US Open - World's top three flop in opening round
The Big Three grouping of Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer -- the top three golfers in the world rankings -- flopped in the first round of the US Open at Congressional.
World number one Donald of England shot three-over-par 74, second-ranked compatriot Westwood posted 75 and US PGA champion Kaymer of Germany registered 74 in an uninspired start to the year's second Major championship.
"It's always fun playing with those guys, they're friends," Donald said. "But we all struggled a bit and we couldn't get much momentum going. Hopefully it will be different tomorrow."
Donald began brilliantly with birdies on his first two holes after starting at the long par-three 10th hole.
The 33-year-old Englishman lost his way shortly thereafter with four bogeys and a double-bogey over the last six holes before making the turn. He recovered on the second nine despite pulling most of his tee shots into the left rough.
"My start line was starting a little bit too far left, and I should start working on that on the range. I need to be a little more solid in my legs," Donald said. "Three-over is not great but I know if I shoot something in the red I'll make good headway."
Kaymer noted that conditions grew more difficult during their second nine as the wind picked up, yet expressed relief they had not fallen too far out of touch of early leader Yang Yong-eun of South Korea at three-under 68.
"We were grinding it out. All three of us didn't play our best golf but we were trying to stay in there. We didn't want to throw the tournament away," said the 26-year-old German.
"It's not the score that we were hoping for but there's still three rounds to go, and if we can give ourselves a chance that's all we need."
Westwood, 38, struggled through the finish, making bogeys on four of his last seven holes.
"I played poorly. Four-over is not a good score because the course was there for the taking," said the Englishman, who like Donald is seeking his first major title.
"Obviously if we had played well it would have been more enjoyable to watch ... None of us played particularly well and we all got just about what we deserved."