Mequon, Wis. native Jordan Niebrugge hit the first official shot of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills. He went on to hit a 73, one over par, a success he credits to Wisconsin fans cheering him on.
"It's like playing in a home event," Niebrugge said. "You're going to be nervous in any event, especially at this magnitude. Playing in front of a home crowd kind of encouraging you every step of the way is pretty cool."
Niebrugge was a former All-American golfer at Oklahoma State. The 23-year-old is a former Wisconsin State Open and State Amateaur champ who has made his way to Erin Hills through local and sectional U.S. Open qualifiers.
He said the wind wasn't much of a factor today until Hole 13. A few players in the early groups - including leader Rickie Fowler, who's -7 on the day - echoed that sentiment.
Niebrugge ended his day on a birdie, finishing +1, joining No. 5 golfer Jordan Spieth, who also shot +1 Thursday, and he was happy with that heading into Day 2.
"It was a really smart play hitting a three-wood off the tee and keeping it out of that bunker because I knew I could still get it up there with another three-wood," Niebrugge said. "I put it in a good spot and had another solid up and down on 18, and just kind of capped it off with a birdie. Need to hit a few more iron shots a little closer, but other than that, I played pretty solid."