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Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Thursday, 16 June 2011 11:56 UK

2011 US Open round one at Congressional - as it happened


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By Peter Scrivener

US Open scoring (official site)

0112: I was hoping to bring you news of Deforest's final hole but it's home time. Ash will be back from just before mid-day to take you through the early starters and I'll be back to deal with Donald, Westwood, Kaymer (1846) and McDowell (1835). Thanks for all the texts and tweets. Let's do it again tomorrow. Just as I was about to press send, Deforest finished...with a double bogey. Poor lad. Sleep well.

0105: A good day in prospect then for round two. Tournament leader Rory McIlroy is off again at 1255 BST. He will of course be playing with Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Garcia (1244), Schwartzel (1306) and Rock (1339) are also worth keeping an eye on early doors.

0055: For those of you still with me, thanks! You'll all no doubt be pleased to hear that Deforest is temporarily out of the woods after picking up birdies on 16 and 17 and he joins six others on -2.

0044: One of them is American Chris Deforest. Remember him? A bit earlier this evening he was threatening the leaders, with three birdies around the turn. A double bogey on 11, after twice finding the water, checked his progress and although he birdied 12, he's dropped on 13 and 15 to go back to level par.

It's good news for an Englishman
Robert Rock safely pars the last and he signs for a one-under 70. He's the leading Englishman at the end of the first round, tied for 10th. Bet he didn't think that would be the case when the cabbie dropped him off and relieved him of $1,000 in the early hours of this morning. A dozen or so players left out on the course.

0032: Not a very happy birthday for 41-year-old Phil Mickelson. Lefty hit just five of 14 fairways as he sprayed his drives to all corners of the Maryland course but his remarkable scrambling ability coupled with just 27 putts, two fewer than McIlroy, saw him finish on +3. It could have been so much worse.

0025: Three out of the four of golf's current major champions enjoyed decent opening rounds at the Congressional. Masters winner Charl Schwartzel fired a three-under-par 68, while his South African compatriot Louis Oosthuizen, who won the Open, is one shot back and defending US Open champ Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland carded a solid one-under-par 70. Germany's PGA champion Martin Kaymer was the only one of the quartet over par after shooting a 74.

0014: I deliberately left Rock out of that round-up as he's still playing the 18th - a par on the 17th means he's still -1 though - what price would you have got on him being the leading Englishman at the end of round one?

0010: What's that you say? You want a little round up of the leading UK golfers? Happy to oblige. Scottish duo Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher are at +2, alongside England's Paul Casey. World number one Luke Donald is +3, Justin Rose is also +3, world number two Lee Westwood is +4 with Ian Poulter for company. Everyone within 10 of the leader.

-6 McIlroy
-3 Yang, Schwartzel
-2 Palmer, Oosthuizen, Rocha, Hend, Kim, Garcia

0000: Solid finish by Masters champ Schwartzel who pars his last hole for a three-under-par 68. He joins Korea's YE Yang in second place, three behind Rory.

It's good news for an Englishman
Potentially great story developing with England's Robert Rock. In case you missed it, he only arrived in the early hours of this morning after taking a $1,000 taxi ride for the 200-mile journey from New York airport to the Congressional course near Washington (see 1825 for more). He's never played the course before today, had limited practice on the range but is in the thick of it after a 30-foot birdie on 16 to get to -1.

2353: Good to see Sergio smiling - here's his take on his day: "I played nicely. I feel like I'm hitting it well. I hit a good amount of good shots and a couple of iffy ones. I feel pretty good but not extremely great. We haven't done anything yet. It's a good round to start but there are three rounds to go so we'll see what happens."

2349: Right, we'll be seeing this round through to the bitter end. Around 40 players still out on the course. A new player propping up the leaderboard. Michael Barbosa had set the benchmark with a +12 round of 83. But his American compatriot Ty Tryon has gone one better. A solitary birdie on the par-three seventh surrounded by 10 bogeys and two doubles. Ouch.

2342: Want to know what Rory thought about his round? Well read on: "I felt like it could have been a couple of shots better but I didn't make any mistakes. My preparation is a big thing. I like to get to a venue a week early and do practice rounds before anyone else gets here. It feels very similar to Augusta. I'm hitting the ball both ways and feeling comfortable with every aspect of my game and comfortable on this golf course. [On his Masters meltdown] I understand where the questions are coming from. I have to prove I've learnt from Augusta and that I have moved on. The greens were chewed up and this rain will do them the world of good. It will be good to get out first in the morning and hopefully post something similar to today."

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Alan in Ballymena, via text on 81111: "Great to see Sergio going well, i'd love to see him win. Such a talented player and would be a sentimental win in memory of Seve"

2338: Jimenez drops in his final putt of the day but that's another bogey and he finishes with a 77, six over par. Ohhhh Sergio. He's only gone and missed that tiddler for par. Still, he's right inthe mix at -2.

2335: Still plenty going on out on the course. Garcia finishing up on 18. He's got a 20-footer for birdie which comes up a couple of feet short. Still a touch of work to do for the Spaniard. Playing partner Quiros in for par and steady one-under 70.

Champagne moment
McIlroy wastes no time in knocking his first putt to the side of the hole. And that tap-in is good enough for a six-under-par 65 and a three-shot lead. A truly fabulous round and a real pleasure to watch.

2330: Mickelson nips out from under his brolly to two-putt for his par on the last and a three-over-par 74. Johnson does likewise to finish with a 75.

2329: And that's the hard work done for McIlroy today. The rain is fairly coming down now but he digs his third shot out of deep rough with enough control to find the green and stop it within 20 feet or so. two putts for a 65.

2325: Masters champion Charl Schwartzel slipping in under the radar a bit. The South African bogeyed his first hole, the 10th but parred the next 10 and has knocked in four birdies down the stretch to jump to -3 with one hole to play.

2322: Some good stats, as you would expect for Rory. He's driven the ball an average of 318 yards today, hit eight of 13 fairways and 16 out of 17 greens in regulation so far.

2315: Poulter's on the slide. The Englishman reached the turn in level par but has had three bogeys on the back nine. A par five coming up though, so time to hang in there. Another Englishman faring slightly better is Robert Rock. A birdie on 14, his third of the day, cancelling out three bogeys and he'll be happy with that. That weather warning by the way has gone, but a drop or two of rain in the air.

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Calum, via text on 81111: "The eleventh led to a bit of Deforestation on the leaderboard!!"

2311: And after all that scrambling, Lefty misses the par putt and he's at +3. McIlroy rolls in, from four feet - he's yet to drop a shot as walks towards his final tee shot of the opening round. On the 17th Garcia is right on line and oh my I thought that was going in. The Spaniard hitting his second from the rough right at the pin and it came up inches short. That's a guaranteed birdied and back to -3.

2308: Mickelson digs his feet into the sand and plays another wonderful shot - if only his long game had been as good as his short game. But he's still got six feet for par. Johnson hit a belter of a drive, just short of the green and chipped up to 10 feet for a birdie opportunity.

