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Page last updated at 02:21 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 03:21 UK

First round as it happened

American Kevin Streelman drops a shot at the last for a three-under 68 to join countryman Justin Hicks in a share of the US Open lead at Torrey Pines.

Rocco Mediate, Eric Axley and Stuart Appleby are joined by Geoff Ogilvy on two under, as Ernie Els ends one under.

Swede Robert Karlsson and England's Lee Westwood lead the European challenge at one under par.

Tiger Woods cards 72 in his first tournament back after knee surgery, while Phil Mickelson ends level par.

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (All times BST)

606: DEBATE

To get involved, text us on 81111 or use the email form on the right

By Mark Orlovac

0315: It is a bogey-bogey finish for Monty and an opening 79 puts him on eight over. Dougherty is on seven over after a par at the last

And with that, I think it is time for me to sign off. Have a good sleep now and I will see you nice and refreshed for another stint tomorrow. Deal? Take care.

"Hey Mark, can't sleep with my final uni results out tomorrow and I'm on the borderline of getting what I need for all my career plans and getting rejected by endless companies, however for some reason I'm still more worried about the money I have on Luke Donald."
Russell, Britain via email

"Hey Mark, any idea what time the final rounds on sat and sun will get finished? We are three hours ahead of BST over here and it's gona be a late/early one!! Keep up the stirling work."
steve johns, abu dhabi via email

Thanks Steve, I think it could be a 0200 BST finish on both days. Could be bit earlier though. We will have more of an idea tomorrow evening when we get the tee times.

0255: Montgomerie ends up bogeying the 8th following that tee shot error - he lies on seven over. Ross Fisher bogeys 15 to slip back to one over. Dougherty drops another shot at the 17th.

0249: Harrington's round ends with a par five. An opening 78 leaves him on seven over. Cabrera closes with two birdies for a 79.

"Mark, I go to uni with that lad Chris who went to bed early instead of keeping up with the golf. We both study sports journalism. Whilst he's dreaming of bunny rabbits and daises, I'm up all night sending emails and enquiring to get interviews with various sporting personalities.
Rob, Grimsby, UK

0245: With the shadows lengthening, Montgomerie is short with his tee shot at the 8th (his 17th). Looks like he is in the bunker.

0237: The birdie chance goes for Els when he does not give it enough with his chip to the 9th pin. He has to settle for a par which leaves him just two off the lead. Casey ends with a bogey and is way out on eight over. Poulter does the same and is on seven over. Their tournaments are over now surely?

0230: Els' approach to the par-five 9th (his last) sees him reach the front of the green in two. Dougherty is having a torrid time coming home and he is on six over after 16, one stroke better off than Harrington, who double bogeys the 17th.

0224: Two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen closes with a double-bogey seven for an opening 76. Rose moves out to eight over after a bogey at the 8th (his 17th). Montgomerie saves par at the 6th.

0218: Donald has a wonderful birdie chance at the 9th (his last) following a fine approach to the pin. However, the putt is not good and he has to settle for a par. Els does indeed bogey the 8th and he is now on one under. Harrington and Cabrera both bogey the 16th. The Dubliner is now on five over while the reigning champion is 10 over.

0213: Ogilvy gets a massive slice of luck at the par-three 8th (his 17th). His tee shot is short but it makes the fringe of the green, landing just six inches from the bunker. Els is long at the same hole and it will be a struggle to get up and down from there. Fisher follows up his eagle with a double bogey six at the 14th and is back on level par.

"I'm back to following your coverage, they just switched the golf off to show basketball. I hate basketball. You must be pretty tired by now. How's Alastair Forsyth doing?
Ian, Canada

Hi Ian. Forsyth is three over after two birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. He has just four holes left.

0205: Monty fires his approach into the 6th green but it is long and he finds the thick stuff on the fringe. Cabrera is 20 yards short with his tee shot at the par-three 16th. It has just not happened for him today.

"Am reading the coverage in a small country town in outback Australia at the civilised time of 10am. I've got a few dollars on Donald to win and West Indies to beat the Aussies - so far so good."
Richard Wilson, Australia

0158: Donald misses an easy putt at the 8th (his 17th) to drop his second shot in three holes. They could prove costly. Harrington birdies the 15th and is on four over.

0154: Garcia's misery comes to an end. He cards a birdie at the last for a five-over 76. England's Ross Fisher moves to two under with a fine eagle at the 13th. Reigning champ Cabrera looks like he will not be here over the weekend as he is nine over after 15. Allenby is back to one under with a bogey at 15.

