Eduardo Romero’s brilliant form in Senior Major Championships continued on the first morning of the US Senior Open, with the powerful Argentine registering five birdies and one eagle in a round of six under par 66 at Whistling Straits.
Romero has not finished outside the top two places in his last three Senior Majors, winning one of them at the JELD-WEN Tradition – a success sandwiched by runner’s up spots in the The Senior British Open Championship at The Westin Turnberry Resort last July, and in the US Seniors PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May.
Once again, Romero impressed on one of golf’s biggest stages to take a three stroke clubhouse lead at the end of the morning session, before a raging storm forced the suspension of play for the day, with 78 later starters unable to complete their opening rounds.
Romero’s round was one shy of the US Senior Open record for lowest score under par in a first round, and save for a three putt bogey on the par three seventh hole, his round was unblemished, and he took just 28 putts.
His closest challengers in the clubhouse were compatriot Vincente Fernandez and the American duo of Jon Fielder and Ron Vlosich, all of whom carded 69s.
Romero’s fine start could pave the way for an Argentine double success in the US Open Championship, after his close friend, Angel Cabrera, last month claimed his first Major title at Oakmont.
They live five blocks away from one another in their hometown of Cordoba – and before Romero left Argentina for this event, Cabrera gave Romero advice.
“After the win by Angel, he say to me, ‘If you go there, try to win the tournament," said Romero. "Because two U.S. Opens in one month is fantastic.' And I say, ‘Angel, I know it's hard but I try my best.'
"I feel good right now. But I tell you, it's a long way to go."
Ireland’s Mark McNulty was two under par through 12 holes before play was suspended, while compatriot Des Smyth was one under par through 14 holes.
England’s Mark James was another starting strongly but two late bogeys saw him sign for a 71, while two-time European Seniors Tour Order of Merit winner Sam Torrance, fresh from claiming the London Seniors Masters, returned a 73 at Pete Dye’s Whistling Straits layout, venue for the 2004 US PGA Championship.
Australia’s Graham Marsh also shot a 73 to join Torrance in a tie for 44th place.