2304: On to the eighth for McIlroy and he's in the middle of the fairway again and he's flipped one to the centre of the green again. De ja vu. The camera pans left, and keeps going and where is Mickelson? He's in the bunker just short of the fifth green behind some toweing pines that's where. Lefty was trying to drive the green and got it a little wrong, I think it's fair to say. He's out easy enough but skipping through the green and into more sand.

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Rick in Belfast , via text on 81111: "re the ryder cup comment, remember Europe only won by one match at HOME last year, still a tight one when it's all Europe vs USA."

2300: Was it Andy Warhol who said that everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame in life? Well, step forward Christopher Deforest - again. Three birdies in five holes to get into contention at 2248. He's followed that by doing exactly what Dustin Johnson did on the 11th by slamming his drive into the creek and then hitting next into the greenside lake. He gets out one better than Johnson though, stiffing his fifth shot and tapping in for a double bogey.

2254: Incredible pitch from Mickelson. One of those where he slides the club right under the ball and sends it 30 foot up in the air and about 10 feet forwards. One of those that us mere mortals would thin straight through the green and into a hazard of some description. And he nails the par putt. A somewhat rueful smile towards the whooping gallery. McIlroy leaves his birdie attempt agonisingly short, swings his putter in frustration. But that's another very solid par.

2252: Par three-seventh for McIlroy and he hits a nice safe shot 30-feet right of a tough pin. David Toms has just sunk a putt from a similar position. Johnson is a bit more aggressive and he is within six feet. But Phil leaves the ball out left and he's short-sided himself in the rough.

-6 McIlroy
-3 Yang, Deforest
-2 Palmer, Oosthuizen, Rocha, Hend, Kim, Garcia, Baddeley

2248: Mickelson drops a three-footer for par but he's still back at +2 while playing partner Dustin Johnson is for birdie to get back to +4. An unknown American has suddenly leapt up the leaderboard with birdies on six, eight and 10. Step forward Christopher Deforest. The 22-year-old is from New York and is making his US Open debut.

2243: Rory continuing to roar. Okay, he misses the eagle putt, but he leaves it so close that I'd have backed myself to roll in that birdie to get to -6.

It's bad news for an American
A lot of people backing world number four Steve Stricker for a big week at Congressional. But the highest-ranked American in the standings has had a tough round. Six bogeys and a couple of birdies through 15 and he's alongside the likes of Lee Westwood on +4.

2238: A yelp from Rory on the par-five sixth, his 15th. Not sure what his concern was as he's just laced an iron around 250 yards and it's gone six feet right of the pin and about 20 feet past. The ball comes to a halt on the edge of the green and he's got that for an astonishing eagle.

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NTB Smith, via text on 81111: "Looking at the quality of British and Irish golf at the moment could we now win the Ryder cup without the Europeans and what would the teams be?"
Sounds like a big debate for this time of night.

2232: Garcia at 15 and I can't see anything of him below his calf. That should tell you that his ball is buried but he swings hard and manages to get it up, out and on the green. Francesco rolls in his par putt on 14.

2230: Rock's putt on 11 crawls towards the hole but like a baby it wanders off course and dribbles by.

2228: One-time leader Franceso Molinari in a spot of bother on the par-four 14th. He whacks out of heavy rough and finds more of the long stuff just short of the green. His third is six feet short and he's got that to stay level. After three birdies in his opening four holes, the Italian dropped on seven and eight and then leaked another on 13.

2225: Garcia dropping on 14 after finding sand. He played a beautiful bunker shot to limit the damage though. He's among eight players on -2. Rock playing as solid as a, er...rock. Two birdies and two bogeys and he's level through 10 and has a very birdieable putt on 11.

Richard Nestor on Twitter: "McIlroy is leading at Congressional. Can he do it this time or will the "bogey-man" get to him once more?"

2222: Butch Harmon on TV calling Mickelson a left-handed Seve. There's no doubt Lefty is scrambling well - here's his 14th hole: Drive to rough, smash out to more rough, smash over green to more rough, chip to two feet, par. Rory meanwhile, watches his birdie putt slip millimetres by, but that's another par and he would take four more of them I'm sure.

2220: McIlroy from 90 yards flips a wedge 20 feet past the pin and spins it back half a dozen or so. Baddeley slides a 10-foot birdie putt by and stay s at -2.

2217: Cut to Sergio in the trees and he isn't looking for conkers. Ball in the back of his stance and he tries to nip one out back on to the fairway but comes up short. Mickelson powers his ball out and flies the green into more thick grass.

2215: Mickelson tries to cut the corner on his 14th hole but runs out of fairway and ends up in the deep stuff, again. And that ball has settled right down. Rory is staring down the green with no more than a wedge - six under anyone?

InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Exactly 40 players have won their only Major title at the US Open, the most of all Major championships."

2212: The simplest of putts for the 22-year-old from Holywood and he follows that by bisecting the fifth fairway. Bit of a weather warning in the area. The sun is shining, but storms are in the Washington region. We'll keep you posted.

2210: McIlroy leads by two

2208: Australia's Aaron Baddeley sneaking into contention with a couple of birdies around the turn and he's in a seven-way tie for fourth on -2. Brandt Snedeker is putting together a solid round as well - birdies on the first and ninth and no bogeys for the American.

2205: McIlroy looking likely to go -5. He's just hit a doozie of a wedge to a couple of feet on 13. Who said the wind was getting up and scoring would be tough for the later starters? McIlroy (at the moment) making a mockery of what is a tough, long course.

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter: "Looking very much like we're going to get a glimpse of McIlroy's Mettle part II this week."

2157: A rare miss by Garcia but he's in for par. If you give your page a manual refresh, you'll get access to 30 minutes of coverage on BBC Radio 5 live (UK users only).
2152: No hamlets for Jimenez in the greenside bunker on 12 - the Spaniard chips in from the sand, but he's still +5. Sergio has a lengthy 30 foot putt for a birdie which would move him level with Rory.

2147: Elsewhere, Poulter has three-putted from 25 feet for bogey on the par-three 10th and that's a second successive bogey so he's back to +1. Francesco Molinari is still the leading Italian at -1, while Robert Rock - he of visa problems and $1,000 cab rides (see 1825) is level through nine.

2145: Ooh hello, there's someone in the trees and on closer inspection it's Phil Mickelson. He's fortunate to be left-handed otherwise he would have had no shot but he's pinged that across the fairway and into more rough. Rory is also playing out the thick stuff, but he's got a decent lie and he's found the middle of the green again. A 25-foot putt to go to -5.

2140: A couple of important birdies to update you on. First up, Sergio Garcia drains an enormous putt on the 11th, must have been at least 40 feet to go to -3 - who said that boy couldn't putt? And Phil is finally smiling too. A shorter affair at no more than eight feet and he is up to +1.