"How did Woods look out there today, any problems with the knee? Can I expect him to be in top five by end of tomorrow?? Harrington won't contend...he's all talk before majors & then flops.
Tom, Ireland

Morning Tom (goodness it feels wrong saying that!). Woods did flinch a couple of times and afterwards he mentioned that his knee was sore - it would probably go someway to explain why he only hit 43% of the fairways. But knowing him, I would not bet against him being in the top five. You cannot write him off at this stage.

0146: Streelman ends with a bogey and he is on three under. I don't know about you but I reckon he would have taken that at the start of the day.

"Englishman watching the golf from Kentucky. Tough conditions, but course is playing fair, I like the look of Ogilvy, the Brits are not doing bad though."
Darren Maydew, USA via email

0141: Good par save for Poulter at the 7th (his 16th) after the Englishman finds the sand. Montgomerie bogeys the 4th and is six over after 13. Streelman goes through the back of the green at the 9th (his last) and his chip back rolls and rolls away from the hole. It looks like a bogey at least.

"Just wondering how is Stephen Ames doing so far? Probably Canada's best shot this weekend?"
Chris, Canada

Hi Chris, Ames is on one over after 14 with three bogeys and two birdies on his card so far. Good to have you with us.

0121: Donald also struggles at the 6th and after failing to sink a long par putt, he moves back to one under. Robert Allenby has had an incredible day so far. At one stage he was three over after four but a run of five birdies in six holes from the 8th puts him on two under.

0117: Ernie Els makes a bit of a sloppy bogey at the 5th, his 14th, to slip back to two under. Ogilvy follows him after dropping a shot at the same hole. Casey finds rough at the 6th and can only smash it out down the fairway. He eventually cards a double bogey six to move out to seven over, together with Rose - who drops a shot at the 5th.

0110: Kevin Streelman holes a medium-sized snaker to stay in the lead at four under after 16.

England's Ross Fisher reaches the turn with nine straight pars. He and Andrew Dresser are the only two players out there without a bogey. Apart from now Dresser bogeys the 18th, his ninth, to slip back to one under.

0059: Paul Casey birdies the 5th, his 14th, to edge back to five over. Playing partner Ian Poulter remains six over, while Luke Donald stays in contention at two under.

0054: Els finds a very shallow and flat fairway bunker (call that a hazard?) at the 4th. He hits it right to take advantage of a pretty severe slope and just manages to find the dancefloor.

0050: Streelman has a tough downhill putt for birdie and the ball just rolls past. Casey is struggling today but could get something going after a delightful approach to the 5th green. That should be a birdie for him there.

"Lying in bed with the laptop, and matchsticks to keep the eyes open. How's our friend Camilo Villegas doing? I've got a couple of quid on him each way at 125/1."
Will, UK

Hi Will. Villegas is on two over after 11 holes. He has had two double bogeys and two birdies. Hope that helps.

0045: Leader Streelman fires an approach into the 6th green. His shot is obviously accompanied by the moronic "get in the hole" shout. Isn't it really, really irritating when someone does that? Els is now the third player on three under with a birdie at the 3rd (his 12th).

0042: Dougherty moves back to one over thanks to a birdie at the 9th. Harrington bogeys the 11th and is on three over.

"Keep up the good work. Any idea what time GMT will the golf finish on telly Sunday night???"
Brian, Ireland

Hi Brian, not too sure to be honest. 0200? 0300? That's only a guess however.

0036: Casey finds the rough with his second shot to the 4th green. Poulter finds the sand at the same hole. Despite their predicaments, both players get to within three feet of the pin. Rose continues to struggle. He bogeys the 2nd to move to six over.

"Just finished packing for my three-day annual golf trip - leave at 8am tomorrow for Shaw Hill in Chorley. Pint of Guinness in hand following the action via your updates. Come on team UK...."
Westy, Sheffield via email

0029: Els fires his putt up the hill but it just misses and he has to settle for par. On the telly, coach Butch Harmon is talking in very detailed terms about what he has been doing with Els' swing over recent weeks, club head position at the top of the action etc. I wonder what he would make of the Orlovac technique down at the Sandown Park driving range? I have a feeling I would render him speechless.

"Haven't had any info on Paddy Harrington for a while? I'm waiting for one more update before going to bed and I'm really tired!
Diarmuid, Ireland

Just for you. It's all gone a bit quiet for Harrington at the moment. He pars the 8th, 9th and 10th and remains on two over. Now you get yourself to bed, sweet dreams.

