2014 US Open Star Watch: Brandt Snedeker shoots 69 in wild first round

Brandt Snedeker gets things going at Pinehurst early. (Getty Images)
Brandt Snedeker gets things going at Pinehurst early. (Getty Images)

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It was as crazy a round of 69 as Brandt Snedeker has ever shot, I can promise you that.

After a first nine of 31 and looking like he was going to challenge the all-time major record round of 63 Snedeker played the first three holes of the back nine in 4 over to go right back to even par.

Then he birdied two of the next four (this is a US Open, remember) to get to 2 under before bogeying one hole on the way in to his 69.

Kevin Na holds the early clubhouse lead at 2 under but Snedeker is right behind him. Interestingly, Snedeker has a new Bridgestone putter in his bag this week -- the first time he's gone away from his Odyssey flatstick in nine years.

It seemed to work, at least in the first round, for Snedeker who has struggled to get into contention on tour this season (only one top 10). He missed some short putts quite badly but was money from long distance after only hitting 12 of 18 greens in regulation.

Still, Snedeker said the round was draining."It was just as nerve wracking," said Snedeker when asked how different the US Open was without rough.

Snedeker's best finish ever at a US Open is T8 in 2010.

Other Stars

Graeme McDowell (2 under): McDowell shares the early lead with Kevin Na at 2 under. He tole ESPN's Tom Rinaldi the practice work guys got in on Wednesday was way different than what they saw on Thursday.

"[Wednesday] felt like Sunday afternoon out there," said McDowell. "I guess they were factoring in some storms which never really arrived. By the looks of things they put some water in this golf course."

It sodtened up enough for McDowell's liking, apparently. An eagle, a birdie, and a bogey is how you play a US Open course.

Rory McIlroy (1 over): A pretty ho-hum 71 from Rory McIlroy on Thursday. Three bogeys, two birdies, and right where he wanted to be after the first run around the track.

He's leading the PGA Tour in Round 1 scoring but watch out in Round 2 -- he's 192nd. Tomorrow will be huge.

Matt Kuchar (1 under): Quote of the day so far goes to Kuchar after his 69. "For a second I thought I was going bogey-free on a US Open course, which was something I probably shouldn't have let go through my head."

He didn't make a bogey until No. 16, then he did it on No. 17 as well. Lastly, Kuchar hit a ball into the clubhouse on No. 18 and made par.

Sergio Garcia (3 over): Not a great day for the Spaniard but I don't think anyone is going to run away on the first day. He'll be well within striking distance with 54 holes to go.

Jordan Spieth (1 under): Just another impressive outing from The Kid. Of course I picked him to miss the cut so he'll end up in another final group on Sunday. He combined with Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama to shoot a combined 2 under. They're a combined 77 years old.

Rickie Fowler (E): Fowler bogeyed the last hole to shoot 70 but who cares. The real story was his tribute to Payne Stewart. Also, this shot was insane.

Dustin Johnson (1 under): Solid round for Dustin Johnson as he (predictably) birdied both of the par-5s at Pinehurst and sits one back after the first day. He also hit a microphone and got up and down for par.

Bubba Watson (6 over): Rough day for the Masters champ on Thursday. Watson went 38-38 which is great for one of us but awful for him. He didn't make a birdie until his 16th hole of the day and played the par-5s in 2 over. That's not going to work.

Adam Scott (3 over): I made as many putts as Scott did today. The bad news for him is that nobody has won the US Open in the last 15 years after shooting over 72 in the first round. The good news is that he's Adam Scott and he's the No. 1 player in the world.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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