2135: A quick reminder that Radio Scotland listeners have a feast of US Open golf in store. The Golf Show this Saturday, 1605-1700 BST, features all the latest news from the Congressional Country Club, with particular emphasis on how Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher are faring. And listen out for an in-depth interview with Colin Montgomerie in which he looks back on his attempts to win the US Open. Last week's edition of The Golf Show is available on the iPlayer. And from 2200 BST we'll have live coverage from the Congressional on BBC 5 live. I'll give you a nudge a bit closer to the time.

-4 McIlroy
-3 Yang, Sabbatini
-2 Palmer, Oosthuizen, Dickerson, Garcia

2130: Rory has played 10 majors and in seven of them he's broken par in the first round. His record in the last three, tied third in the Open, tied third in the US PGA Championship and tied 15th in the Masters. Impressive. He's just nailed another tee shot on the par-three second. Fifteen feet or so beyond the pin.

2125: Poulter hacking out of the thick stuff on the ninth but he manages to find the green while Benjamin 'Bubba' Dickerson knocks in his fifth birdie of the day on his 13th hole to move to -2.

It's good news for a Northern Irishman
NEW LEADER - McIlroy's only gone and rolled in another birdie put. That's him out front on his own at -4 after 10. By contrast, another birdie putt goes begging for Mickleson and he stays at +2.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Conor in Belfast, via text 1111: "Any word on the hoff? And do we know what hair products he uses on that fine barnet?"
I take it that would be the neatly coiffured American Charley Hoffman? If so, he started on the 10th, bogeyed the 13th and is +1 after six holes.

BBC One Show presenter Chris Evans on Twitter: "Is Mickelson aware - he can play on the fairway if he likes?"

2114: Mickelson pulls out the big stick on the first tee, his 10th and fairly leathers one right up the middle. He's left himself a mere flick with a wedge. Rory a bit further back, but safely on the fairway. Joint leader Sabbatini leaves a 20-foot birdie putt wide and he will stay in a three-way tie with Rors and clubhouse leader YE Yang.

2110: Poulter in for birdie at the par-four eight and he joins a group of 17 players on -1. A healthy 23 under par at the moment.

It's good news for a Northern Irishman
Reckon Rory would have taken that at the start of the round? Terrific start and a great way to banish the memory of round four at Augusta.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Chris, in Holland, via text 1111: "I'm currently in Amsterdam airport, delayed, sitting next to my friend Bubba, who's named so as he weighs 28 stone"
Ah, but is he British Chris?

2104: But here's Rory to show them the way. That putt hangs on the lip for a brief moment but gravity takes over and the Northern Irishman finds himself leading a major. Again. Deep breath sunshine. Deep breath.

2103: Johnson in for par and that's +4 for the front nine - a decent effort considering the triple bogey on the second. Lefty has the flag removed and you fancy him to nail this chip but it goes just wide.

2100: McIlroy playing the 520-yard par-four 18th - his ninth of the round remember - and he hits a dream of a shot, a dozen feet left, pin high. Johnson finds the dancefloor, and Big Phil's sneaks inches through.

peterhutcheon on Twitter: "McIlroy doesn't want to go too daft here. The last thing he needs is to find himself out in front again"

-3 Yang, Sabbatini
-2 Palmer, Oosthuizen, Dickerson, McIlroy, Garcia
-1 Edfors, Love III, Reavie, McDowell, Stenson, Cink, Kim, Garrigus, Molinari, Johnson, Mahan, Snedeker, Fowler, Harto, Heffernan

2047: So, just how drunk do you have to be to put 150 notes on Sergio? Over on the 17th, McIlroy continues on his merry way with a birdie to get to -2, while Mickelson and Johnson see their efforts dribble wide. If you'd be so kind as to give this page a wee manual refresh to make all bylines and such make sense, I'd be much obliged.

By Mark Ashenden

2042: That's it from me. Over to the gent Scrivener. Thanks for all your comments. I'll be back tomorrow. Enjoy Mickelson's crazy ride. Night.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Andy from Leicester, via text 1111: "i came back drunk last night and bet 150 quid on Sergio. Woke up horrified, now less so!"
In no way do i condone anybody going out drinking and gambling. Both are bad for your health - on an individual basis certainly but particularly together!

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts: "With all these Bubbas flying about, I might revert to real names. So it's Gerry Watson & Benjamin Dickerson. Nice."
I challenge anybody to find me a British Bubba....don't let me down.

2034: The agony continues for Mickelson. His tee shot on the 17th finds the rough. Fairways hit so far? One in five. Disappointing. Another high-flier is South African Rory Sabbatini - two pars and three birdies and he's three under.

2031: Alvaro Quiros is one over and is steadying himself after two early bogeys. Garcia on two under. Jimenez is another to recover. Three opening bogeys and then birdie and three pars. He's on two over.

2028: Poults makes it five straight pars. Edoardo Molinari birdies the sixth to get back to even. Brother Francesco pars the same hole to stay on three under. Matteo Manassero birdies it and claws one back after his two bogeys. That's the latest on the battle of the Italians. Wonder what those Spaniards are up to?

2022: Now this is interesting. Drama. "Vintage Mickelson" the commentator says. Lefty was stuck in the trees, pulled out his driver, put it back, pulled out an iron, put it back, pulled out his driver again and said "Yep I got it"'ve got to fear for the spectators. He whacks it, nobody has got a clue where the ball is but a fan in a bright red shirt leaps out and starts dancing and pointing to the hole. Amazing. His third shot heads to the pin and BOOM - looks like it's snuggled into the sand. He'll be diving into the clubhouse to get his wellies out in a bit. Breeze picking up.

2017: Beautiful Bubba gets his fourth birdie in six holes to move to two under.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Anon, via text 81111: "Ian Poulter looks good (well with his wardrobe he always does) and as long as he keeps it steady he is a real contender. He will be world top 3 within a year. Watch this space."

2014: Here's a stat. Sergio Garcia is playing his 48th consecutive major championship. Incredible. And on the par three seventh, he bangs one into within nine feet. His body language is screaming "I'm on fire". I challenge anyone not to be happy if Sergio was holding the trophy aloft on Sunday night.

2011: Anybody got any cash on Garcia? He bags another birdie and he's two under after six. Dangerous.

2009: Phil Phil Phil. A birdie chance on 15th. It's about four feet. And it drifts to the left. His shoulders slump. Saves par but that's a big chance wasted.

2004: There's more than one Bubba in this world. Bubba Dickerson is strutting his stuff and after two bogeys, the American hits back with three birdies to move up to one under. Bubba-licious.

StuHeeps on Twitter: "Molinari a real threat if his putting holds up for 4 days......time and again it has let him down though......McIlroy to win!"
Which Molinari?!

1958: Sergio Garcia keeping it cool - four pars and a birdie on his card and the Spaniard is trickling along beautifully on one under.

1953: Up steps Mickelson to try to save par on the 14th. His putt dribbles to the right - not a chance and that's a dropped shot. Now it's Rory McIlroy's chance to save par. It's a whopping 30-footer and he fires straight for the middle of the cup - no problem. He stays one under after five. If you're wondering what's happened to Dustin J, I can tell you he's still on four over. Still looking to bounce back after that triple bogey on the 11th.

