It's early, but the front nine at The Olympic Club is still eating players alive. With some of the first pairings making the turn and others navigating their way through the first nine holes, an early glance at the U.S. Open leaderboard shows low scores will, once again, be hard to come by.
Theoretically, the morning should be easier and the course should firm up as the day goes along. But right now, with half the pairings on the course, the in-progress core is 38-over. Only five players are under par, each at 1-under for the day.
Like it has been over the first two days, the first nine holes are absolutely punishing players. It starts with a long par-4 and ends with the same, both of which have challenged players from tee to green. And with everyone starting on one, there's no chance to ease into a round, as there has been over the first two days.
Still, there are chances to score on the back. The final nine holes are the easiest on the course, though that's all relative, considering The Olympic Club has been smacking players around from No. 1 to 18. If there are low numbers to be had, they'll likely be found on the final few holes.
Of the groups on the course, Alex Cejka is 1-under through five and 6-over for the tournament. Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Morgan Freeman are also at 6-over, seven shots back of the lead. Phil Mickelson is even-par through five, still at 7-over for the tournament.