US Open Golf 2013 Leaderboard: Surprise Contenders on Day 1

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 14, 2013

June 12, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA;  Estanislao Goya yells
Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

As always, the U.S. Open came with its fair share of surprises on Thursday, as several underdogs played very well at Merion Golf Club.

That included a young player from Argentina, a veteran from Sweden and an up-and-coming American.

Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott currently lead the field, but don't be surprised if these underdogs show the world what they're made of moving forward.

Here's a look at the three biggest surprise contenders through Thursday at the 2013 U.S. Open.


Tano Goya, Argentina (-1)

Estanislao "Tano" Goya is ranked 165th on the European Tour. The 25-year-old has only one victory on the European Tour to his name (back in 2009) and this is his first appearance in the U.S. Open.

Go figure.

Before play was suspended on Thursday, Goya had gone one under par through 11 holes. That included three birdies. Even more impressive, the Argentinian posted a birdie on hole No. 15, one of the toughest holes at Merion Golf Club.

Goya's only appearance in a major before the 2013 U.S. Open was at the 2010 British Open. He missed the cut.


Peter Hedblom, Sweden (-1)

This is only Peter Hedblom's third career appearance at the U.S. Open. The 43-year-old finished 11th at the tournament in 2005 and 21st in 2006. He ranks 223rd on the European Tour.

On top of that, he's missed the cut in seven of 10 European Tour events this year and his last win on the European Tour was in 2009.

No matter. He posted four birdies through 11 holes on Thursday, including notching birdies on holes 16 and 17.


Chris Williams, United States (A) (-1)

To be fair, Chris Williams isn't just any amateur. The 21-year-old won the Mark H. McCormack Award in 2012 as the top-ranked amateur in the world and he currently ranks second in the amateur rankings. He also won the Ben Hogan Award last month as the top amateur over a 12-month period, and he's expected to turn pro at the Travelers Championship this year.

But, still, this is Williams' first career appearance at the U.S. Open, and he finished one under par through 10 holes on Thursday in his debut. That included three birdies.

Talk about making a statement. 

It's going to be interesting to see if Williams can continue to impress down the stretch at Merion, but he's certainly raising some eyebrows at the moment. 

Williams is also exempt into the British Open this year for winning the McCormack award.


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