Davis Thompson (USGA photo)
Winged Foot was not what we were promised on Thursday. Carnage was expected, but not given. Scores from the 13 amateurs following 18 holes of play looked like the first two pages of the 2006 U.S. Open final round leaderboard.
Georgia’s Davis Thompson and Florida State’s John Pak lead the way following the first day of play for the amateurs. Mirroring each other with one-under-par 69s, the pair, who are both top five in the PGA Tour University rankings, are tied for 17th as the first round closed.
Thompson, the current No. 1 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking, took advantage of a three hole stretch on the front side of Winged Foot. Beginning the tournament with five consecutive pars, Thompson bid himself into the top five as the sun was still rising over New York. Tallying birdies on holes six, seven, and eight, he grabbed another on No. 11 to get to four under before dropping three shots over the final six holes.
The shot of the day among the pros goes to Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris -- both had aces on their cards. As for the am’s, Eduard Rousaud gets the nod.
Settling his nerves, the Spaniard piped his drive 325 yards down the middle. With 130 yards to the pin, Rousaud fired a wedge just to the left of the middle-left pin location into the green at No. 1. Landing in the perfect spot, Rousaud added a little sauce to the shot as it spun back and fell into the hole for an eagle two.
Following the near-perfect start, Rousaud nabbed two more birdies on the front side but not before carding three double bogeys to go out in 37 (2-over). Cutting down on the big numbers, Rousaud came in at four-over for a six-over 76. He sits in a tie for 122nd.
2019 U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree (Georgia Tech), as is customary, played alongside defending U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland and reigning Champion Golfer of the Year Shane Lowry. The Yellowjacket won his group by three shots following a 1-over 71.
Woodland carded a 74 and Lowry a 76. Although besting his pro playing partners, Ogletree is fifth among amateurs as he is one back of Chun An Yu (Chinese Taipai/Arizona State) and Takumi Kanaya (Japan) and two back of Thompson and Pak.
Arizona State signee Preston Summerhays got off to a solid start with a two-over 72 as he sits in a tie for 55th. Representing the SEC, Florida’s Ricky Castillo (+3) and Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein (+4) round out the amateurs inside the top-100 following play Thursday.
Moving to the Big 12, Texas Tech’s Sandy Scott (Scotland) and Texas Longhorn Cole Hammer have work ahead of them as Scott is at 5-over in a tie for 110th and Hammer is tied for 133rd alongside Rousard at six-over.
Rounding out the amateurs, Ireland’s James Sugrue (+8/T-137) and Australia’s Lukas Michel (+10/143) are in danger of seeing their tournament come to an end on Friday afternoon.
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