Thomas capitalizes on tame Winged Foot to lead U.S. Open after Round 1
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Justin Thomas capitalized on a docile Winged Foot Thursday, as the third-ranked player in the world fired a 5-under 65 to take an early U.S. Open lead.

The entire field made the difficult course look rather pedestrian - Round 1's scoring average finished at 72.56, making it the second easiest opening day at a U.S. Open since 1993, according to the 15th Club's Justin Ray.

But Thomas has stood out as the best of the group, carding only one bogey and displaying his world-class ball-striking ability en route to the lowest major championship first-round score of his career.

"It's one of the best rounds I've played in a while tee to green," Thomas said. "There are a couple things here and there that definitely could have been better, but I made sure all of my misses were in the right spot, and that's what you have to do at a U.S. Open."

The 27-year-old has shot a 65 or better in the opening round of a tournament eight times since the start of the 2016-17 season and has gone on to win five of those events, according to the PGA Tour.

Here's how the top of the leaderboard stands in Round 1 with one group unable to finish play due to darkness:

Place Player To Par R1 Score
1 Justin Thomas -5 65
T2 Patrick Reed -4 66
T2 Thomas Pieters -4 66
T2 Matthew Wolff -4 66
T5 Rory McIlroy -3 67
T5 Lee Westwood -3 67
T5 Louis Oosthuizen -3 67

Patrick Reed's hole-in-one on No. 7 helped him post a 4-under 66 and grab a share of second place. Matthew Wolff and Belgian Thomas Pieters later joined Reed one spot behind Thomas with 66's in the afternoon wave.

Rory McIlroy is in the mix after posting a 67. The previous three times McIlroy shot 67 or better in a major championship, he went on to win the event, according to Ray.

Xander Schauffele (2-under), Bryson DeChambeau (1-under), and Jon Rahm (1-under) all got off to solid starts in the first round.

World No. 1 and tournament favorite Dustin Johnson turned in a surprising 3-over 73. The recently-named PGA Tour Player of the Year struggled in nearly every area and settled into a tie for 71st.

Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Daniel Berger also share the 71st position.

Phil Mickelson's attempt at redemption following his infamous 2006 collapse at Winged Foot did not go according to plan - he shot a 79, only beating two other players in the field.

Round 2 of the U.S. Open begins at 6:50 a.m. ET on Friday.

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Thomas capitalizes on tame Winged Foot to lead U.S. Open after Round 1
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