0022: Colin Montgomerie is on four over now after a bogey at the 13th and a double at the 15th. Dougherty doubles the 7th and is two over after eight. Els tonks his drive at the 2nd straight and long but his approach is a club too short and the ball trickles down the slope back towards him.

"Staying up till it's finished and then up at six for early shift! Loving it!"
Ross, Inverness

0017: Donald has a very tricky downhiller for par at the 2nd (his 11th) which sneaks past the hole. He's back to one under then. Ogilvy is now officially on the charge. Fact. The 30-year-old Aussie birdies the 1st and is three under, one off the lead.

"I have to route for Donald although I know he will choke on at least one of the rounds and come oh so close YET AGAIN. His brother used to be the pro at my home club in the UK don't you know? Harleyford - great course with great people. Oh happy days...."
Simon, USA via email

Get involved and keep me awake by using the form on the right hand side. You know you want to.

0006: Angel Cabrera is not making a good start as he looks to defend the trophy he won last year. He opens up with six bogeys and a double bogey to sit on eight over after eight. Garcia sinks a long putt for par at the 12th. Late night fact: Curtis Strange is the last player to successfully defend the US Open title. He won in 1988 and 1989.

2359: Rose makes a complete mess of the 18th. He three putts from around six feet for a double-bogey seven. His round is falling apart somewhat. Geoff Ogilvy, winner of the US Open in 2006, has had a storming finish to his opening nine holes. He has had four birdies in six holes to move to two under. Els is on the same total with a birdie at the last. Casey, meanwhile, is having a stinker. He double bogeys the 1st (his 10th) and is now on six over.

2352: Bad luck for Rose. His approach to the last agonisingly rolls into the water known as Devlin's Billabong. Great name. Donald gets out of the sand at the 1st and the ball trickles towards the hole. He must have really got underneath that one because he gave it a right lash. If he had actually hit the ball he would have reached the Pacific Ocean.

"My wife just said to me: 'even though we can't watch him on TV, you would think the BBC would put a picture of Ian Poulter's bum somewhere on their website'."
Tom, England

That's going on the website because it made me laugh. I didn't know his rear was so attractive.

2348: At the 1st, Donald goes right with his approach and finds a greenside bunker. Playing partner Poulter is in the rough with his tee shot and can only dink the ball out onto the fairway. Par will be tough from there.

2346: Els finds the first cut of rough with his tee shot at the 18th and is promptly joined by Rose. Nice sociable golf.

"Want some news about Wolstenholme please, and I deserve it am keeping up to date with golf instead of sleeping for nine o'clock final university exam tomorrow!
Josh via text on 81111

As you wish. Unfortunately Wolstenholme is on eight over after carding five bogeys and a double bogey in his opening nine holes. Good luck tomorrow.

2339: Streelman takes the outright lead with a birdie at the 2nd (his 11th). He has had six birdies so far today. Harrington is on two over after seven following a run of bogey, bogey, birdie. Monty is on the same total after four holes. Rose slips back to three over after a double bogey three on the 16th (his seventh). Poulter and Casey are on four over.

"Err...night Mark!"
Chris, England via email

Can't believe it Chris, you've let me down.

"Mark, get Rob to whistle "Too good to be true" - we may get a UK winner yet."
Ian, Wales

"Stuck on nightshift here, keep us entertained Mark! Has Poults dressed well for the occasion?"
scaff,uk

Hey scaff. Hope you are enjoying the night. He is wearing a fuchsia pink top, white slacks and what look like pink ballet shoes. What I've described may actually sound awful but I can assure you it is not too bad. Might think about such an outfit myself the next time I am on the links. Then again....

2319: Go Luke! The 30-year-old from Hemel Hempstead sinks a long one at the 17th and he is two under after seven. That's now three birdies in his last four holes. Streelman is back to three under with the fifth birdie of the day at the 18th (his ninth). Garcia misses a simple birdie putt at the 9th to end a disappointing outward nine. He remains on six over.

"Do you know if Nick Dougherty is playing after his breakthrough last year?"
Dan, Somerset

Hi Dan, Nick is playing. My colleague Rob (he's now stopped whistling "Since You've Been Gone" and has moved on to "Rockstar" by Nickleback) did a piece on him during the week. Here it is.

As for the first round, Dougherty has opened up with four pars.

2307: Putting lets Els down at the 14th as he slips back to level par but a wonderful approach to the next puts him back to one under. Rose drops a shot at the 14th (his fifth) and then misses a birdie chance at the 15th. Garcia stops the rot with a par at the 8th.

