Thursday, September 17th, 2020


NBC Sports Notable Quotes

120th U.S. Open – Opening Round

Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course), Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Thursday, Sept. 17

**Friday’s second round coverage of the 120th U.S. Open begins at 7:30 a.m. ET on Peacock, continues at 9:30 a.m. ET on GOLF Channel and shifts to NBC at 4 p.m. ET**

Beginning today, NBCUniversal will present the most-ever live U.S. Open coverage by one media group exclusively across NBC, GOLF Channel, and Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service. In addition, GOLF Channel’s Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open will provide comprehensive wraparound news coverage from on-site at Winged Foot Golf Club, with interviews, highlights and analysis throughout the week.

120th U.S. Open – First Round Leaderboard


Justin Thomas -5
Patrick Reed -4
Thomas Pieters -4
Matthew Wolff -4
Louis Oosthuizen -3
Lee Westwood -3
Rory McIlroy -3


On Today’s Playing Conditions

Justin Leonard – “The greens were a little softer than some people early this morning may have realized. The rough — I saw some amazing shots out of the rough. I really did…Very little wind. By the way, these guys are really, really good, but I don’t think this is the same golf course that we’re going to see tomorrow afternoon and certainly Saturday and Sunday.”

David Feherty – “Suspect it may be the easiest we see it all week. Just terrific scoring.”

On Justin Thomas (5-under, leader)

Brandel Chamblee – “I’ll tell you what he has done a lot of, painting flagsticks. Making it dance up on the green…Best iron player in the world in 2020.”

Leonard – “(We) questioned if he could hit enough fairways. Well, he certainly proved today that he can…Really impressed with the way that he managed his game of the tee…I thought it was a great, balanced round for Justin Thomas.”

Chamblee – “He really only had two poor drives…I always think to myself, he’s won 13 times, but if he just lit it up on the greens for a month or two months, I don’t know that anybody could beat him.”

On Patrick Reed (4-under, T-2nd)

Chamblee – “He kind of reminds me of this generation’s Phil Mickelson. He’s sloppy off of the tee, but then he’s a showoff all the way through. He can just manufacture things where most people don’t really see them…The thing that makes Patrick Reed amazing is the same thing that makes Phil Mickelson amazing and that’s when he hits it out of play, that’s when the good stuff starts, and we saw it today.”

Leonard – “You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities and I think Patrick Reed did that today, but I don’t know if that path can continue throughout the week and lead to a lot of success.”

On Rory McIlroy (3-under, T-5th)

Leonard – “He can do things still with a golf ball with a 3, 4, and 5-iron that everyone out here is envious of. You can’t say that about a lot of guys.”

Rich Lerner – “He seems to have a relaxed focus, rather than an intense focus.”

On Tiger Woods (3-over, T-71st)

Leonard – “Just not quite enough. We knew this was going to be a tall task for Tiger. We’ve seen guys be able to get it out of the rough by getting steep, doing it with speed and I don’t know if Tiger has that gear right now.”

Chamblee – “The most predictable man that’s ever walked a golf course has really become unpredictable…At the BMW (Championship), he started out well, by the end of the day, he looked like a completely different player off the tee. I thought the same thing was in play today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make a better swing or hit a better tee shot to open a major championship than this one at the first…At the end of the day, it really was just a different Tiger that finished the round than the Tiger that started the round.”

On Phil Mickelson (9-over, T-142th)

Lerner – “That dream story died quickly. 79 today. As was the case in ’06, he hit just two fairways today.”

-NBC Sports Group-