MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Every shot required full attention. Every hole was a test. Every par was valued.
Patrick Reed embraced every aspect of it Friday when the U.S. Open lived up to its reputation as the toughest test in golf, and so did Winged Foot.
“I love the grind,” Reed said, barely unable to contain a grin.
From the bunker, he twice saved par. From ankle-deep rough behind the green to back pins, he walked off with two more pars. Throw in five birdies to offset the inevitable mistakes, and Reed had an even-par 70 that gave him a one-shot lead going into a U.S. Open that feels as though it's just getting started.
“It’s almost like they set it up to ease our way into it, and then showed us what it’s supposed to really be like,” Reed said.
So does Bryson DeChambeau, the former U.S. Amateur champion and current muscleman who powered and putted his way to a 68, the lowest score on a day Winged Foot played to an average score of 75.25.
After an opening round in which 21 players broke par, Winged Foot allowed only three players under par. Nine others shot even. Everyone else was hanging on for dear life.
Reed was at 4-under 136, and only five other players remained in red numbers. DeChambeau is the only player to be under par in both rounds, the easier one and the brutal one.