US Open begins on old course with a new look

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — The U.S. Open has begun on a century-old golf course with a new look.

Harold Varner hit the opening tee shot on a gorgeous Thursday morning at Shinnecock Hills, using a fairway metal to hit a fairway that was some 60 yards wide in the landing zone. He still watched it anxiously, only because a marshal unaware the U.S. Open had started ambled across the fairway, and broke into a sprint when he heard the ball land near him.

Scott Piercy and Matthieu Pavon of France also found the short grass — Piercy in the first fairway, Pavon so far right that it cleared the knee-high fescue and landed on the ninth hole.

The fairways are 15 yards wider on average than the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock.

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