"Come on then Mark, what is the magic hour I have to stick with you until? I need a challenge..."
Chris, England via email

Are you sure? Well, the final group teed off at 2242 BST and allowing five hours for the round, I reckon I'll be saying goodnight at around 0345. Gulp. You with me?

2301: Donald makes it two birdies in a row with another three at the 15th (his 6th). There are currently 12 players under par, four are Brits, although five of the top six are American. Can a European win this thing for the first time since 1970?

"Come on Tiger! Pleased for the Europeans doing well so far. But hope Tiger takes this tournament by the scruff of the neck before Sunday! Looking forward to it all. With the football getting good too, we're in for a good weekend!"
Jon K, Wales via email

"Mark - you are keeping me entertained through my late afternoon in Mexico City. The only thing distracting me from the golf is the thought of a good old British chicken & mushroom...preferably containing the aforementioned vital ingredients (but to be honest a BBC classic would go down well as well)"
Grinnic, Mexico

Be very, very careful with what you wish for! Glad to have you on board Grinnic.

2254: Poulter is now on three over after a bogey at the 15th (his sixth). He was not helped by having to play one of his shots from a concrete path down the left of the fairway. Alastair Forsyth moves to one under with a birdie at the 11th (his second) while Colin Montgomerie is one over after three.

"Watching the golf from my office window opposite the course; Euro 08 on the tele in the conference room and the tennis on the Beeb web site. Spoilt for choice."
Susan Crane, USA via email

"C'mon Monty.. you can do it! I've just got this feeling that he's going to pull it off this time.. it's now or never for him."
Andy, Scotland

"Just finished series two of 24 on DVD, Jack Bauer lookalike Carl Petterson finished level par, but I expect more twists and turns before the end of tonight.... Orlovac...I will stay with you.... you have to believe me....just hang in there......"
monners, uk

You absolute legend. The next entry is dedicated to you!

2248: Oh dear. More woe for Garcia as he double bogeys the 7th. That's six over for him then. Donald, sporting yet another pair of quite dazzling white strides, pings in a wonderful approach to the 15th pin. That's a great birdie chance.

2243: Two-time US Open winner Ernie Els is on the move with the help of a fine birdie putt at the 13th (his fourth). Streelman is certainly having an entertaining first-ever US Open round. His second bogey of the day puts him back to two under. England's Ross McGowan, who came through qualifying at Walton Heath, birdies the 10th (his first).

"No worries for Padraig. He likely doesn't know what a rattlesnake is seeing as how there are no snakes in Ireland. He was calm because he wasn't aware of the danger."
ontarget1, United States via email

"Only 2.30pm here on the West Coast and I am stuck at work, missing all of the action, relying heavily on some good old-fashioned factual reporting from the BBC. Don't let me down now - your exiles still have certain expectations you know?"
Simon, USA via email

Hi Simon, thanks for your message. Thanks for tuning in, I'll do my best!

2238: Garcia drops back to four over after bogeying the 6th. Don't know how he did that as his approach to the green was superb. The Spaniard than slices from the rough at the 7th and the ball goes way off into rattlesnake country. We won't look for that then shall we? He tries again from the same spot but it is not good. Garcia could be out of contention after the first day if he is not careful.

2232: Luke Donald claims a shot back at the 14th (his fifth) and the 30-year-old is back to level par. Fellow Brit Paul Casey is on two over after a bogey at the 13th (his fourth). Streelman is back to three under with the help of a stunning approach to his sixth hole.

"Rose's nationality is not a problem. The brilliant Englishman birdied the first and the silly South African bogeyed the second!"
hogie on 606

When I first joined the BBC in 2000, I called Greg Rusedski 'Canadian' on the front page of Ceefax. I have not been allowed to forget it by my lovely colleagues!

2226: Important news. Because 606 is closing early, we have set up an e-mail system whereby you can still keep in touch during the night. All you have to do is use the form on the right hand side of this page and I will pick up all your notes. Remember to keep them clean now! Phone users on UK contracts can still use 81111. There we are then, let's be having you.

2224: Hole to forget for Padraig. He ends up with a double bogey and he is on one over.

2218: Somehow Harrington gets his ball up back up the slope despite playing a chip next to a sign which warns of rattlesnakes. Nonsense. Garcia plays from the long stuff at the 6th but he manages to get his ball on the green. Superb shot.

2213: Poor putting again from Garcia. He lets a six footer roll by and he is now on three over after five holes. Hicks is again on his own in the lead after Streelman drops a shot at his fifth hole. Harrington is long and left at the tricky par-three 3rd. His ball bounces through the green, down the steep slope and over a red line into a very nasty-looking hazard. That's a rough break.

