Johnson's bogey-free round made U.S. Open history

BY Cameron DaSilva • June 17, 2016

Entering this week, Oakmont was expected to be one of the toughest courses in U.S. Open history. After a sloppy first day that was filled with buckets of rain and a suspended Round 1, Oakmont hasn't exactly showed its teeth just yet. The course is soft, the greens are slower than planned, and scores are lower than the USGA thought they'd be.

That's not to say it's an easy track by any means. It's still incredibly difficult with the top three players in the world all shooting over par, and by a wide margin. Dustin Johnson, however, had little trouble with Oakmont on Friday. He fired an opening-round 67 to put himself in a tie for second, one shot back from the leader, Andrew Landry.

Incredibly, it was the first bogey-free U.S. Open round at Oakmont in more than 20 years, with the last coming from Loren Roberts in 1994.

As ludicrous as it sounds, 700 birdies have been made at Oakmont thus far, zero of which came from Johnson.

While he obviously avoided squares on the card, he also had a handful of circled numbers. Two of Johnson's three birdies came at shorter par 3s, where he was able to take advantage of his unworldly length. His other birdie was at No. 4 after nearly acing his tee shot, sticking it to within just a few feet.

And speaking of Johnson's length off the tee, consider this statistic. His average driving distance was 320.5 yards during the first round, compared to just 282.9 for the rest of the field. At a course like Oakmont where positioning on the greens is so key, Johnson has a huge advantage when he's hitting wedges compared to long irons. 

This is a narrative we've seen from Johnson before. He's consistently at the top of major championship leaderboards early on but can never seem to hold leads. Seeing how he performs in the second round and (likely) into the weekend will be telling for the uber-talented and super-athletic 31-year-old.


in this topic

share story