His father Gerry, who has been in the golf industry for almost four decades, said over the phone this week that as a 17-year-old, his son's ball-striking was a good as any player in the world.
Jason Day had two triple bogeys, the first one when it took him three chips to stay on the green at the fourth hole, and shot a 79.
"I just played bad golf, man", Day said with a chuckle.
"You can not play this golf course if you're not in position off the tee, and I wasn't in position", McIlroy said. I paid the price for that.
They surely could not be much worse though and may be spurred into a revival bid to make the cut so I will leave it up to Reed to deliver later in the day.
Dustin Johnson, this week's defending champion at the U.S. Open, didn't claim a major until he was 32.
"You won't get a better day for scoring", Johnson said wistfully during the long walk to sign his card. He couldn't miss its wide fairways, landing 13-of-14 tees shots in the short grass and just barely missing the fairway at the par-5 7th.
But they also know that Erin Hills could strike back if the wind kicks up and the course dries out a little or if the U.S. Golf Association toughens up the setup a little, although it would be hard to lengthen the course from the 7,845 yards it played on Thursday.
"I prefer a golf course where we can make some birdies, for sure", Casey added after a record-setting first round that featured 44 scores under par, shattering the previous record 39.
"It is always cool to be part of some sort of history in golf but I'd rather be remembered for something that's done on Sunday".
Sergio Garcia's victory in the Masters earlier this year means Fowler is now regarded by many as the best player in the world without a major title to his name. Scottie Scheffler, who just finished his junior year at Texas, had a 69 and amateur Cameron Champ had a 70 in his U.S. Open debut.
World number four Hideki Matsuyama (74), number five Jordan Spieth (73) and number Henrik Stenson (74) will all have work to do if they hope to see the weekend at season's second major. For most others, like Henrik Stenson, it was being careless off the tee and facing the rigorous test of recovering.
It was also smooth sailing for Kim Si-Woo as the South Korean finished his first nine with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 and stormed through the turn with a third consecutive birdie to get to six-under, one back of the co-leaders.
"There are a lot of things I could have done better today, obviously", McIlroy said. "But I hit it good enough to shoot a good score". But I like the way this golf course suits me, and we're off to a good start.
The birdie streak finally ended with a bogey at the sixth, where he three-putted from 96 feet at the 252-yard par-3.
A pilot has been seriously injured after his small blimp deflated and caught fire before crashing into an open field nearby the US Open in Wisconsin.
Airsign, the company managing the blimp said the pilot was being treated for injuries "but is expected to be ok". He got a close look at some of Erin Hills' notoriously thick fescue, but he wasn't alone.