SOUTHAMPTON: World number one Dustin Johnson fired a one-under par 69 at wind-whipped Shinnecock Hills on Thursday (Jun 14) to head a quartet of players sharing the US Open clubhouse lead.
Strong breezes blowing off Long Island Sound made shot selection difficult, and added to the challenge of Shinnecock's sloping greens.
Johnson got as low as three-under par when he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 11th. But he bogeyed 12 and 14 to finish the day on 69, tied with England's Ian Poulter and American's Russell Henley and Scott Piercy.
On a day when few players dropped below par even briefly, Jason Dufner was alone in fifth as the first round was winding down after an even par round of 70.
There was no feel-good return to the US Open for Tiger Woods, a three-time winner who had missed the last two editions.
Woods, playing his 10th tournament since returning this year in the wake of spinal fusion surgery, posted an eight-over par 78 that started with a triple bogey at the first hole and included two double bogeys.
Woods wasn't the only big name to struggle with the wind.
Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson carded a 77, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth settled for a 78 and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy had three double bogeys in his 10-over par 80.