2208: Rose bogeys his second hole to slip back to level par while Poulter is now two over after a bogey five at the 12th (his 3rd).

"Well, Justin was born in South Africa and lived there until he was five before moving with his parents to England. Silly USGA!"
bighangers on 606

Fair play bighangers, but I just assumed that he was listed as English.

2151: Justin Rose, who is intriguingly labelled as South African on the US Open website, sinks a long birdie putt at the 10th (his 1st). Harrington does the same at his opening hole. Nice.

"Is 606 going to stay on til the finish? Or will we have to email after a certain time?"
jonnythesaint on 606

Hi jonnythesaint, unfortunately 606 will close at the normal time tonight. The way to get in touch with me when it does is to text in on 81111. Please do, I'll get all lonely you know!

2144: What a start from Kevin Streelman. The 29-year-old American, playing in his first US Open, has three birdies in his first four holes to join Hicks at the top of the leaderboard.

2140: Poulter is struggling on the greens early doors. He has three-putts on his 1st (the 10th) to drop a shot before missing a straightforward birdie chance at the next. Playing partners Paul Casey and Luke Donald are also on one over after two. Casey bogeys his 2nd after a five-footer lips out. Cabrera finds sand at the 1st with his approach after his tee shot lands in the rough.

2134: Disaster strikes. Following an advert for one of those ridiculous compilation albums released for Father's Day, my colleague Rob "Mr Golf" Hodgetts, is now whistling "Since You've Been Gone" by Rainbow at regular intervals. Considering that we are both expecting to finish at 0500 tomorrow morning, this could be a long, long night.

Garcia pulls a shot back with a perfectly-judged long putt at the par-three 3rd while reigning US Open champion Angel Cabrera and Open winner Padraig Harrington get their campaigns underway.

"Mark O, I think it's been christened the Immelslam."
willy86 on 606

One word. Genius. Much better than my nonsense.

2126: Garcia is making a complete horlicks of his start. This year's Players Championship winner bogeys the second and is now three over after two. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, in London, I've managed to buy from the BBC canteen a chicken and mushroom pie that contains no chicken or mushrooms. How does that work?

2123: Mickelson is pretty made up that the US Open is being played at his home course. "Awesome" he calls it. South Africa's Masters champion Trevor Immelman, aiming to claim a 'Trev Slam' (doesn't sound right does it?), gets off to the perfect start with a birdie at the 1st.

"Mark, what you do isn't worthwhile. It's entertaining though."
From Jon, Northampton, via text

God bless you Jon, I'll pass on your compliment to the good lady tomorrow.

2117: Woods looks pretty cheery as he is interviewed after his round. He admits that his knee is "sore" before ending the chat with a triumphant "you got it". A phrase we here on the golf desk then repeat loudly to the rest of the office.

2114: England's Lee Westwood and Robert Karlsson of Sweden will be happy with their opening-day efforts as they end up on one under thanks to rounds of 70.

2108: Three-putt par for Woods. He is on one over going into the second day after a 72. Mickelson meanwhile sinks his birdie putt to leap above his rival on level par. That's a fine recovery after he dropped three shots on the outward nine. Spain's Sergio Garcia begins his round and cards a double-bogey six at the 1st. Ooops. Those in the know reckon that the afternoon's scoring is going to be difficult as the fairways and greens harden and the wind increases.

2102: Woods is way short with his uphill eagle putt at the last. That's going to be tricky. Adam Scott has not had the best of days but produces a delicious bunker shot and is just a foot away from the pin. Mickelson goes very close with a monster putt.

"If anyone fancies a cracking each way bet you could do a lot worse than Aaron Baddeley. Balls of steel and putts like a dream! 80-1. Fill your boots!
Anon via text

"Monty is playing absolutely rubbish these days and wont make the cut. Keep your fiver in your pocket buddy."
nigeweir on 606

2037: Plenty of good stuff coming up people. Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Luke Donald are all in the same group going out at 2114 BST, Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy and Ernie Els at 2136 while Monty tees off at 2209.

It's going to be a long night and I can't do this on my own. I'm going to need as much chat from you as possible, on 606 or via text on 81111, to keep me company at Corporation Towers. If nothing else, I'll need your contributions to prove to the good lady wife that what I do is actually worthwhile!
Get involved in the debate on 606

Mickelson goes long at the 17th, going into the rough at the back of the green, and is forced to drop without penalty as the ball is next to a sprinkler head. His chip back is lovely though and he should sink that.

