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Matthew Wolff is making up for lost time.
After not playing since the second round of the Masters Tournament, where he was on his way to missing the cut before being disqualified for signing for an incorrect score, Wolff returned to action Thursday at Torrey Pines and went on a birdie tear in his opening round of the U.S. Open.
Wolff birdied eight of his first 14 holes, a stretch that also included three bogeys and a double.
He drained a 23-footer for birdies at No. 10 to begin his round and had a couple of 2-foot birdie makes at Nos. 12 and 18. He sunk a 33-footer at the par-4 first hole to continue a stretch of five birdies in six holes – and nine holes without a par. Wolff recorded three straight three-putts, at Nos. 15-17, with his bogey miss at No. 16 coming from just 3 feet.
Wolff’s round of 1-under 70 included just five pars. That tied the fewest pars made in a sub-par round at the U.S. Open on record (since 1983), according to the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin.
Scorecard for player 65800 during event 19207. Round pinned: 1
The Oklahoma State product, who doesn’t have a top-25 finish since last fall and has fallen to No. 32 in the world rankings, opened up about his extended absence and mental state to GolfChannel.com’s Ryan Lavner earlier this week.
“It’s just life,” Wolff said. “Stuff doesn’t go your way and you get down on yourself. When you’re out here, it’s hotel rooms and traveling and there’s no separation between golf and life. Golf is life when you’re out here. When things aren’t going your way, it’s hard to put things in perspective. But you’ve just gotta be happy. If you’re not enjoying yourself and if you’re not happy, it doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or what you do, it’s probably not worth doing it. So I’m just trying to find what makes me happy.
“Golf makes me happy, no doubt about that, but how am I gonna get to where bad shots don’t affect me as much? Everyone has bad days and everyone has bad tournaments, and I’m starting to get a little better. Nothing is, like, wrong with me. It’s just, life is sometimes not all peaches and roses.”