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BETHESDA, Md. - Roberto Castro missed the U.S. Open at Merion. It felt as if he was playing one Thursday in the AT&T National at Congressional. The course that has hosted three U.S. Opens looked as though it could hold another in a moments notice. Only a dozen players shot in the 60s, with Castro leading the way at a 5-under 66 that required some of his best golf. He made three straight birdies late in his round with a 20-foot putt, a perfect 3-wood into a par 5 and a chip-in. "Its very similar in that theres not a lot of birdies out there," Castro said. "Theres not many good breaks or bad breaks to be had out there. If you drive it in the rough, you drove it in the rough. If you hit it in the fairway, you can go from there." The average score was just over 73, despite cloud cover for most of the day leading to soft conditions and only a light wind. Billy Horschel, who tied for fourth in the real U.S. Open two weeks ago, began his day with a 50-foot birdie putt, added a pair of birdies over the next three holes and then hung on for a 68. That was the best score among the early starters. Bud Cauley and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., each had a 68 in the afternoon. DeLaet finished third at the Travelers Championship on Sunday. He was well ahead of his fellow Canadians after the first round at Bethesda. Ottawas Brad Fritsch finished with a 1-over 72, just ahead of David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Calgarys Stephen Ames, who each finished with a 72. "Its like another U.S. Open," Horschel said. "Off the fairways, the rough is thick. Fortunately, the greens are soft so theyre really receptive. Its still a tough golf course." The eight players at 69 included Jim Furyk, 19-year-old Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker, whose round included a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole in which he covered more than the 635 yards it was playing. Snedeker snap-hooked his drive into the rough and was blocked by trees, leaving him no choice but to chip backward or play down the adjacent fourth hole. He hit hybrid down the fourth, and just his luck, wound up on the members tee. From about 180 yards, he hammered a 6-iron through more trees, and the big roar told him he had reached the green. From there, he made a 55-foot birdie putt. Simple as that. "Kind of stealing a couple there is what it feels like," he said. Davis Love III had an 83 with a sore hip and then withdrew, not wanting to risk further injury. Rory Sabbatini withdrew with a sore back after he was 8 over in 12 holes. Charlie Beljan had an 84. Lucas Glover, a former U.S. Open champion, called it "the most boring round of PGA Tour golf Ive heard." Heard? "I heard two cheers across the whole golf course all morning," Glover said after a hard-earned 71. "They definitely werent for my group." There were no tricks at Congressional, and there certainly was no faking it. Masters champion Adam Scott hurt himself with an ordinary day by his standards off the tee and wound up with a 73. Hunter Mahan hit only six fairways -- hes one of the best drivers in golf -- and shot a 75. Officials cut the rough Wednesday, though its thickness presented the bigger problem than the height of the grass. Its tougher than Congressional was for the U.S. Open two years ago, when the course was relatively soft throughout the week. Rory McIlroy played better than anyone that week and won by eight shot at a record 16-under 268. This was more of a grind. Castro made only one bogey, and that was from the fairway. After a weak drive, he put his second shot on the 11th into the water, and saved bogey with a chip to tap-in range. He bounced back with consecutive birdies, and twice made solid par saves before his run of birdies on his back nine. But it was a quiet day for the most part. "Two U.S. Opens in three weeks," said George McNeill, who had a 71 while playing with Jonas Blixt and Ben Curtis. "And before that, we got to play the U.S. Open at Muirfield (Village), too. It was fairly quiet out there. You have a few cheers here and there. But we had the hot dog group. Thats where the fans are looking at the pairing sheet and go, Curtis, Blixt, McNeill. Lets go get a hot dog." It didnt help that Tiger Woods wasnt around, unable to play because of a sore left elbow that will keep him out of competition until the British Open next month. Woods won last year at 8-under 276, one of the higher winning scores on tour in 2012. "You dont usually see first-round scores on a PGA Tour event only be 3-under leading after the morning wave," Horschel said. "It shows you how tough this golf course is, shows you how long the rough is." Horschel, though, said he likes it that way because it doesnt feel like a putting contest. As for not having Woods around? Horschel doesnt look at the AT&T National any differently without him. "Tiger is Tiger. Hes just another guy," Horschel said. "Hes just another player out there. For me, thinking about someone, how great he is, is just a distraction for me. But it is a disappointment that hes not playing out there because obviously it is his event. The crowds love him to death, and he does spice up the event a little bit." Its the second time in the last seven weeks that Castro got off to a great start. He had a course record-tying 63 on the TPC Sawgrass for a three-shot lead at The Players Championship, and he wasnt sure which was tougher. "They were totally different rounds," he said. "The one at Sawgrass, I hit it 3 feet eight or nine times. And the one today was more of a normal, lower round where I made some putts. Its hard to compare these two golf courses. That one was playing firm and fast. This one is just long and soft." DIVOTS: Nick Watney holed out from 148 yards with a wedge on the fourth hole for an eagle on his way to a 70. ... K.J. Choi celebrated his birthday Thursday, at least based on the Korean calendar. The lunar calendar birthday for the 43-year-old was May 19. Either way, heres how Choi counts it: "Every year, I get shorter," he said. ... Every player made at least one bogey. Joe Carter Jersey . An offseason trade acquisition from Kansas City, Greinkes National League debut was delayed by a non-baseball injury in the spring, and he was 0-1 after dropping an 8-0 decision at Atlanta in his initial appearance with the Brewers on May 4. Custom Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys . They kicked off the still-going trend of host cities winning the Grey Cup and sent Hall of Fame head coach Wally Buono to the front office a champion. http://www.teambluejaysprostore.us/Jaso ... ys-jersey/. Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the season in Europes top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next weeks quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who came into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute. Kendrys Morales Jersey . Brooks replaces right-hander Yordano Ventura, who left his last outing with a sore elbow. Ventura is expected to miss one start. Brooks has made one relief appearance for the Royals this season, allowing six runs in two innings in a May 3 loss to Detroit. Darwin Barney Jersey . Spencer Abbott and Trevor Smith scored third-period goals erasing a 2-1 deficit giving Toronto a late 3-2 lead.HOUSTON -- Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon is thrilled about how Chris Young has fit into his rotation after the Mariners picked him up after he was released by Washington in March. "I dont know where we would be without him," McClendon said. "Hes done a tremendous job for us and (Wednesday) was no different." Logan Morrison drove in two runs in Seattles big sixth inning, Young pitched seven strong innings and the Mariners beat the Houston Astros 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep. The 35-year-old Young has bounced back after missing the 2013 season after shoulder surgery. His eight wins are second on the team behind ace Felix Hernandez and he has a 3.11 ERA. Its the first time hes won eight games since winning nine in 2007. The Mariners were down by two before a four-run sixth inning, highlighted by Morrisons double to right field off Brad Peacock (2-5) that put them on top. James Jones scored on a wild pitch in the inning and John Buck had an RBI single. Young (8-4) allowed two hits -- both solo homers -- and struck out a season-high eight. It was his most strikeouts since he fanned nine against Colorado in 2012. Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his 24th save. "For the most part I made very good pitches," Young said. "I kept them off balance, really had two good off-speed pitches today and good fastball command. I was pleased." Marwin Gonzalez and rookie Kike Hernandez homered for the Astros. Hernandez has three hits and two RBIs in two games since being called up from the minors. Dustin Ackley had three hits for the second straight game after snapping an 0-for-21 skid on Tuesday night, and Jones had a hit to finish the series with eight hits, six runs and two RBIs. Seattle has scored 11 runs in the sixth inning in the last two games after managing just 31 runs in that inning in the first 83 games this season. The Mariners couldnt get anything going against Peacock until the sixth inning. Jones got things started with a single with one out, and Peacock plunked Cano and walked Kyle Seager on four pitches to load the bases. Jones cut the lead to one when he scored on a wild pitch, and Morrisons two-run double gave Seattle a 3-2 lead. Bucks run-scoring ssingle pushed the lead to 4-2 and chased Peacock.dddddddddddd. "He just lost command," manager Bo Porter said. "Lost command of the strike zone. He was in a complete groove and what we felt like complete control of the game then had the hit batter where he held on to a cut fastball too long and then was not able to get back in the zone." Peacock allowed six hits and four runs in 5 1-3 innings. He was replaced by Anthony Bass, who was making his first appearance since May 10 after being reinstated from the disabled list on Wednesday. Bass allowed a single by Ackley with two outs before retiring Brad Miller to end the inning. Robinson Cano hit a two-out double in the seventh and scored on a single by Kyle Seager to push the lead to 5-2. Young didnt allow a hit until Gonzalezs homer to right field with one out in the third inning. It was the second home run of the series for Gonzalez, who recently became Houstons everyday shortstop when opening day starter Jonathan Villar was optioned to Triple-A. He got right back on track after that, retiring the next seven batters. Houstons didnt get another hit until the home run by Hernandez with two outs in the fifth made it 2-0. Young has given up 14 home runs this season, which leads the team, but 11 of those homers have been solo shots. Peacock allowed a single to Dustin Ackley with two outs in the second inning before retiring the next six batters. John Buck singled with two outs in the fourth, but Peacock still faced the minimum in that inning when he was out trying to stretch it into a double. Jose Altuve grabbed the less-than-perfect throw from rookie left fielder Domingo Santana and crawled to the bag for the out. Peacock threw a perfect fifth inning and struck out Endy Chavez to start the sixth before the trouble began. NOTES: The Mariners are off Thursday before opening a series with the White Sox on Friday. ... The Astros begin a four-game series against the Angels on Thursday. ... Houston optioned LHP Kevin Chapman to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Bass on the roster. ... The Astros agreed to terms with international free agents RHP Franklin Perez, SS Miguelangel Sierra and C Brandon Benavente on Wednesday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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