Erin Hills Rather Benign for First Round of 2017 U.S. Open

Unlike many of the regular tour stops on the PGA, where manicured conditions invite risk taking by players who have the confidence of knowing that if a shot should go astray, redemption is relatively assured, a U.S. Open layout is typically brutal with punishment for inaccuracy, either in terms of distance or direction.

Yet, will all the players of the course, as this is being typed, there are 40 or more players shooting below par scores.

Of course, being under par and on the course guarantees nothing, but Rickie Fowler is in the clubhouse following his first round at minus seven. There have been many years when even par after four rounds was sufficient to win the second Major of the season.

Fowler enjoys a two shot margin over Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood, who both finished at minus five. Nine other players have completed play in the first round and are under par.

Marc Leishman is at minus two but he is only six holes into his round.

Jason Day is one under par after three holes, tied with Rory McIllroy. Wade Ormsby is even after nine. Adam Scott is off to a dreadful start; plus three after just five holes. Nick Flanagan, playing in the U.S. Open for the second time after an absence of many years, is even par after six holes.

Given the opinions expressed by many of the golfers prior to the start of the tournament, for so many players to be under par at this stage of the opening round is hard to conceive.

Fowler shot four under for his first nine, the backside, as the size of the field dictated starting from split tees, managing three birdies in the first five holes.

World number one Dustin Johnson is having some trouble navigating the long course with the deep rough.