U.S. Open Post-Play 2010: Dissecting the Leader Board After Round One

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 17:  Paul Casey of England watches a putt on the sixth green during the first round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

As Round One of the 2010 U.S. Open winds down, the day's highly anticipated events didn't play out as most people had expected.

With Phil Mickelson struggling and Tiger Woods showing a mediocre performance, some of golf's "no name" players have stepped up and delivered a mighty surge towards the front of the pack.

So who stands atop the leader board after Round One, and who should we expect to continue their impressive run?

Currently, the leader board stands as follows:

Shaun Michael (-2)                                  Round One Score: 69

Paul Casey (-2)                                        Round One Score: 69

Brendon de Jonge (-2)                           Round One Score: 69

Rafael Cabrera-Bello (-1)                      Round One Score: 70

K.J. Choi (-1)                                            Round One Score: 70

Mike Weir (-1)                                          Round One Score: 70

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Ian Poulter (-1)                                       Round One Score: 70

Alex Cejka (-1)                                        Round One Score: 70

Ryo Ishikawa (-1)                                   Round One Score: 70

Hudson Swafford (-1)                            Round One Score: 70

Luke Donald (E)                                      Round One Score: 71

David Toms (E)                                       Round One Score: 71

Graeme McDowell (E)                            Round One Score: 71

Dustin Johnson (E)                                Round One Score: 71

Jason Allred (E)                                      Round One Score: 71

What does this all mean heading into Day Two?

Quite frankly, not a whole lot.  Every golf fan knows that the first day's play can be almost meaningless, and in fact many of the current leaders may prove to be one-hit wonders heading into another sure-to-be-turbulent 18 holes at Pebble Beach tomorrow.

However, that being said, there are some massive standouts among the current leaders.  Aside from Tiger and Phil's unimpressive displays, American-born Shaun Michael and English-born Paul Casey have both showed us all why they may be the future of golf.

In 18 holes, Shaun Michael managed five birdies, leaving the rest of the competition stunned at his brilliance on such a tough course.  Meanwhile, Paul Casey also displayed some steadiness and consistency, as he managed four birdies of his own during the day's play.

At the same time, impressive Korean-born K.J. Choi continued in his usual fashion, notching six birdies and showing the entire golfing world that his strong finish at the Masters in April was not a fluke.

The more well-known players, such as Ian Poulter, did have their rough periods, but for the most part they still stand a chance to capture the top spot heading into the next three days.

Right now, the U.S. Open is far from being a one-horse race.  Sure, Tiger and Phil failed to show up, but has that ever stopped them in the past?

Of course not.

Therefore, tomorrow's round should act as an indicator for who may take the crown.  Let's not count out Lee Westwood, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia, all of whom sit at one over par.

But what should we expect from the bigger names?

It's tough to say.  For some unknown reason, the younger players seem to have mastered this course, and they have taken a shine to the shaved edges of the fairways and poorly kept greens.

Aside from who is leading, though, if we learned anything from Thursday's round, it is that Pebble Beach is an unpredictable course.

Twists and turns will lay ahead for each and every player. Perhaps Tiger and Phil have simply endured their bad ways and are now due to impress us all.

At the end of the day, though, give credit to Shaun Michaelhe's done well, and no one really expected him to.  A tough course, yes, but it took a tougher mindset to get him through the opening 18.

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