Henrik Stenson was delighted to return to form with a one under par 70 to kick-off his US Open Championship challenge.
The Swede, without a top-ten finish since last year’s Open Championship, reeled off four birdies in five holes from the 12th.
He did drop a shot at the last after his approach found the water, but the former Ryder Cup star’s round still represented a huge improvement.
“I’m very pleased with my performance today,” said the 35 year old. “I hit a lot of great shots. If I would have had some putting form I probably would have been two or three under.
“It was a big disappointment on the greens on the front nine but I kept my patience and made a few putts and great shots coming in so I’m pleased with my day’s work.
“Lack of form - it’s not something you want to go through. It’s not as bad as the big slump I had about ten years ago. It’s only the first day and it’s a Major Championship and a lot of golf with some tough competitors but it feels like a bit of a turnaround in terms of what I’m doing with the mental routines and my practise. I hope to build on this.”
Stenson was two behind clubhouse leader Y E Yang, but he was not the only Swede flying high at Congressional Country Club.
His compatriot Johan Edfors, who came through a qualifier at Walton Heath to earn his place in the field, was also one under.
“In the US Open you are always satisfied with one under,” said the three-time European Tour winner. “I hit a lot of really good shots today and made some putts. I was a little bit iffy off the tee now and again but overall a good round. It’s really tricky - it’s so quick out there.”