Defending champion Johnson off-target at US Open

Hosting a major for the first time, the intimidating 7,741 yard, par-72 layout is not for the faint-hearted, promising a physical and mental challenge for the very best.

Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, arrived at the course Tuesday afternoon and played 18 holes. "I just stick to my routines, working out, practicing hanging out with the family, [and] that's the best thing for me", he said. "And to more effectively communicate to the players and to all". I don't know why.

"I think, should a similar circumstance happen (this year), I think we are poised to move quickly".

"I'm excited to come back and defend this week", he added.

Strange, now working as a television analyst, backed Johnson to complete the double.

Bodenhamer said a changed use of technology would play an important role in ensuring rulings were dealt with quickly. As long as he doesn't putt himself out of the tournament (certainly in play after his showing at the Memorial two weeks ago), he'll be in it until the end. I have a feeling he'll be amped this week. One day before the opening round of this year's Masters, he slipped while walking down a staircase in his rental house, injuring his back and later withdrawing from the tournament. Ironically, Mickelson, whose first child, Amanda, was born the day after that final round, will likely miss this week's tournament to attend her high school graduation. It was last done by Rory McIlroy at the 2014 PGA Championship. No one has any idea, particularly him.

"These and other steps that we've implemented we think will allow us to really expedite our rule-making process and be decisive in our communications, which were two things that perhaps we fell a little bit short previous year", Bodenhamer continued.

The USGA slashed back areas of thick fescue rough earlier this week but denied that was a response to widespread complaints from players.

Twelve months earlier, the world's best players erupted in fury regarding the awful condition of greens at Chambers Bay. If we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.

"Last year we did not anticipate pinch points with the bridges (at Oakmont) and it took us too long".

On a day where ideal conditions triggered a feast of low-scoring, Johnson finished a disappointing round at Erin Hills with a three-over-par 75, 10 adrift of early leader Rickie Fowler.

"It's like a links golf course on steroids, everything is a little bigger", Rahm said.

"Obviously that's a big relief, not having to worry about them".

Vanessa Coleman

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