UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — With an astonishing 16 amateur players in the 2015 U.S. Open field, one or two were sure to make their presence known on day one.
Shooting three-under par 67 at Chambers Bay on Thursday was graduating University of Illinois senior Brian Campbell of Irvine, California. The two-time NCAA Central Regional champion, winning in 2014 and 2015, posted a bogey-free, four-under 31 on his first nine holes, the back side, before engaging in a wild duel with the Chambers Bay front nine.
He bogeyed holes 3 and 4, birdied 5 and 6, double-bogeyed 7, birdied 8 and parred the ninth hole to end the day just two back first-round leaders Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson.
"I just felt really comfortable on the greens," Campbell told the USGA. "The ball was rolling well."
Another graduating senior, Ollie Schniederjans of Georgia Tech, shot 69 in his opening round and sits in a tie for 14th. The former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, went out in even-par before making only two pars on a up-and-down back nine ending in 34. He birdied the 607-yard par-5 18th hole to jump into red numbers, and only four back of the leaders.
Campbell's sophomore teammate Nick Hardy is even par, and did so in a ho-hum first round. Making no birdies, Hardy's only blemishes came as bogeys on 9 and 18, while the often eagled par-4 12th hole was conquered by the Northbrook, Ill. native.
Here's a round-up of the remaining 13 amateurs and their round-one scores:
T46 - Denny McCarthy, Burtonsville, Md. — 71
T46 - Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo, Calif. — 71
T79 - Jack Maguire, St. Petersburg, Fla. — 73
T79 - Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. — 73
T98 - Lee McCoy, Clarkesville, Ga. — 74
T98 - Bryson DeChambeau, Clovis, Calif. — 74
T98 - Gunn Yang, South Korea — 74
T98 - Jake Knapp, Costa Mesa, Calif. — 74
T123 - Sam Horsfield, England — 75
T129 - Matthew NeSmith, North Augusta, S.C. — 76
T129 - Bradley Neil, Scotland — 76
T135 - Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas — 77
T141 - Kyle Jones, Snowflake, Ariz. — 78
For all those amateurs disappointed with their opening rounds, at least they can say they beat Tiger Woods, who struggled to an 80 on Thursday.
The greens were relatively soft, as scoring was surprising low on day one, but green firmness and speed are sure to increase as the week goes on.
Follow AmateurGolf.com through the last three rounds for all your amateur updates from Chambers Bay.