Until Martin Kaymer took control at the 2014 U.S. Open, it seemed as if the leaders would be clumped together like the brush surrounding the revamped Pinehurst course.
Kaymer separated himself from the field late in the day and finished at five-under par, while over 30 players were stuck at two-under, one-under par or even.
Even the top-ranked players had trouble navigating Pinehurst's unforgiving turtle-backed greens, which shuttled close-hit balls into waiting waste areas and traps.
Justin Rose sought to repeat his 2013 victory, while erstwhile Rickie Fowler donned knickers in homage to Payne Stewart, who died in an airplane crash just months after winning the 1999 tournament played at Pinehurst.
With Tiger Woods missing the event due to back surgery, Phil Mickelson became the headliner. Mickelson looked to break his remarkable curse of finishing in second place six times, while a number of young stars and wishful veterans scrambled to take their first major title.
Here are the biggest takeaways from first day at this year’s U.S. Open.