OAKMONT, PA. – Jordan Spieth hit the shot. He watched it spin back past the hole and into a bunker. He tossed his club, although gently, and yelled, “That’s is such crap.”
Only in golf could such a display be termed a tantrum. Whatever label it deserves, that moment on the 17th hole at Oakmont on Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Open seemed symbolic.
The course is difficult, and sometimes arbitrarily hard. It was so hard on Spieth on Thursday that he didn’t even finish Day 1 as the low Dallasite or Longhorn.
If there was a name more surprising on the leaderboard than leader Andrew Landry’s, it belonged to amateur Scottie Scheffler, the leader in the waterlogged clubhouse at 1 under.
The 19-year-old is following in Spieth’s spike marks. Like Spieth, Scheffler is a Dallas native who became a Texas Longhorn and seems to enjoy the U.S. Open.
“Three more rounds to go,” Scheffler said. “We need to get a game plan going for the next round. We’ll see where the lead is at. My game plan isn’t going to change too much. Try to get the ball in play and see what I can do on the fairways out here. It’s not easy to play from the rough and the bad spots around this course.”
Scheffler’s sister, Callie, is caddying for him, and he played a practice round with another familiar face.
“I was lucky enough to play nine holes with Jordan, Zach Johnson and William McGirt Wednesday morning,” Scheffler said. “That was really, really helpful. Zach showed me some spots around the greens. Jordan also helped out and then William actually helped me out with the spikes, my shoes. I was kind of slipping around.”
He’s the only player on the leaderboard who has completed the first round. Spieth is 1 over, tied for 16th, after 11 holes.