2031: American Eric Axley joins the leading group on three under with birdies at the 2nd and 4th (his 11th and 13th).

"Mark, stick a fiver on Monty each way at around 200-1, I guarantee this IS his year! I'll be here, same time for the next three days and I bet I'm writing to confirm his winning the US Open! C'mon Monty!"
Azza_UK on 606

Loving that confidence Azza_UK. Anyone else with some cheeky bets?

2028: Interesting stat I read this morning over my mini Shredded Wheat. The last three winners of this event, Michael Campbell, Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera, were all 100-1 or more coming into the tournament.

2016: After a fine start, England's Oliver Wilson drops shots at 15 and 16 and is now level par. Wilson is a source of much humour for my colleagues in the office as a 30-minute interview I conducted with him last week was deleted without my knowledge over the weekend. Brilliant. Knowing my luck he is now going to win it. Woods cards a par at the 15th despite finding sand with his approach to the green.

2012: Stuart Appleby has a lengthy birdie putt at the 6th (his 15th) to take the outright lead but the ball sails by and he has to settle for his eighth straight par.

2002: Right, on the course, Woods duffs a little chip to the green and has to settle for a double bogey. He certainly paid the price for that poor tee shot and he slips to one over. Mickelson, meanwhile, pings in a fine approach at 14 and cards his second birdie in a row to reach the same total.

1959: Evening troops, how we doing? Thanks to Chris for all his fine work today. I'll now keep you company through to the wee small hours. It should be good one.

By Chris Whyatt

1954: Very steady progress from England's Oliver Wilson who, in case you didn't know, is inside the world's top 50 players. Just one off the lead on 11 right now. Tiger delays a dig out of the sand as he aims for the 14th green as pesky insects buzz around his face.

Time for me to pass the baton onto big Orlo. Cheers for all your contributions and do keep them coming.

1950: Perhaps bizarrely, I cannot get enough of the noise of the helicopters which hover over golf courses to bring us those imperious aerial shots of each hole. Nearly as comforting as a washing machine.

What is your favourite ambient sound (on a golf course)?
Get involved in the debate on 606

1945: Loads of short puts missing the target today on decent greens. We now have a three way tie for the lead - Hicks, meditating Rocky, and Appleby - all on three under.

1938: Rocco Mediate, I should mention, has sneaked his way up the leaderboard and is currently one behind leader Hicks on three under. Quality name... brings to mind a meditating Rocky.

Mickelson goes close with an eagle chance on 13 and duly plops the ball in for an impressive birdie which brings him to two OVER par.

1935: Mickelson draws wild howls of delight from the Californian crowd with a tasty iron hacked clear from the rough which rolls peacefully onto the 13th green.

Someone tipped Senor Jimenez to finish top of the pops come Sunday night? Changed your mind about who's going to win?
Get involved in the debate on 606

1932: I could smell the tension then. Appleby deliberates... and misses the birdie. Hicks still leads.

1927: Tiger bisects the 13th hole par five fairway with gruesome power off the tee. No holding back there, so zero sign of any physical difficulty with the knee in terms of his swing.

1923: Westwood has found the rough on the fourth hole - his 13th of the round. Appleby's precise short iron lofts his ball within striking distance of a put which could give him a share of the lead.

1919: Superb recovery - up and down under real pressure - to make a marvellous par four. Never been the straightest driver but what poise from the world number one. That nightmare opening double bogey is but a memory.

1917: This 12th hole - 504 yards - is one to watch in every sense: players struggling to get up to the green but when they do it's pretty much a sheer drop down to the canyons which hug the crashing surf. Tiger's crouching and squinting...

"Just up the Road from Torrey Pines, it's going to be a hot few days..." Moon1971 on 606

1912: Woods is zig-zagging right across the parameters of the hole with his powerful drives though, luckily, the fairways are wide and generous at Torrey Pines. Dramatic slip from Sheehan, looks like he may suffer another bogey.

1908: Sheehan stumbles to give Justin Hicks sole ownership of the lead on four under par after 14 holes. The 12th, where Tiger is toiling, may prove the toughest on the course through these next four days.

1904: No 'June gloom', as it's known, in California - the clouds have parted and the big red fireball in the sky beats down upon sweaty brows. Tiger is looking ominous... but has just shanked his tee shot from the 12th into the crowd. Cue forlorn frown.

Amigos in his three-ball, Adam Scott and Mickelson are both three shots shy of the world number one on two over par. That's over.

