San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Michael Thompson teed it up in his first
major championship as a professional on Thursday.
Thompson birdied six of his last 12 holes to shoot 66. He leads by three after
the first round of the U.S. Open. That matches the largest first-round lead
Defending champion Rory McIlroy led by three last year at Congressional, but
the conditions are much different this year at The Olympic Club. Thompson is
just fine giving McIlroy or Woods the spotlight.
"The way I look at it is I've always kind of flown under the radar. Obviously,
my name's in the spotlight, but a lot of people don't know who I am," Thompson
stated. "And I'm totally okay with that because I've always been a player that
just kind of hangs around. I don't give up very easily and I'm very proud of
that. Give Tiger the spotlight. I don't care. I'm going to go out and play my
game. If I go out and putt the way I did today I'll be in contention."
Here's what other players were saying after the first rounds of the 112th U.S.
- RORY MCILROY'S opening 77 was 12 shots worse than his first-round 65 at
Congressional last year. The defending champ said: "I tried to approach it
like any other tournament I play. I tried to go out there and shoot the best
score I could. And today wasn't my greatest day, but hopefully I can come out
tomorrow morning and try and shoot a good one and at least try to be here for
- PHIL MICKELSON, a five-time runner-up at this championship, on what he needs
to do on Friday: "I've got a tough challenge just to get to the weekend
tomorrow. Unfortunately. But I think that we don't get to see or have the
opportunity to test ourselves under such a difficult condition so I'll go out
tomorrow and see if I can shoot something under par. I think that it will be
kind of have to put this round aside for now and see if I can just play one
round under par and maybe that will get me to the weekend."
- DAVID TOMS, the 2001 PGA Champion, on the course set up: "I thought the golf
course was set up pretty nicely, actually. You saw four-under par today, so
obviously you can score on the golf course the way it was set up. They had a
couple of tees moved up. It was just very, very difficult to get the ball in
the fairway. So if you can't do that, then you can't attack the pins that are
close to the edges. For me, one-under par was obviously a great round of golf.
My short game was good today, my up-and-down game. I scored probably better
than I played."
- BUBBA WATSON commenting on his round with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson:
"We're not watching what anybody else is doing. I'm struggling on my own. I
don't need to worry about anybody else. You just know at the end of the day
[Tiger] had a red number by his name and I had eight-over. At the end of the
day, I know he played pretty good."
- ANDY ZHANG, the 14-year-old amateur, got into the field after Paul Casey
withdrew. This is what he'll take from his first round experience: "It will
definitely help a lot. It's something that I can never learn playing the
junior tournaments. The junior tournaments, I start bad with maybe with a
triple or double and then I can work my way in like probably finish around
one-over or even. But not here. Not in the Olympic Club. But still I think I
kept myself pretty calm out there. I think I'm pretty happy with that."
The Sports Network