the University of Washington. He missed the cut in his other Open appearance in 2011, saying he was too excited and had too many distractions to play his best game.
He brought only two friends with him to Merion. And this time?
"I had it going," he said.
Pan, who also answered questions in Mandarin, wants to graduate from Washington and become the first member of his family to earn a degree.
He played nine holes Wednesday with his idol, Luke Donald, but never could bring himself to say how much he admired his game.
"Nah, too embarrassing," he said.
Phelan, who failed to make the cut in the 2010 Open, plans to turn pro later this year and attend Q-school. With more rounds like Thursday, Phelan just might reach his goal of making the Walker Cup team.
"It certainly can't hurt," said Phelan, 22, who lives in St. Augustine, Fla.
He was nervous before his first tee, but calmed down after his first swings. He came away from a practice round with Masters champion Adam Scott with some useful advice for taming the soggy course.
Sure, it's only Thursday and the amateurs concede there's too much golf ahead to start thinking about making the cut. But perhaps history could be on their side.
Only 21, amateur Jim Simons took a two-shot lead into the final day of the 1971 Open played at — yes, Merion. Trying to become the first amateur to win the event since 1933, Simon faded to fifth. Lee Trevino would go on to beat Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. No amateur has led again on the final day.
Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur in 1930 at Merion, clinching his Grand Slam.
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda||0||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison||2|
|Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer||3||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale||6|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront||5||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson||1|
|Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon||2||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley||3|
|Minnesota||0||Top 4th Inning|
|Philadelphia||1||Top 6th Inning|
|Miami||3||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Boston||0||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Cleveland||0||Top 4th Inning|
|Detroit||5||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Texas||0||Top 6th Inning|
|Colorado||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Chicago Cubs||1||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Los Angeles - Z. Greinke||7:40 PM|
|San Diego - I. Kennedy|
|Milwaukee - M. Fiers||8:05 PM|
|San Francisco - J. Peavy|
|Oakland - J. Samardzija||8:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Rasmus|
|Washington - S. Strasburg||8:10 PM|
|Seattle - R. Elias|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|(6) Jacksonville St||7||FINAL|
|(8) Michigan State||45|
|(5) Ohio State||34||FINAL|
|(17) Notre Dame||48|
|(10) South Dakota St||18||FINAL|
|Arkansas||21||4th Qtr 8:00|
|(16) Clemson||21||4th Qtr|
|Liberty||22||3rd Qtr 7:00|
|(23) North Carolina||21|
|Ohio U||14||4th Qtr 12:01|
|Louisiana Tech||0||2nd Qtr 4:30|
|Stephen F Austin||7||2nd Qtr 3:04|
|(20) Kansas State||28|
|Fresno State||0||2nd Qtr 11:55|
|Southern Miss||0||2nd Qtr 14:45|
|Texas-El Paso||7||1st Qtr 7:16|
|North Texas||0||1st Qtr 7:05|
|(1) Florida State||3||1st Qtr 8:44|
|(14) Wisconsin||8:00 PM|
|South Dakota||9:30 PM|
|(25) Washington||9:30 PM|
|Utah State||8/31/14 6:00 PM|
|SMU||8/31/14 6:30 PM|
|Miami-Florida||9/1/14 7:00 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|SMU||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Buffalo||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(24) Missouri||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Arkansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(8) McNeese State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Central Mich||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Akron||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ill||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ky||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|SC State||9/6/14 11:30 AM|
|Navy||9/6/14 12:00 PM|
|UAB||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|Colorado||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(1) Eastern Wash||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(15) USC||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ohio U||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Missouri State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ball State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Maryland||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|(18) Ole Miss||9/6/14 3:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/6/14 5:00 PM|
|(8) Michigan State||9/6/14 5:30 PM|
|(19) Arizona State||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|East Carolina||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(9) So Carolina|
|Duke||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(17) Sam Houston St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Michigan||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|Lamar||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M|
|Northwestern St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|BYU||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Citadel||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|San Diego St||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Virginia Tech||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State|
|Memphis||9/6/14 9:00 PM|
|Colorado State||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Air Force||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Oregon State||9/6/14 9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/6/14 10:00 PM|
|FC Dallas||7:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake||9:30 PM|
|Winnipeg||8/31/14 3:00 PM|
|Toronto||9/1/14 12:00 PM|
|Edmonton||9/1/14 3:30 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/5/14 6:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/7/14 3:00 PM|
|Chicago||43||3rd Qtr 4:17|