1952: Poulter has a very tricky putt on the fourth. Big slopes and a massive bend to the right. The man in pillar box red plays it to perfection and it drops to the right by half a foot. Brilliant.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Peter Holmes in Leeds, via text 81111: "I can't believe the Molinari's haven't been mentioned as potential winners especially Francesco who hits fairways consistently. Playing with his brother and countryman is a massive boost."

1946: Mickelson does brilliantly to scoop his ball out of the long stuff on the 14th. And his third shot drifts sweetly on to the green and beyond the pin. Half a chance to save his par. Good recovery. While McIlroy lands in the sandy stuff. Poulter keeps it steady to par his third of the day to stay on even.

1941: Mickelson's left arms wind up and he shoots one low and way to the left on the 14th. He'll be needing a whistle and a lunch as he prepares to walk into that jungle. Goodness knows what wildlife is lurking in that grass. Not getting any better for the man who's celebrating his 41st birthday today.

It's good news for an American
1937: Ricky Fowler, donned in violent purple, rattles in a birdie on the third. If that didn't go in, it would have blown long by 10 feet. It jumps off the back of the cup and lands in. Box office. The 22-year-old on one under.

1937: Want to get involved in all of this? Feel free to tweet me with anything at @bbcsport_mark or just get involved by using the hashtag at #bbcgolf ) OR if you prefer some phone stuff, then text 81111 (UK) with GOLF before your message.

1934: Italian Francesco Molinari is a firecracker right now and he tickles a gentle putt on the fourth, it takes an age before dropping in for his third birdie in four of his opening holes. Not a bad start huh? He's now joint-leader on three under with Y.E. Yang.

1929: Rory McIlroy, in a tremendous dark blue shirt, smacks his ironed shot to within 30 feet on the par three 13th (his fourth hole). Mickelson's six iron kisses the apron and spins back on to the putting surface. His face is full of anxiety but he should be OK with that.

1926: Puff on those cigars folks. Jimenez sinks a beauty for a birdie to get one back after three bogeys. Ding dong.

By Peter Scrivener

1925: Right, Ash coming back into the live chair. I'll be back in a bit to take you through the closing stages of round one.

1920: And McIlroy does indeed take advantage to go to -1. Tremendous start. Moments earlier Mickelson delighted the crowds and himself by holing his birdie. A little trademark fist-pump from the American who goes to +1.

1917: Mickelson's found his first fairway of the day and he makes the most of it, finding the heart of the third green and spinning it to 12 feet. McIlroy follows him and is even closer at eight feet. Needs to take these birdie opportunities while they are there you feel.

It's good news for a Scotsman
First look at Scotland's Martin Laird and he drains a curling 20-foot putt for birdie on the fourth to cancel out an early bogey.

1913: The eagle-eyed among you spotting that Mickelson double-bogeyed the first and therefore parred the second. Apologies to all you Lefty fans. He's still +2 though.

It's good news for a European
A trio of Italians out on the course too. Youngster Matteo Manassero playing with the Molinari brothers. And Francesco birdies the first two to stick his name near the top of the leaderboard.

1905: Mickelson gives his putt from 70-80 feet a big thump up the hill but he's still got work to do. And that's a bogey-bogey start for Lefty. Lucky drop for Johnson on the edge of the green but his fifth comes up four feet short and you wouldn't want that to save a double bogey. And he's missed. that's a carbon copy of the last round in 2010 - he tripled the second then too. McIlroy shows him how it's done, lagging his putt to a couple of feet.

It's bad news for an American
Keeping McIlroy and Mickleson for company is Dustin Johnson. You remember him? He's the man who led by three going into last year's final round but dropped six shots in three holes on his way to a closing round of 11 over par. Well, he's started badly today. He drove in to the creek down the right of the 11th fairway, dropped out and then hit his third into more wet stuff protecting the green. I'll get the calculator out and keep you posted.

1855: Mickelson managed to drop just the one shot on the 10th, two-putting from the front edge of the green. Lefty goes for safety off the tee on the 11th, but finds the rough and then belts a three-wood to the front edge. McIlroy meanwhile, pars the first and is in prime position in the fairway and then hits an iron to 30 feet. Solid.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
This live text will be going right through until the end of play today which, we reckon, could be somewhere around 0100 BST. It's going to get a bit lonely in the office, so I need you to get involved. Tweet me by using the hashtag at #bbcgolf ) OR if you prefer text, chip in on 81111 (UK) with GOLF before your message.

1848: A quick catch-up on the top three in the world. Donald and Kaymer carded three-over-par 74s while Lee Westwood bogeyed the last to finish on four over. Not the greatest of starts but they are certainly not out of contention.

It's good news for a European
Our triumverate of Spaniards are on the second and Sergio Garcia hits his tee shot on the par three hole to a matter of four inches. He's never been the best with the flat stick but not even he will miss that one.

1842: On the 16th, long-time leader Ryan Palmer has problems with the big slope off the back of the green and takes two to get on the green. That leads to a dropped shot and Yang's three under is looking good.

1840: The ridiculously huge crowd is silenced as Mickelson starts his 41st birthday celebrations by coming up short and finding the water. Not in the plan.

1836: Goosen, who won this title in 2001 and 2004 bogeys the first, as does many people's pre-tournament tip Steve Stricker. Back on the tee, Rory McIlroy is introduced to a muted response. And the man who came so close at Augusta three months ago, nails one straight at the pin and a dozen feet past. Match that Mickelson.

1834: Defending champion Graeme McDowell: "I'm very happy with the way I played. I drove it beautifully and I positioned the ball really well. I had some chances and I hung in there well. I hung tough and gave myself some chances. It's a dream start and I'm happy with it. No one's going crazy and this course will get tougher and tougher. I'm just really happy with the way I played and I need to continue that."

1832: Huge cheers from the galleries on the 10th at the first sighting of Lefty - Phil Mickelson, five-time runner-up, is about to get his latest US Open challenge started.

1830: Stenson's good work is partially undone on the 18th as his second finds the water. His compatriot Johan Edfors then hits a tree but finds the green with his third. The late starters are just going out. Retief Goosen and Steve Stricker find the bunker at the back of the par-three 10th.

1825: Here's Rock in his own words: "Everything happened at 4 yesterday. I booked a flight at 8 and landed at 11 last night in New York. I drove down and got here 3.30 this morning. It's probably not the best preparation but it's all I could do. It cost $1,000 to get here in a cab but I can't argue. It's been interesting. It's my first US Open and having played so well leading up to the Italian Open and winning it would be really disappointing to miss out on this. The organisers fast-tracked my visa through - my manager missed out so he'll be watching on TV! I'm not prepared as others but I've done all I can do." Anyone else been to such extremes to make a golf match?

1820: Yang confidently strokes in a par putt at the last to set the clubhouse target at -3. Anyone heard about the golfer who has had the most arduous journey imaginable? England's Robert Rock only arrived in New York late last night and then had to fork out $1,000 for the 200-mile or so cab ride to the Congressional, which is near the American capital Washington DC.

