Brandt Snedeker birdied the first half and finished 1-under in the opening round of the U.S. Open golf championship Thursday.
The former Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt star was one of 21 players who broke par on the 7,574-yard Congressional Country Club Course in Bethesda, Md., and was one of 11 tied for 10th place.
He trailed first-round leader Rory McIlroy by five shots but was just two strokes out of second place.
Snedeker was 2-under through nine holes but fell back to even par with bogeys at 11 and 13. His third and final birdie was on No. 15 and he finished with three straight pars.
Snedeker currently is ranked 46th in the world and never has finished a season higher than 47th. He has made the cut in eight of 15 events in 2011 but has finished in the top 10 five times, including a victory at The Heritage.
He has an early tee time for the second round, 7:28 a.m. (CDT). He and playing partners Aaron Baddeley (even par) and Camilo Villegas (6-over) will be the ninth group off No. 10.
MTSU rising sophomore Brett Patterson, who qualified as an amateur, made just one birdie on his way to a 6-over 77, which left in him a tie for 127th in the field of 156.