Ian Poulter made two birdies on the front nine to take a share of the early lead as the US Open got under way at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.
The second Major Championship of the season is often regarded as the toughest test in golf and it was proving that way on Thursday, as high winds and a tough set up meant just six players were under par in the early stages.
Englishman Poulter made gains on the third and seventh to turn in 33 and get to two under alongside crowd favourite Matt Kuchar.
Poulter's countryman Justin Rose was then just a shot off the lead alongside Scot Russell Knox and Americans Charley Hoffman and Scott Piercy, as he goes in search of a second US Open crown.
Poulter holed a 45-footer on the third to get into red numbers and the putter stayed hot, with a 20-footer on the seventh putting him in the leading group.
Kuchar hit a stunning approach into the first and then took advantage of the fifth in textbook fashion to join Poulter through seven holes.
Rose also made the most of the par five but gave the shot straight back before an eight-footer on the tenth had him back under par.
Piercy had played 14 holes while Hoffman and Knox were both through six.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tom Lewis, Thorbjørn Olesen and Masters Tournament champion Patrick Reed were level par.