The 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 started with lightning-fast greens and challenging conditions that left even the world’s best players struggling. Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 golfer, posted a 1-over 71, while Tyrrell Hatton described the course as incredibly difficult, emphasizing the importance of accepting pars as good scores.

Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy set the pace with 5-under 65, with Cantlay leading the pack after the first round. Cantlay, known for his strong short game and putting, is looking for his first major championship victory. However, questions remain about whether he can maintain his performance throughout the tournament.

The tournament at Pinehurst No. 2 is expected to become even tougher as the week progresses, with the USGA adjusting the course to present new challenges for the players. Despite some players shooting under par on the first day, the overall difficulty of the course is evident, especially with the challenging conditions of the greens and fairways.

Tiger Woods faced struggles in the first round, posting a 4-over 74 and highlighting issues with his putting on the fast greens. Woods acknowledged the need to improve his speed and consistency on the greens to stay in contention. As he continues his return to competitive golf after injuries, Woods faces the challenge of balancing practice and recovery to perform at his best in major championships.

The U.S. Open features a tough 36-hole cut, with only the top 60 scores and ties advancing to the final rounds. Several big-name players, including Viktor Hovland, Phil Mickelson, and Justin Thomas, have work to do to make the cut after challenging first rounds. The difficulty of Pinehurst No. 2 poses a risk for players pressing too hard to make up ground, leading to potential trouble on the course.

The battle for the Jack Nicklaus Medal, awarded to the low amateur, promises an exciting competition among players like Neal Shipley, Bryan Kim, Gordon Sargent, and Omar Morales. Shipley, who impressed at the Masters, leads the amateurs at even par, showcasing his ability to compete on challenging courses against the world’s best players. Other amateurs like Sargent and Morales are also in contention, adding an exciting element to the tournament.