1816: Here's Padraig Harrington after his level-par opening round: "I'm disappointed with the score - whenever you bogey the last hole is disappointing. I hit my irons well and created plenty of chances for birdies. I recovered well at times. The course is playing nice if you play it down the fairway. There are half a dozen tough holes and you're under pressure to hit the fairways. The greens are receptive and it's an ideal day for golf. Overall I'm still struggling but good in practice! I'd like to see something fall in place. It was hard work at times."

1813: Bubba's run of four birdies is ended by a bogey on the seventh. His par putt missed to the left but he knocked in a tricky three-footer to drop just the one. He's joined on -2 by Sweden's Henrik Stenson who has just birdied the 17th.

1811: McDowell misses a birdie putt on the ninth, his last hole of the day, but sinks the par putt to open up the defence of his crown with a solid one-under-par 70. He was playing alongside Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied the last to go to -2.

1808: My eyes deceived me. Bubba's ball crept off the green into the fringe. He elects to play a low chip and run which snakes across the green and gathers pace as it hits Yang's slope and hurries four, six, eight, 10 feet past the hole. Scratch that. He's off the front edge and he's saved from playing his next from the sand by a bit of rough.

1806: Big-hitting Bubba pulls his tee shot on the seventh. Luckily for him the green is the size of a football pitch and his ball hangs on to the back right edge but that's left him with a 100-foot putt. Minimum.

1803: Let's not forget though, Donald is still at +3, that's six shots off the lead - who knows though, with the wind getting up, that could prove a useful score come the end of round one. Three-time major winner Harrington is in the clubhouse at level par.

It's good news for an Englishman
Lukey, Lukey Luke! A textbook hole from the best in the world. Drive to fairway, wedge to five feet, sink birdie putt, acknowledge crowd, walk to next tee. Simple.

1758: We have a three-way tie for the lead. Bubba moves effortlessly to the top of the leaderboard. His eagle putt comes up inches short but he strolls up and nonchalantly knocks in for birdie to join Yang and Palmer on -3.

1755: Donald does indeed drop a shot on the seventh but he has an instant opportunity to get it back, lobbing a wedge to five feet on the next. Westwood from the rough to the back edge of the green.

1751: Lukey, Lukey, Lukey. Mr Donald is short with his chip out of the rough and he's on the fringe for two - that's a tough ask for par and he's looking at another dropped shot. Quick flick back to the sixth and Bubba's found the green with his second - a drive and a mid-iron for a 570-yard hole - and he's got a 25-footer for eagle.

1748: Shirts starting to flutter in the strengthening breeze which is not a good sign for those yet to start their rounds. McDowell pushes a four-foot putt for birdie on his 17th hole, but drains the return to stay at -1.

1742: Bubba's just nailed another drive on the par-five sixth - 330+ yards. He's -2 through his first 14 holes and in prime position to try and improve his score. One hole in front, Westwood has found the centre of the par-three seventh but he's got the slope Yang just putted down, to send his ball across. Better Westwood than Donald though. The world number one, who is also +3, missed the green to the left and has a devillish chip out of deep rough and down the hill. Tough times for England's finest.

1740: Westwood meanwhile has missed his par putt. That's another bogey and the Englishman is at +3 after 15 - needs to keep it steady through the last three holes.

1736: We have a tie for the lead. 2009 US PGA champion YE Yang has dribbled in a tremendous six-foot putt for birdie on the par-three seventh to join Palmer on -3. That was a brave putt by the South Korean - that was a treacherous downill affair that would have gone 10 foot past if he'd been wide.

1732: Quick plug coming up: Radio Scotland listeners have a feast of US Open golf in store. The Golf Show this Saturday, 1605-1700 BST, features all the latest news from the Congressional Country Club, with particular emphasis on how Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher are faring. And listen out for an in-depth interview with Colin Montgomerie in which he looks back on his attempts to win the US Open. Last week's edition of The Golf Show is available on the iPlayer.

1730: Westwood drops shy of the water and flips his fourth to 10 feet beyond the pin - he'll have that for par to stay at +2. 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa meanwhile drains a birdie on 16 to go to -1 while leader Palmer knocks in another four-footer for par. Cool stuff.

1727: BIG SPLASH. Microphones everywhere round the Congressional amplyfying the sound of Lee Westwood's wayward second on the sixth as it lands in the middle of a rather large pond.

1725: Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Miguel Angel Jimenez are both looking resplendent in pink on the driving range as they warm up for their rounds. Jimenez also puffing on a big fat cigar. They tee off alongside compatriot Sergio Garcia at 1824 - looking forward to that one.

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter: "Our first clubhouse leader is American Chez Reavie at -1 after a round of 70. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice."

1719: American Ryan Palmer knocks in a solid four-foot putt for par on the 12th to remain out front on his own.

1715: Harrington hits a lovely tee shot on the par-three seventh, his 16th, to set up another birdie opportunity - he's got about 20 feet to go to two under.

1712: Bubba Watson stiffs a great iron at the fourth, his 13th and he knocks in for birdie - that's two on the spin for the American and he's up to -1.

1708: Out on the course, Ryan Palmer sits pretty on the top of the leaderboard on -3 but defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, alongside Republic of Ireland's Padraig Harrington are just a couple of shots back as they make their way through their respective back nines.

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First up, a quick reminder of how you can get involved this afternoon and into the evening. Use the hashtag at #bbcgolf ) OR if you prefer text, chip in on 81111 (UK) with GOLF before your message.

1700: Thanks Ash. This is the one I've waited for.

By Mark Ashenden

1655: With the other pairings (or should it be threesomeings?) due out shortly I'm handing over the reins to my trusty and hairy colleague Pete Scrivener (Think Stone Roses). Be gentle with him. He's one of life's leading gentlemen. I'm off for a much-needed black coffee. I'll be back a bit later.

InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Luke Donald is the first British player to play a Major as the world's nr 1 since Nick Faldo in 1993 PGA Championship"
Donald still on three over with six holes left today.

1649: McDowell grabs another birdie. Can you grab a birdie? There's some more pink on his card anyway - only his second birdie - but it's exactly what's required. One under and two from the top.

1646: A quick word for the remaining threesomes going out in just over an hour. The Spanish trio Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros tee off from 1824 BST. Then it's the Italian trio - Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero and Edoardo Molinari from 1835. From 1835 - Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson . From 1837 it's Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan. From 1846 - Charl Schwartzel, Trevor Immelman and Zach Johnson. Happy days no?

1640: Spare a thought for 21-year-old American David Chung who's sitting at the bottom of the pile. 14 holes played. Five single bogeys. A double bogey on the fifth and a triple bogey on the 12th. 10 over.

1637: Westwood bogeys the third to put him back to one over. Casey gets a rare birdie on the 13th to go to two over. Donald makes two pars to steady the ship and remains on three over. Kaymer having a bit of a shocker. The German's just carded his fifth bogey and is on three over.

