Tiger Stalks another Major US Open

Published June 15th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Put away the nominal notions of par, at the 100th US Open golf championship that started Thursday on Pebble Beach Golf Links, par is nothing but a number. 

At the 1992 US Open, Pebble Beach yielded a total 76 sub-par rounds, tied for second as the most at a US championship. 

But as the US Golf Association and the weather turned the screws on Sunday, only four of those sub-par rounds were posted on the final day, and the average score for the week was 74.97. 

Back then, Pebble Beach played at par-72. This year, the USGA has turned the par-5 second hole into a par-4 to lower the total to par-71. 

The change also sparked a string of second-hole bogeys early Thursday. 

American Mark Brooks, who teed off in the opening group at 6:30 a.m. (13:30 GMT), swam against the tide, picking up a birdie there to move to one-under through three. 

World number one Tiger Woods was due to tee off at 8:40 (14:50 GMT) in search of a US Open title to go with his Masters and PGA Championship crowns. 

South African Ernie Els, who has two US Open titles under his belt, was due off at 12:20, when the afternoon breeze off the Pacific was more likely to come into play. 

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke -- the current Order of Merit leader who shocked Woods in the final of the World Golf Championship Match Play in February, was in the next group after Els – (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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