BROOKLINE, Mass. – Early U.S. Open leader Callum Tarren got a head start on his trip to Boston when he missed the cut in Canada last week. His clubs weren't so lucky.
For the second time in two U.S. Open appearances, Tarren's golf bag didn't make it on the plane with him.
“Luckily, there was somebody in Canada who went to the airport and gave the airport staff a little kick,” said Tarren, who shot a 3-under 67 to finish the first round tied for the lead at Brookline. “They arrived on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. It wasn’t bad.”
Tarren was in the first group off the 10th tee at The Country Club and he bogeyed his first hole. He was still 1 over through 13 before birdies on the fifth and seventh holes put him in the red.
Then the 31-year-old Englishman, who missed the cut at Pebble Beach in 2019, drove the ball about 350 yards on the 557-yard, par-5 eighth hole and hit a 7-iron onto the green. He sank a 4 1/2 foot putt for eagle.
“My caddie kept saying, ‘Pars are good. Pars are good,’ and I made a lot of pars,” he said. “But to have a finish like that just tops the round off.”
Rory McIlroy, the 2011 champion, also was 3 under and tied for the lead through the morning rounds. David Lingmerth and Monday qualifier Joel Dahmen also shot 67 to tie for the early 18-hole lead.
“I'm kind of pinching myself, because I didn’t realize it was on the top of the leaderboard until I pulled that final putt on the ninth hole,” said Tarren, who got into the field by finishing second in the 36-hole qualifier at RattleSnake Point Golf Club outside of Toronto. “Just excited with my start, and let’s see what the next few days holds.”
Tarren failed to make it to the weekend in eight straight PGA Tour events to start the season before placing 30th at the Honda Classic and then a tie for fifth in the Puerto Rico Open. He cashed four checks in a row before missing the cut in the RBC Open last week and heading to Boston on Saturday.
“I was at the airport four hours early because people warned me it’s a nightmare up there in Toronto,” Tarren said. “I got here; no clubs. There was five other players on my flight. They all got golf clubs.”
So Tarren reached out to the St. George's members he stayed with in Toronto, and one of them — Tamara — went to the airport to check on their status.
“She hustled them along,” he said. "This time I got them a little bit faster than last. I didn’t actually get them until Wednesday in Pebble Beach a few years ago. So that was a nightmare."
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