1856: Over 25,000 predicted to be in and around the galleries at Torrey Pines today as Tiger is politely applauded for a smart par three on 11. Early leader Steve Stricker, standing dangerously close to a cliff-edge on the daunting 12th green, has plunged down the leaderboard to even par. And that's not poetic licence.

1847: Little-known American Justin Hicks joins Karlsson at the top of the leaderboard on four under. What a round from England's Oliver Wilson. Still chipping away at two under (after 11) with Lee Westwood a shot behind.

1844: But he cannot follow the example of Mickelson. Par for Woods on 10. Palmer and Nicklaus, back in 1962, was the last time the world's top two players kept each other's company at the US Open.

"Anybody heard of Stonehaven golf course in Aberdeen? Definitely the most beautiful and stunning course I have played, with the possibility of hitting at least one or two shots either in the sea or a ravine. And to top it, it isn't too hard as well!"
bierkhanon 606

1842: Whipping off the vast ocean, the wind is picking up and will no doubt be a factor. Mickelson birdies the 10th to show a bit of character after a poor run of bogeys. Woods is testing that left knee with his trademark low-crouch as he assesses a put for birdie...

1838: "The pitch and putt course at Shaldon on the Devon coast is my most exotic. Stunning views and you can always hear the cries of baboons from the nearby zoo!"
Anonymous on the 81111 text

Winning the applause of caged apes... that sounds like an superb location. Oh and thanks, genuinely, to the world and his wife for pointing out my error in describing Mickelson slumping to three 'under'. Seems we both left our 'A'-game in the clubhouse!

1830: All at sea after that first hole double bogey, Tiger just completes an impressive front nine. One under par, familiar territory for the rock-like American.

Karlsson coolly birdies the 10th to take the lead on four under.

1826: Mark Calcavecchia, celebrating the onset of his 48th year on planet earth today, has had to pull out after nine holes. No reason cited just yet. Not a happy birthday.

1821: Sweden's Robert Karlsson is on the prowl as he birdies the 18th hole (which is his ninth) to move into a tie for second at three under with Appleby and Wilson. Justin Hicks has crept into the joint lead on four under.

Dramatic cliffs, waves lapping at the Pacific coast... Torrey Pines is a stunning location. What is the most exotic course you have played?

1812: The sun is well and truly out in California, casting short shadows over the polo shirt-clad players. A slight breeze tickles the trees. Sheehan is now the clear leader on four under par with Stricker dropping to two under.

1807: The last four US Open winners have been from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina. Thirty years - three decades - since the last European victory. And Tony Jacklin, back in 1970, was the last Englishman to do it.

Driver-less Mickelson is imploding, slipping down to three over. Strange things afoot in the group comprising the world's top three - Scott has a problem holding the club due to a trouble with his 'pinky', as the Yanks call your little finger.

1758: I hate to break this to you Will (see 1658:) - but Northern Ireland's Chris Devlin registered a hideous eight on the par four first hole and is presently four over after two holes. Not worth failing your exams for though fella, keep on grafting.

1751: US qualifier Justin Hicks and Stuart Appleby, both on three under, are putting pressure on leaders Sheehan and Stricker. Aussie Appleby looks in good shape after a neat birdie on the 515-yard par four sixth hole. Impressive.

1742: Mickelson - minus any driver in the bag today - has slumped to two over. Knee injury or no knee injury, raging Tiger has no difficultly in lashing out at thin air with his club after finding the bunker with his second shot to the par four sixth.

Sheehan and Stricker are once again level at the top of the leaderboard, both now on four under.

1735: East Midlands lad Lee Westwood is even par after five holes while Ollie Wilson is holding his ground on one under.

Remember those balmy Sunday nights at Baltusrol in 1993 and at Olympic Club in 1998? Lee Janzen does because that's when the wily American bagged two US Open crowns. He's one under after four in 2008.

1731: "I fear I'm yet again wasting my time hoping an Englishman will win, while trying to memorise poetry for English exam tomorrow!"
Harry on the 81111 text

There's a lot of studying (with half an eye on Torrey Pines) going on out there amongst you golf fans. My advice is simple: eat fish. It's 'brain-food' apparently. Any other trusty fuel you can recommend for the academics?

1727: Sheenan has moved to three under, while Scott moves back to level par and Mickelson - effectively on his home course - has slipped to one over with Tiger.

1720: Think we shouldn't pour too much fire on whether Woods is not moving 100% comfortably but though I'd best let you know what people are saying.

England's Oliver Wilson is still going well on one under after five holes.

