South African Branden Grace was amongst the early leaders as the US Open Championship began at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Already a three-time winner on The European Tour this season, Grace was one of the last players to earn a spot through the Official World Golf Ranking's top 60.
The year’s second Major Championship is also traditionally the most difficult, despite Rory McIlroy’s pyrotechnics at Congressional 12 months ago.
Grace reached two under par with birdies at the tenth and 11th, but he bogeyed the next.
That put him alongside Americans Scott Piercy, Kevin Na, Jason Bohn, Joe Ogilvie, David Toms and Zach Johnson.
Tiger Woods had chances to birdie all his first three, but just missed from around 25 feet at the ninth and from 15 feet on the next two.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, took the long walk back to the tee after losing a ball with his opening drive.
The five-time runner-up's hook into the trees down the 449 yard ninth - that is where half the field started - could not be found in the permitted five minutes and, with so many people around, was assumed to be up in the branches somewhere.
Mickelson made birdie with his second ball, but that meant a five went on to his card and he followed with two more bogeys.
He was paired with Woods and Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson, whose bogeys on the ninth and 11th were both the result of driving into the rough.
As Mickelson trudged back up the hill at the ninth Woods and Watson went ahead and played their second shots, but Watson moved his ball less than ten yards, while two holes later he could not make the green after hooking his drive this time.
Despite his early adventures Mickelson was the first of the star morning trio to grab a birdie. It came on the short 13th - their fifth - and brought him back alongside Watson at two over.
Woods kept his string of pars going there and, in his first tournament since winning The Memorial a fortnight ago, had to be happy with how he was hitting the ball again so far.
It was a baptism of fire, however, for China's 14 year old qualifier Andy Zhang, the youngest player ever in the Championship.
He ran up a triple bogey seven on the 520 yard first - third longest par four in US Open history - and was instantly five behind Na, who led on his own at two under after a birdie at the 419 yard 14th.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington bogeyed the tenth and was still one over after four, while England's Robert Rock and Matthew Baldwin were level par and two over respectively.
Woods made his first mistake on the 14th, missing the green and sliding to one over by leaving his chip ten feet short and failing to hole.
Mickelson and Watson were both ran up sixes on the monstrous 670 yard 16th - the longest hole in Major history. Neither was able to find the green in three after wayward seconds, Watson with his pink driver off the fairway.
Na also took six there and although he hit back with a two-putt birdie at the 522 yard 17th he was joined out in front on three under when playing partner Grace eagled it from ten feet.