1633: Ryan Palmer. He's been tickling the top of the leaderboard for an hour or so now and he's pounced. The Texan's card is blemish-free. Seven pars and three birdies. Three under and he's on top on his own. McDowell is taking it very easy and that will do him no harm. Bogey on the first and since then it's been two birdies and nine pars. Top stuff.

1629: Aussie Adam Scott is having a scratchy round. Four bogeys and two birdies and he's on two over.

BBC Sport's Iain Carter on Twitter: "None of the leaders playing back nine first - as we suspected scores will be made on the front and then it's time to hang on!"

1624: Justin Rose cards his first bogey after nine pars. He's one over. Two English boys on three over are Paul Casey (four bogeys on his card) and that man Luke Donald who pars the second after his birdie on the first.

1620: Ernie Els, winner the last time the event was held at this venue in 1997, also going well. One under and after a bogey on the second, the South African has come back with two birdies and six pars. Solid.

1616: "It's the first round of a marathon" says Colin Montgomerie as Westwood holes a two on the second to get to even. Harrington also on even after a birdie on the third.

1613: Five-way tie on two under at the top.
Reavie -2
Oosthuizen -2
Edfors -2
Overton -2
Palmer -2

1610: I've just seen Bubba Watson's outfit for the first time. Incredible. He's gone up in my estimations by about 322%. Dark green shirts and army Camouflage trousers. Breath-taking. He's just finished his outward nine - eight pars and one bogey.

rossforno on Twitter: "Ridiculous lack of updates mentioning world number 1 Luke Donald 4 over through 9..."
I can only apologise for only having one head. Anybody got any spare eyes? First nine holes for the world number one included two birdies, four single bogeys and then a really stinky double bogey on the 18th. Intimidated by the big house perhaps? He's hit back though with a birdie on the first. He's on three over. Plenty more to do for Donald.

bubbawatson on Twitter: "Just met @BarackObama at the @whitehouse! What an honor to meet the 44th President of the United States #AtTheWH"
A tweet from the dungaree-wearing legend Bubba last night. He headed to the White House with Phil Mickelson and Davis Love. Congressional is less than 10 miles from downtown Washington.

1552: I simply cannot believe I have made no mention of any clothing today. Shocking. And then along comes Davis LoveIII. Pink. And I mean PINK. Worthy of capital letters. The pink strides are doing OK though - three birdies complemented by two bogeys and he's one under. This is his 22nd US Open. Any other clothing items I should be looking out for?

It's good news for an American
1548: The Americans are rumbling. Sweden's Edfors at the top after dropping a shot but it's that man Jeff Overton who's flying. A bogey at the fourth and then three successive birdies has hoisted him to two under. Chez Reavie has also carded a third birdie to go one under. McDowell saves that par on the 10th after his brilliant bunker escape.

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Anon, via text 81111: "No talk of Dustin 'hit it for miles' Johnson's chances. He has already said that the greens seem ok to him, even though all reports say council run municipals have better putting surfaces! Also if the heavy rain does arrive it will lengthen what is the second longest course in US Open history suiting a player of Johnson's length off the tee."

1544: Anybody played at the Congressional? Anybody visited it? Incredible pictures of the house, mansion, or rather just massive white building behind the 18th green. You know this course is called the 'playground of Presidents'?

1541: Brilliant recovery from McDowell. The defending champ is stuck in the sand on hole 10, he slices it out and it's headed for the hits the pin and pulls wide to leave him with a par putt from about a foot. Stunning.

rob_mckinlay on Twitter: "Donald already out to 20-1 on the exchanges after 3 bogies. Good value now."
Yep - two birdies, par, two bogeys, par, two bogeys. That is one messy card from the world number one.

It's bad news for an American
1532: Stewart Cink has taken a bit of a nose-dive after leading the table for an hour. The American opened up with two birdies and then the wheels fall off. Three bogeys in five holes. Bubba Watson is another one flying the flag for consistency right now. Seven pars. Not seen him in action yet - I'm assuming he's not wearing his dungarees today. See entry above 1307.

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Chris in Bath, via text 81111: "Remember me? Yes I was the one that picked Charl Schwartzel to win the Masters at 100-1. I have now picked Geoff Olgivy @80-1 to win. You heard it here AGAIN first."
More big chat.

1528: Want to get involved in all of these shenanigans? Feel free to tweet me with anything at @bbcsport_mark or just get involved by using the hashtag at #bbcgolf ) OR if you prefer texting then it's 81111 (UK) with GOLF before your message.

1524: McDowell still on one under after eight alongside Oosthuizen. Ireland's Shane Lowry going nicely on even and all that Westwood debate seems to have fired up Mr Westwood - he birdied the 16th (he started at the the 10th) and is back on even. Justin Rose has seven straight pars on his card. Consistent. Matt Kuchar has wiped out his two bogeys with two successive birdies to go to even. Martin Kaymer's just got his third bogey to move down to one over, while Jim Furyk birdies the sixth and gets two pars to be on one over.

1519: Where are those Swedish flags when you need them? Johan Edfors cards his fourth birdie in eight holes and leads the table on three under. Compatriot Fredrik Jacobson is on two under. All hail the Swedes. Thank you for your swede and turnip definitions by the way.

1515: So what does everybody think of the draw? Colin Montgomerie called it the "worst ever" and was "bad news for the Europeans". Defending champ with an amateur and Open champion. Three Italians together. Three Swedes together. Three Spaniards together. The worlds number one, two and three together. Pundits on Sky Sports seem unhappy with the "sexing up" of the draw. What do you think?

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Anon, via text 81111: "Beware the injured golfer - go Harrington - another Irish winner!"
Padraig is doing OK. Still on even after five consecutive pars.

1507: Anybody got money on a South African winning this year? Louis Oosthuizen gets his third birdie in five holes to go one under. Bogeys on his first two holes swiftly forgotten.

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Paul in Bath, via text 81111: "I've been trying to complete my college portfolio for weeks now, all this sport is getting in the way!! Tennis, Cricket, Golf....darts (well, bullseye but that's kind of darts) anyway, back to the important stuff. KJ CHOI or to YE YANG to win. I'll put my money where my mouth is at the weekend."

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Anon via text 81111: "Westwood is going to turn into Colin Montgomery, hasn't the nerve to do it at these big tournaments despite numerous chances. Graeme McDowell for the win."
Big chat. Any Westwood fans out there still hopeful of a major win?

1456: Donald pars the 15th to settle down after his two back-to-back bogeys. World number one on even. Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has also stopped the rot with two birdies to get back to evens. Westwood has just carded a fifth par of the day to go alongside his solo bogey. Adam Scott has also made a birdie after his two early bogeys.

1451: There's one man out on the course at the moment who seems pretty keen on keeping the US Open trophy out of the hands of the Americans again - Johan Edfors He's a hotshot from Varberg in Sweden and despite a bogey on the third, he's just knocked in his third birdie to go top of the leaderboard after six holes. Sweet. As a side note, would anybody know the difference between a swede and a turnip?