1716: Steve Stricker has streaked into the lone lead, now on four under after seven and leading by two from Pat Sheehan who is a hole ahead.

STOP THE PRESS: Woods has eased one in for a three to move back to one over... but some are saying there are little signs he is limping a tad.

1712: Brit-pack Poulter, Casey, and Donald - quite possibly the Gallagher, Ryder, and Gillespie of the fairways - will no doubt be riotously cheering on English amateur Gary Wolstenholme when he tees off seven minutes before them (from the 10th) later on today.

Remarkable story for the 47-year-old who, incidentally, was the last player to beat Woods when the world number one was an amateur.

1704: The Californian sands aren't kind to Woods or Mickelson, who both find the fairway bunker with tee-shots on four...

Few blue and yellow flags creeping up the leaderboard. Swedes Karlsson and Pettersson are both one shot off the lead on one under.

1658: "I'm reading this whilst attempting to revise for my 'A'-levels. I'm keeping an eye out for the unheard of Chris Devlin from Northern Ireland."
Will in, you've guessed it, Northern Ireland on the 81111 text

"I'd like to see Justin Rose do well. Trouble is I don't think he has the mental strength to pull it off. If he doesn't fade on Saturday you know he will come up short on Sunday. Really hope he proves me wrong." KeithinSpain on 606

1655: Woods cannot knock a shot off though and has to settle for par. Still two over, while Scott and Mickelson are even for the round after three.

Picture of sartorial elegance Ian Poulter and fellow Englishmen Paul Casey and Luke Donald all tee off at 2114 (BST), by the way.

1649: Americans Sheehan and Stricker still lead, both on two under as they crunch through the first half of the course. And what a tough challenge that is. Compatriot Craig Barlow is already five over after just six holes.

Tiger has given himself a birdie chance on the 195-yard par three third...

"I'm in my office watching the clock, I just want to get home and see Poulter's inevitable shocking outfit!" anonymous on the 81111 text

1642: Mickelson, who reckons this is one of the best chances he's ever had at a major, goes close to a birdie at two but has to settle for par. Same goes for the curly-haired Scott.

Tiger strokes a superb put from the edge of the green which goes close and finishes the job without fuss. A timely steady-eddie par for the world number one.

1635: A shocker for Tiger then. Nobody on the 606 messageboards is backing him to overcome this knee trouble in time to win his 14th major. He's only played one hole...

As has England's Oliver Wilson, who is one shot off the lead after a neat birdie on the first.

Where are you lot following the action from by the way... Holed up in the office on an grey Yorkshire industrial estate? Lying blissfully on a beach in south-east Asia? Or somewhere in between?

1627: Ouch. Tiger Woods has opened with a double bogey on the par-four first hole. A wayward tee shot immediately put him in trouble before his iron flew long past the green. Australia's Adam Scott and local boy Phil Mickelson make par.

1618: "Phil Mickelson to win it for me. He has a proven record at Torrey Pines. About time Poulter had a run in a major too. Come on the Europeans! Can't wait for the action."
Alan from Rochford on the 81111 text

Wait no more Alan. Jim Furyk and Mark Calcavecchia are both level par after three and two holes respectively. Sheehan leads the pack after five.

1612: "Should be a great tournament, picking a winner is tough as always. I'd go for Garcia or Mickelson. Also be interesting to see if any of the shorter hitters can compete on such a long course." mr_aleman on 606

The short hitters have got 7,643 yards of a par-71 to negotiate. Wow. Torrey Pines, which clings to coastal cliffs next to the Pacific ocean, is a "municipal" course. Anyone out there played it?

1604: The first three-ball strode out onto the Californian course exactly an hour ago so the second major of 2008 is well under way. Patrick Sheehan, KJ Choi, and Steve Stricker are leading the charge on two under thus far.

Tiger tees off with fellow heavyweights Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott in a matter of minutes.

1555: Zooming into the area around the world number one's patella will be the key shot for directors because Woods is returning to action after two months off to undergo knee surgery. But, of course, you knew that didn't you.

Think he can do it? Or fancy a rare European major triumph? Got an inkling for a plucky rank outsider? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
US Open - Day One on 606

1547: Tiger Woods' knee is in for a scary amount of camera close-ups over the next 96 hours as TV cameras relay pictures from Torrey Pines to the watching millions around the world.

Welcome, golf lovers, to Day One of the US Open.




see also
US Open 2008 day one photos
12 Jun 08 |  Golf
Ken Brown's US Open preview
11 Jun 08 |  Golf
California dreaming
10 Jun 08 |  Golf


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