It’s good to know that Congressional Country Club is still a daunting test, albeit this time the PGA Tour is there for the AT&T National and not the U.S. Open. Considering that only 27 players broke par in the first round, the conditions definitely resembled those of a U.S. Open. In fact, when the U.S. Open was played here two years ago there were only 21 players under par in the first round and the leader shot a 65.
Roberto Castro is five under par and will take a two shot lead over Billy Horschel, Bud Cauley and Graham DeLaet into the second round thanks to firing a 66 on Thursday. “The rough’s brutal,” said Castro. “It’s very similar (to a U.S. Open) in that there’s not a lot of birdies out there. You’re just plugging along.” Castro did manage to find his share of birdies on the course, rolling in six of them and only carding one bogey in the first round.
Many of the players that were considered serious contenders before the tournament started certainly struggled a bit in the first round. Adam Scott is two over par after shooting a 73. His playing partner and fellow Aussie, Jason Day managed to stay at one under par on the day despite a bogey on the 18th hole. Camilo Villegas, on the other hand, is likely happy with his opening round 71 – good for even par – as he continues to try and claw his way back to relevance.
If the conditions don’t ease up a bit over the next three days we can expect to see quite a bit of frustration. But, hey, it makes things entertaining.