What can we expect in the second round of the U.S. Open? Another difficult day of scoring, for one. But here’s another key stat: In the last 15 years, nine first-round leaders have maintained at least a share of the lead after the second round. That’s very good news for Michael Thompson, who leads by three as the second round gets under way at The Olympic Club.
Speaking of Thompson, this is just his 45th career start in what’s only his second full year on the PGA TOUR — after graduating from Alabama in 2008, he bounced around the mini tours and was the NGA Hooters Tour Rookie of the Year in 2010.
Only twice has Thompson had led on the TOUR — after the second round of the 2011 RBC Canadian Open and the third round of The McGladrey Classic. He went on to finish 34th and third, respectively.
Here are some other key numbers from the opening round:
· Phil Mickelson struggled to a 76 after a lost-ball bogey on his opening hole. Since 2003, Mickelson has made 14 bogeys on his first hole of a major championship in the first round. Only two other players have made 14 or more bogeys on their first hole of major championship since 2003: Michael Campbell (15) and Adam Scott (15).
· Mickelson’s 76, which included seven bogeys, tied his worst first round at the U.S. Open (he also shot 76 in 1996 at Oakland Hills). The seven bogeys are the most number of holes over par in the first round of the U.S. Open he’s ever had during his career as a professional.
· Tiger Woods, meanwhile, opened with a 1-under 69 and in the process made consecutive birdies on the fourth and fifth holes. That marked the sixth time in his career at the U.S. Open that Woods has made back-to-back birdies in the first round. He also did it in 1998 (finished tied for 18th), 1999 (tied for third), 2000 (won), 2002 (won) and 2008 (won).
· Nick Watney made an albatross on the par-5 17th to join Louis Oosthuizen, who made one in the final round of this year’s Masters, Vaughn Taylor, who had one at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and Joseph Bramlett, who made his at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. By comparison, there were only albatrosses all of last year on TOUR. And only once in the last 10 years were there four of them through June: In 2007 there were five.