MAMARONECK, N.Y. (Reuters) - Patrick Reed was at his best and worst over a three-hole stretch during the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday, following up a double-bogey with a rare hole-in-one at Winged Foot Golf Club.
Reed got his day off to a disastrous start with a double-bogey at the fifth but that would be his only bad error as he signed for a four-under 66 to sit one behind clubhouse leader Justin Thomas.
The 30-year-old American immediately hit back with a birdie at six before carding the 46th ace in the 120-year history of the U.S. Open and third at Winged Foot.
With no fans allowed due to COVID-19 safety protocols, Reed watched in silence as his tee shot on the 165-yard par three seventh hit the green and took one hop into the cup.
“It would have been nuts,” said Reed, the world number 10. “Up here in New York, the fans are amazing.
“You go ahead and you hole out from the fairway, you make a hole-in-one, the fans will just go crazy.
“It was unfortunate the fans weren’t here because that would have been an awesome experience.
“But at the same time, an ace is an ace. I’ll take it either way.”
The run took Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, to one-under on his outward nine and after the turn he continued his aggressive play and added three more birdies to his card.
“Around here at Winged Foot, every golf shot you have to pay attention to because you hit one poor golf shot, a lot of things can happen out here,” said Reed. “I love hard golf courses.
“Really you’ve just got to continue attacking, continue sticking to your game plan.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond
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