Séamus Power finally gets a break on the 18th to open with a 71 on US Open debut

Shane Lowry left frustrated as he describes 72 as ‘probably one of the worse scores I could have shot’

Séamus Power deserved a break in the first round of the US Open, and he finally got it on the 18th hole where his 59 degrees lob wedge recovery shot from thick greenside rough flew skywards and then descended to hit the flag and come to a halt four feet away.

The Waterford man, who’d seen a number of late birdie chances on the homeward stretch graze the hole or come up agonisingly short, took the lucky break for what it was – “it was a bonus,” he later confessed – and rolled in the closing par putt for a round of 71, one over par, that he took as “about what I deserved.”

In short, he hadn’t shot his way out of the tournament. Far from it, lying just five strokes behind first-round leader, Canada’s Adam Hadwin.

For Power – competing in just the third Major of his career, coming off a top-10 at last month’s US PGA, and playing in the US Open for the first time – the opening round brought a flying start that got him to two under through the turn, and just a shot off the lead at that juncture, only for a run of three successive bogeys from the 10th.


Of battling the tougher afternoon conditions to eke out a score, Power remarked: “I think growing up playing a lot of links golf in tough conditions, you know par is a good score and that’s what I’ve seen so far in Majors this year and certainly in the three I’ve played it’s been that way.

“Anything around par is good and we had a lot of practice in that playing in Rosses Point [at the West of Ireland] when Easter was early and that sort of thing. Some of those skills don’t go away and you manage to get around as close to par as you can. And weeks like this, you’re really looking for one or two good streaks and then holding on for the rest of it. So hopefully I can get one of those streaks [in the second round] and see where it goes.”

Shane Lowry was rather more frustrated with his two-over 72, which he felt was “probably one of the worse scores I could have shot … I think I played good enough to shoot par or better. It was hard out there, the wind was up and the course was tough.”

He added: “I will go out and try and break 70, give it my best and do what I am doing, keep hitting shots and try and shoot the best score. If I can break par, then I will be back in it because I don’t know what it is going to take to win this tournament, but it is not going to be much, scoring wise. It is hard out there. If it is as windy as this [again], it is going to be a pretty high cut.”

Lowry played in a group that also included Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen, who both struggled. Mickelson signed for a 78, Oosthuizen a 77. “They struggled, but I was focused on myself. They didn’t have the best day both of them. It is hard out there. When you are hitting a few wayward shots, it is really, really hard.”

First round scores

USA unless stated, par 70, (a) denotes amateurs

66 Adam Hadwin (Can)

67 Rory McIlroy (N Irl), M. J. Daffue (Rsa), Joel Dahmen, David Lingmerth (Swe), Callum Tarren (Eng)

68 Matthew NeSmith, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Justin Rose (Eng), Hayden Buckley, Dustin Johnson, Brian Harman, Aaron Wise

69 Will Zalatoris, Patrick Rodgers, Nick Hardy, Max Homa, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm (Esp), Jason Kokrak, James Piot, Gary Woodland, Collin Morikawa, Beau Hossler, Adam Scott (Aus)

70 Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark, Webb Simpson, Viktor Hovland (Nor), (a) Travis Vick, Shaun Norris (Rsa), Scottie Scheffler, (a) Sam Bennett, Richard Bland (Eng), Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman (Aus), Keegan Bradley, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi), Daniel Berger, Adam Schenk

71 Wil Besseling (Ned), Todd Sinnott (Aus), Sebastian Soederberg (Swe), Séamus Power (Irl), Samuel Stevens, Sam Burns, Matt McCarty, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor), Joseph Bramlett, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Erik Barnes, Corey Conners (Can), Cameron Tringale, Bryson DeChambeau, Brandon Matthews

72 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Thomas Pieters (Bel), Taylor Montgomery, Sung Jae Im (Kor), Shane Lowry (Irl), Patrick Cantlay, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Luke List, Lanto Griffin, Jordan Spieth, Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor), Harold Varner III, Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Davis Riley, Cameron Young, Cameron Smith (Aus), Bo Hoag, Benjamin Silverman (Can), (a) Austin Greaser, Andrew Putnam, (a) Adrien Dumont (Bel)

73 Victor Perez (Fra), Tony Finau, Tom Hoge, (a) Stewart Hagestad, Stewart Cink, Sam Horsfield (Eng), Nick Taylor (Can), Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell, (a) Keita Nakajima (Jpn), Harris English, Francesco Molinari (Ita), Denny McCarthy, Daijiro Izumida (Jpn), Chris Naegel, Chris Gotterup, Chan Kim, Brooks Koepka, Brian Stuard, Billy Horschel, Andrew Novak, Alexander Noren (Swe)

74 Tomoyasu Sugiyama (Jpn), Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia (Esp), Sebastian Munoz (Col), Scott Stallings, Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Ryan Gerard, Ryan Fox (Nzl), Patton Kizzire, Lucas Herbert (Aus), Kurt Kitayama, Jim Furyk, Harry Hall (Eng), Davis Shore, Chase Seiffert

75 (a) William Mouw, Troy Merritt, Thorbjoern Olesen (Den), (a) Maxwell Moldovan, (a) Laird Shepherd (Eng), Kevin Na, Jonas Blixt (Swe), Grayson Murray

76 Si Woo Kim (Kor), Russell Henley, Roger Sloan (Can), Luke Gannon, Jinichiro Kozuma (Jpn), Fran Quinn, Danny Lee (Nzl), (a) Charles Reiter, Branden Grace (Rsa), Brady Calkins, Adria Arnaus (Esp)

77 Yannik Paul (Ger), Sepp Straka (Aut), Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Richard Mansell (Eng), (a) Michael Thorbjornsen, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Kalle Samooja (Fin), (a) Ben Lorenz

78 Sean Jacklin (Sco), Phil Mickelson, (a) Nick Dunlap, Marcel Schneider (Ger), Erik van Rooyen (Rsa), Andrew Beckler

79 Isaiah Salinda, (a) Fred Biondi (Bra)

80 Jesse Mueller

82 Jediah Morgan (Aus)

83 Sean Crocker, Keith Greene, (a) Caleb ManuelFirst round scores

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times