The scoreboard is still a story left untold
SOUTHAMPTON, NY (June 11, 2018) - On a picture perfect day at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club U.S. Open week commenced. The 20 amateurs in the field wasted no time heading to the course for practice rounds.
Among those on the course before 9 a.m. were LSU's Luis Gagne playing with former teammate Sam Burns; Will Grimmer (Ohio State) and Timothy Wiseman (Ball State) playing with professional Mickey DeMorat.
Related: Monday Photo Album: Amateurs at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock
Some of the more notable amateur groupings during the morning wave were SMU commit Noah Goodwin and Vanderbilt's Theo Humphrey, the fifth ranked player in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Rankings, playing with Jordan Spieth while Arizona State's Chun An Yu joined Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
One of the more fun amateur pairings to go off Monday morning was comprised of Golfweek/AGC No. 1 Doug Ghim and No. 3 Shintaro Ban.
During the afternoon a second wave of amateurs teed off highlighted by No. 4 Braden Thornberry playing with Kevin Kisner and Kevin Chappell, and AGC's fourth-ranked Mid-Amateur Stewart Hagestad joining Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk and Patrick Cantlay while Stanford's Franklin Haung teed it up with Tommy Fleetwood, Andrew Johnston and 2010 U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell.
Thornberry made his way to the course late in the morning after arriving to the Southampton area around 11 p.m. last night following his week at the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic where he finished inside the top-30 for a second straight year.
Top-ranked mid-amateurs Matt Parziale, ranked No. 1 by AGC, and No. 3 Garrett Rank also made their way to the course later in the day.
Rank kicked off the media center interviews at noon before making his way to the tee. At around 7 p.m. Rank, playing alone, busied himself by hitting a number of different shots into the 18th green and around the difficult green.
During his press conference Rank, an AHL referee at the time, told an entertaining story about how during the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot he had to delicately balance golf and work. On day one of competition Rank was fortunate enough to have an early tee time because as soon as the final putt dropped he had to hop in his car and drive 3:30 hours to Hershey, PA to referee a game. Following a quick pregame nap, Rank officiated the game and then hopped back in his car to return to Winged Foot.
That next afternoon with his officiating gear still wet with sweat he let it air out underneath his car in the Winged Foot parking lot while he played his second round.
Rank has a friendly first and second round pairing. He will be playing with fellow Canadian Mackenzie Hughes; the two played together on Team Canada for three years, and Rank attended Hughes' wedding.
Last week Rank played in the Dogwood Invitational where he thinks they secretly sped up the greens.
The course was already playing quick with the fescue coming up to shin height. Shinnecock Hills features a number of undulating holes most notably the 9th, 15th and 18th holes.
If you are heading to Shinnecock Hills this week you are in for a real treat. Although the course does require a good amount of walking (13.1 miles today!) to reach the outer portions of the course you can easily find your way around the layout. However, if you don't want to travel far from the clubhouse there are a number of holes within a short walking distance including the opening tee, 9th and 18th greens, the 16th and 17th holes.
You can find a great view from next the 15th tee box which will allow you see not only the players teeing off but also the 14th green below. From this vantage point you will be able to watch everything that plays out on the 15th and also the approach shots to the 14th green.
My personal favorite as far as viewing spots was the bottom right of the 14th hole grandstand. The seat allows you to watch the players tee off on No. 14 from up close and the play on the 9th green.
Be warned, although the course is fan friendly with many grandstands for optimal viewing, there are a number of severe slopes throughout the course that fans needs to travel across.
Early morning clouds gave way to sun by midday, with a slight breeze of 10 or so MPH and a high temperature of around 70. Monday's practice round weather appears to be a forebear of ideal weather to come throughout the week. With the exception of Wednesday when their is a 50% chance of rain, the forecast looks perfect with temperatures never forecasted to go higher than upper 70's.
ABOUT THE U.S. Open
The U.S. Open is the biggest of the 14 national
championships conducted by the USGA.
to amateurs and professionals.
The USGA intends to make the U.S. Open
most rigorous, yet fair, examination of golf
skills, testing all forms of shot-making. The
USGA prepares the course after careful
consideration of 14 different factors.
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