An interesting conversation on the local sports radio channel, 1010XL Primetime in the Daytime, summed up the Olympic Club course in San Francisco in a nutshell.
"The thick air, the narrow fairways and the tree lines will affect the golfers," one of the local guests said. "If you shoot even par or are one-over par, you should be in good shape."
His words almost proved to be prophetic.
Right now, Michael Thompson leads the U.S. Open at four-under par. That being said, there are many other golfers lurking in the background—including Tiger Woods—who truly stole the show today. His one-under for the first round may have been the most talked about first-round score in some time.
Looking at the leaderboard of the Olympic Club course, the U.S. Open has a true American flavor to it. What difference a year makes. Not so long ago, we were all worried how foreign-born players were passing us by with major wins. Meanwhile, players like Tiger Woods were not coming through and winning on American soil or winning major tournaments at all.
It took a win at the PGA Championship by Keegan Bradley to prove that young golfers can face the challenges of winning a major title.
Furthermore, with a strong American showing so far this year in our country’s tournament, we look at the leaderboard again and wonder if any foreign players will even sniff the top of the list.
We know for sure it will not be the world's top two golfers, Rory McIlroy or Luke Donald. The Olympic Club course swallowed them up and made it next to impossible for either man to mount a serious comeback on the second day of play.
Rather, if there is to be a charge by any of the foreign players, these are the ones to look for as possible contenders to challenge the American stronghold as it appears right now.