Joost Luiten (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten revelled in the testing conditions in the opening round of the US Open Championship as a two under par 68 gave the Dutchman a sight of the leaders at Chambers Bay.
Playing his second US Open, Luiten mixed aggression with control to finish the day three shots adrift of co-leaders Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson.
The highlight of Luiten’s round came at the seventh hole, where he drained a 25-foot putt across the green for his fourth and final birdie of the day.
A brace of bogeys, on the sixth and 13 holes, cancelled out two of those gains, but the 29 year old was still understandably delighted with his afternoon’s work.
He said: “It’s a tough golf course, so to shoot 68 in the first round is a very good start. It’s important to try to play your way into the tournament, so you can settle down a little bit. But you can’t relax too much, because you need to be at the top of your game every single day.
“I think the set-up was pretty fair. They put quite a few tees forward, especially on the par threes, which is a good thing. The course did firm up a little bit in the afternoon, but that’s going to happen so you just have to make sure that you’re in the right position on the green every time. And you have to putt well, which I did today. The one on the seventh was definitely a bonus, but I feel like I deserved it because of the way I putted.”