US Open Round 1: 'Mr. Mickelson, trouble calling on Line 1'

That left him eight shots behind surprise leader Russell Henley — and co-leader if Louis Oosthuizen is still 4-under after playing the remaining two holes of his opening round Friday morning.

The last time he played the South Course, at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2014, he was 8 over through the first 15 holes and missed the cut by six shots.

The two-time champion lived up to his “Big Game” nickname, posting a 2-under 69 that was his sixth straight round in the 60s at the major tournament billed annually as golf’s toughest test.

By mid-afternoon, solid approach shots that landed just a few feet off-target wound up snarled in collars of thick rough ringing the greens or burrowed into sides of steep bunkers.

He won by overpowering Winged Foot last September, cutting corners with towering drives and carving short irons out of the rough.

Roughly 40 players will wind up within four shots of the lead by the time Round 1 wraps, hardly surprising for a U.S. Open, where pars still come at a premium.

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