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Charles Cook, via text 81111: "I always like "its not how its how many". Used it to great effect on 18th of old course when I blocked a drive right out of bounds, clattered a house on the other side of the road adjoining course and landed in the middle of 18 fairway"
Back to the fairways. Keep your thoughts coming. Loving it.

cafebrouge on Twitter: "Mickelson is imaginitively nicknamed 'Lefty'. Gary Player 'The Black Knight', 'Boom Boom' Couples."

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Mark, via text 81111: "Westwood should be nicknamed akin to his DJ namesake the Big Dog and every time he holes a putt holla a BOOM followed by the finger pistols shooting that ball down, obviously keeping within the etiquette of the game at all times. Bored at work"
Keep up the good work sir.

It's good news for a Northern Irishman
1444: The mighty G-Mac is fighting back. A bogey at the first and he roars, or rather purrs back, with a birdie, three pars and another birdie to take him to one under. Steady. Korean Y.e. Yang also on one under. Only four other non-American players better than par on the same score - Sweden's Johan Edfors and Fredrik Jacobson, South African Ernie Els and Aussie Fredrik Jacobson.

1439: My colleague Chris Charles has thrown me some names to stir your heads and says: "You've got your classics - Golden Bear, Great White Shark and The Walrus but the most unwanted nickname has got to be Hoch The Choke after Scott Hoch missed two short putts for the 1989 Masters, leaving Nick Faldo to take the honours."

1436: Wondering where Rory McIlroy is? He goes out at 1835 with Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson. What a three that is. Let's hope Rory can put his Masters capitulation behind him. On a missing Tiger Woods, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman said this week: "To have one of the main contenders not here gives the rest of us a little bit more of a chance." I think Rory's got a great chance this weekend.

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Ferris in Downpatrick, via text 81111: "Choi to win, Fowler to be placed! Think Rory will be opening day leader!"
A lot of exclamation marks there but I'll let you off.

DomTibbetts on Twitter: "I always liked being told "not up, not in" by my playing partner when i have just left a putt inches short"
Any other golfing cliches or your fave nicknames? Feel free to make some names up for players. And I don't want to sound like your dad but please make them publishable.

It's bad news for an Englishman
1429: And it's another bogey for Donald. He slips to evens after his birdies on the first two holes.

1428: FACT-ATTACK. Seven of the last eight major champions have been first-time winners with world's one and two Donald and Westwood still without a major trophy. Westwood said this week: "Golf is in such a good position at the moment because it's so volatile you can get a different winner every week. It's part of the challenge of the game at the moment. If I could pick out a favourite, I'd be working for a bookmakers."

1425: Also not a rosy opening by New Zealander Michael Campbell. Three bogeys, two pars. OOOffff.

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Anon, via text 81111: "I would say there's maybe more than the 30-40 that Kaymer's suggesting. The way recent majors are going it could just about be half the field! Adam Scott and young Manassero are my picks!"

NorvernMonkeyNE on Twitter: "Re: Kaymer. Picking a winner of this makes picking a grand national winner look like hook-a-duck at the local fair"

1417: Quite a few fans of Adam Scott and so I thought I'd mention him. Not a great time to dive on to his card though - two bogeys and a par. Plenty of time yet though Aussie fans. Nick O'Hern is doing a little better - birdie, par. The Putter from Perth. If that's not his nickname, it should be. Don't get loads of nicknames in golf do you? Any thoughts?

It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for an Englishman
1414: Two flags. The flag-use always attracts criticism. So i thought I'd cover all bases and keep the flag-pedants out there smiling. The boy Donald is human after all. A bogey at the 13th takes him down to one under. That leaves American Kevin Streelman to stride the leaderboard with pride. A bogey, four pars and two birdies on his card so far. Lively.

1407: A few words by world number three Martin Kaymer: "Probably 10, 15 years ago there were only 10 or 12 players who could win but now it's so spread out. We have had 10 different winners in the last 10 majors that we've played so it's very open at the moment. It can be anybody this week - 30 to 40 players is my guess."
Agree with Herr Kaymer?

jazz_pigeon on Twitter: "Drive for show, putt for dough" was always my favourite, but I don't expect too many show-off drives this week"

1400: As the clock chimes TWO here's a DID YOU KNOW? It was at Congressional in 1997 that a serving President last watched the championship. That was Bill Clinton. Anybody played at Congressional? Anybody played golf with Bill Clinton?

1355: One of the greatest names in golf.....nope, not Ryan...Palmer. Ryan Palmer starts his first round with a birdie. Padraig Harrington has got a mixed bag on his card - par, bogey, birdie, par. McDowell has settled and back to evens with a birdie and two pars after his opening bogey.

rob_mckinlay on Twitter: "Most used cliché for this year's US Open? 'you can't win it in the first two rounds, but you can certainly lose it'"
If that's not an invitation to a stream of your favourite golfing cliches.....

1350: After par at the 10th, the world number two Westwood struggles with a bogey at the 11th. And in his same group, Kaymer is another with a bogey (to add to his birdie) - they'll both be watching in admiration (or jealousy) as their third playing partner Donald sits pretty at the top of the leaderboard on two under.

1347: Not a great start for Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. Two bogeys and a par.

1345: I'm officially appalled. Over six of you now demanding a crisp after watching 'the' video. What is up with you?!

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Gaz, Exeter, via text 81111: "I apologise for this in advance. Having savoured your *waffle* about Colsaerts, I bet Belgian golfers are experts at *chips* (or "frites", as they call them). Here's hoping the new *mussels* ("moules") from Brussels serves up some more tasty fare, following the poultry course (birdie) at the 10th. Sorry, sorry, sorry. (I'm here all week)."
Gaz - that's an utter disgrace. I love it, I hate it. I love it. I'm always a bit sceptical of people apologising for bad jokes. It's bit like somebody criticising a colleague with the first words "With the greatest of respect but....." OR "I don't mean to be rude but...."

1341: And for all those interested in Belgian boy Colsaerts. The opening birdie has been followed up with two bogeys and a par. Sorry folks. I put too much pressure on him.

It's good news for an Englishman
1339: Don't worry folks - I know this isn't LUKE DONALD WATCH but he's bagged another birdie - two out of two - and joins Cink at the top of the leaderboard. It should almost be illegal to mention the leaderboard this early. It's like talking about the top (or the bottom) of football's Premier League after two games.

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Ian from Biggleswade, via text 81111: "Like most hoping for GB winner if not European, hope young Manassero does well. How about the Aussie Adam Scott - he has services of Steve Williams (Tiger's caddie) this weekend"

1335: A lively start from the three heavyweights playing together. Donald and Kaymer with birdies on the 10th, although Westwood has to 'settle' for a par.

BBC Sport's Iain Carter on Twitter: "111th US Open Championship underway beneath grey skies and steady drizzle."

1329: Seen that golf video yet? The Hunter.....Bubba in dungarees....four golfing legends in my eyes.

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Graham, via text 81111: "Westwood has the game for it..needs to get the putter going though...Kaymer has been a bit quiet of late and some may say out of form. But he is German and if he is there on Sunday nerves won't be a problem...I know he has a few seconds but Mickelson has a touch of the tigers of the tee recently and us opens don't allow for that...dark horse is Matt Kuchar."

