At the U.S. Open, Matthew Wolff Is Having Fun Again

“I was in a pretty bad head space,” he mentioned.

But on Thursday, Wolff smiled simply regardless that his spherical was topsy-turvy. He was tied for the lead at one level at three-under par however slumped to 1 underneath a couple of holes later. Overall, Wolff had eight birdies, three bogeys and two double bogeys.

“A lot of good and a lot of bad,” Wolff answered with a snicker when requested to explain his play. “But that’s OK. That’s golf and I’m having fun with it. That’s what I have to focus on.

“Many millions of people would trade with me in a heartbeat. And I needed to just kind of get back and be like, ‘Dude, you live an unbelievable life, like you don’t always have to play good.’ I wanted to be too perfect. I wanted to always please the fans — maybe too much sometimes.”

Wolff’s 70 on Thursday had him three strokes off the championship’s early chief, Russell Henley, who shot 67. With half the discipline nonetheless ending rounds, Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera-Bello trailed Henley by one stroke. Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, two of the pretournament favorites, have been one stroke behind them. Phil Mickelson struggled all through his spherical with 5 bogeys and shot 75. Viktor Hovland, a recent of Wolff’s whose spectacular play this yr has had made him a significant championship contender, shot 74. Justin Thomas, who gained this yr’s Players Championship, opened with a two-over par 73.

Wolff, nonetheless, was not watching the scoreboard, regardless that he was the third-round leader at the 2020 U.S. Open and the eventual runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau.

“Like it’s awesome that I played well today, I mean, I’m thrilled,” mentioned Wolff, including that he didn’t watch golf on tv throughout his two-month layoff. “But no matter what happened today the score that I shot I, like I said, I just have been having fun and I haven’t had fun out here in quite awhile.”

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