Facing demanding and gusty conditions, Shubhankar Sharma carded a gritty four-over 74 in the opening round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills to lie tied 37th at Southampton. The 21-year-old Sharma, who came through the qualifiers in Columbus, had two birdies against six bogeys – three of them on back nine between the 11th and 17th.

“It was pretty tough out there, with some very high scores. I have been here since Friday and played the course a few times, but it was totally different from what it was on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Sharma, whose two birdies came on fifth and ninth.

Meanwhile, World No 1 Dustin Johnson shot one-under 69 to be among the four joint leaders. Only four players were under par for the first day and only Jason Dufner (70) shot even par to be T-5th. Many of the big names had a nightmarish day and that included Tiger Woods (78), but Rory McIlroy (80) was the worst among former champions. Jason Day (79), Jordan Spieth (78), Jon Rahm (78), Phil Mickelson (77) and Bubba Watson (77) were among the stars to suffer on the brutal Shinnecock Hills.

Sharma, who dropped bogeys at the second, fourth, sixth, 11th, 14th and 17th holes, said, The club selection on lot of the holes was very, very different from what we had planned. We had to adapt to the conditions.

Aditi Ashok’s slow start

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok had a modest start with one-over 73 at the Meijer LPGA Classic at Michigan. Aditi was placed T-43 but as much as nine shots behind the leader, So Yeon Ryu and Kelly Shon, who 64 each.

Aditi, who was T-45th at Shoprite LPGA Classic after two Top-10s before that, had three bogeys against two birdies. So Yeon Ryu, the No 6 ranked player in the world, provided the early fireworks with an eight-under, 64 to grab the early lead on Thursday.

Nicollet struggles with injured ankle

Sharmila Nicollet overcame a troublesome ankle to card four-under 68 in the first round of the AXA Czech Ladies Challenge on the LET Access Series, the second rung of the Ladies European Tour.

Sharmila, who is dividing her time between China LPGA and Ladies European Tour, has also been playing on the LET Series whenever possible. She had six birdies against two bogeys and was tied-second with Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini and France’s Emilie Piquot.

The Indian is just one shot behind the leader, young amateur Tereza Melecka (67). Another Indian player, Vani Kapoor (69) shot a bogey-free round to share the Tied-fifth spot with six others.

Sharmila needed medical treatment few holes into the round as she injured herself while hitting a shot. She managed to complete 18 holes and headed straight to the physiotherapist.