1326: I don't like to focus on the negative but an early prize for the stinkiest start. It goes to German Marcel Siem who's carded a double bogey on the 10th, bogeys on the 11th and 12th and then stopping the rot with a par three on the 13th. Score so far? Four over. Small consolation I know but Marcel is a great name.

1323: And the defending champion Graeme McDowell has completed his first hole as he begins the defence of this event. It hasn't started well though. A stinky bogey on the par four opener. And just for the record - the last man to retain the US Open crown was Curtis Strange who beat Nick Faldo in a play-off in 1988 at Brookline before going on to win it at Oak Hill. Fancy the G-Mac this year? Early days.

It's good news for an American
1320: Hold your horses there all you beautiful Americans. How about this for a start? A birdie on the 10th...NICE....A birdie on the par four 11th...SWEETNESS for Stewart Cink. Happy now everybody?

It's good news for an Englishman
1316: Don't worry Aussies or Americans, your flags will arrive. But for now I'm dishing one out to ummmmm the world number one. Luke Donald opens up with a birdie on the 10th. Permission to use the word WALLOP.

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Jason in Wilts, via text 81111: "My money is on Poults. He's been in good for over the last 18 months and if he can put his form from matchplay into 4 day event he can be a real contender. Or am I just dazzled by the outfits?"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Anon, via text 81111: "Hoping for a GB winner, but really fancy the chances of KJ Choi. He's never really performed in the US Open but has won around this tough course, albeit 5 years ago, and won the players championship last month."

Pedro1892 on Twitter: "Hunter Mahan to win. Luke not long enough off the tee, Westy's short game not up to it, Kaymer has the game but no form this year"
And if you haven't yet seen the most amazing bit of golfing video then go to YOUTUBE and search 'Oh Oh Oh' or just Hunter Mahan or Ben Crane. DO THIS NOW. That's an order. If you don't like it then I'll give you a crisp. Promise.

1307:I suppose the biggest question I can chuck out is - will the winner be American on Sunday? A lot of pre-tournament talk of the demise of golf in the US. Phil Mickelson contested this but the facts don't make good reading for you guys across the pond. 37 US Players in the top 100. All four major titles currently held by non-Americans. If an American fails to win on Sunday it will be the first time in the history of the modern grand slam that the US has failed five times in a row. Can Mickelson finally get his hands on the trophy? Will the Europeans continue their good form from the Ryder Cup?....Luke Donald - world number one - but still no big trophy. How about defending champ McDowell? So many questions.....anybody got any answers? TWEET or TEXT. I'd love to hear from you.

1257: So how are you all doing? It's time for a chicken sandwich. Sorry folks - I can't hide anything from you. Eagles, thrown drivers at the first tee or broken crisps falling into my keyboard. You'll find out about anything. Have I missed any pertinent areas you may want covering as well?

1255: We may not have any live video for you - Sky Sports have got that from 1500 BST. But how about some chat from McDowell, McIlroy, Donald and Mickelson. Check out this Clink text here preview video from the big stars.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Bunchtron, via text 81111: "I'm hoping for an English 'W' this week, but unfortunately I don't think it'll happen. The man I think will be lifting that impressive trophy is Dustin Johnson, he seems to be coming into form, and let's face it, surely it'll be one of the greatest comebacks ever."

1248: Ding ding. Any Belgians out there? Nicolas Colsaerts of Brussels has banged in a birdie on his first hole at the 10th. His first US open as well. 71 more of those over the next four days and you'll be making the headlines boy.

1247: First shout-out goes to Texan Harrison Frazar who is the only player under par. A sweet little birdie on the 11th. Remember half the field start on the 1st and the others get going on the 10th. If there's a particular player you want me to check out then let me know. I'm here for you.

Jossmeister on Twitter: "it has to be a good driver of the ball this week and that can only mean Westwood! Think he's time has come!"
And anybody wanting the tee-off times then look no further.

1242: A reminder - McDowell out at 1255. In the mean time, how about checking out Rob Hodgetts' look at the candidates for who could be lifting that trophy on Sunday. If you don't agree with his tips then let me and him know. He won't mind. Quite a nice chap really.

1240: And if anybody is out there playing golf, then let us know. What could be better than following the golf and playing golf?

Adamthurtle on Twitter: "It's events like this that make working in a sweaty office on a summers day seem almost manageable! Let battle commence!"
Nice. So where is everybody at today? Working? Playing? Baby-sitting?

gfranciebarrett on Twitter: " After backing my fellow Irishman @shanelowrygolf at 200/1, i'll know after 9 holes id say if its a good or bad idea."
A steady start from your man - two pars. Believe.

1228: I'll be upset if I don't get a rush of tweets and texts lambasting me for my obvious European favouritism. Apologies right here and now. But I won't forget our American stars and anybody else really. Any real problems just tweet or text me and we can work this out like adults! We all love golf right? Let's stay cool. So who's your money on this year? Throw me your tips and thoughts NOW. TEXT OR TWEET. Do it.

1224: At 1255, quite a sweet threesome for you - Graeme McDowell, amateur Peter Uihlein and Louis Oosthuizen. At 1317 - former champ Ernie Els, Davis Love and Jim Furyk. At 1857 - Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan (more about this boy and his youtube antics shortly). At 1306 - Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. And at 1835 - Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

1217: Before we get stuck into the golfing banter and the predictions and all manner of nonsense, I had better chuck you some times so you know, who, how, why and where the big boys are teeing off....

1212: Want to get involved in all of this? Feel free to tweet me with anything at @bbcsport_mark or just get involved by using the hashtag at #bbcgolf ) OR if you prefer using your phone, then text on 81111 (UK) with GOLF before your message.

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts: "Last time no Americans held a major was in '94. One of 'em was Els. He won last US Open at Congressional. 3rd in 2010. Just saying"

1208: Opening group on the first tee is Korean Daehyun Kim, American Chez Reavie and Ireland's Shane Lowry. On the 10th tee is Chad Campbell, Harrison Frazar and Marc Turnesa. A round-up of the big names coming right up.

1203: It's the US Open. Number 111. At a course in Maryland called the Congressional Country Club. Four days of hot golfing action. Plenty of drama on the way. Thanks for joining us.

1157: Morning. The world's top golfers are currently buffing up their clubs, combing their fancy new bags, taking some calming words from their caddie and getting ready for a rather big golfing tournament. It's starting in three minutes......welcome.

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see also
2011 US Open photo gallery
31 Jan 12 |  Golf
Donald targets first major title
17 Jun 11 |  Golf
McIlroy upbeat ahead of US Open
15 Jun 11 |  Golf
McDowell 'enjoys' US Open venue
14 Jun 11 |  Golf
US Open photos
15 Jun 11 |  Golf
2010 US Open golf in photos
13 Jun 11 |  Golf
2012 US Open tee times
17 Jun 12 |  Golf

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