It's the only major Mickelson hasn't won, and he's finished second a record six times.
With eight top five finishes in the majors but no victories, it's hardly surprising that Rickie Fowler is considered the best player under the age of 40 who has still to get his hands on one of the four most precious trophies.
Front nine (1-under 34): It was all pars for Woods on the front except for a four-hole stretch, but boy was that four-hole stretch a odd one.
Piercy started fast with an eagle at the par-5 sixth to move to 5 under before double bogeying the eighth hole.
"I was trying to stay patient with myself mentally, but kept up-and-downing the ball, kept the momentum up", said Rose, who hit half his fairways and greens Thursday. He's been a good but not great putter this season, but he needed every one of the almost four strokes he gained on the greens on Thursday because.
Alongside Rose, Tiger Woods was going along smoothly enough as well, playing the first nine in one under par.
Back nine (even-par 36): It's a little bit unfair to simply say that Woods shot an even 36 on the back nine with nine pars without a little bit of context.
"I think we've listened intently", said John Bodenhamer, the senior managing director of championships for the USGA.
Caught between clubs at the par-3 fifth, hit a 6-iron way left. I don't know how many fairways I hit from 8 on. But the mistake was the third shot, and I hit it above the hole. "And a simple little pitch shot, if I leave it 10 feet below the hole, easy shot, move on with the bogey".
Some were after poor iron shots.
Phil Mickelson, in another U.S. Open quest to complete the career Grand Slam, didn't feel he was out of it either, despite only two birdies in his round of 1-over 72, which included a 22-inch par putt that he missed.
"It's just fighting it out and grinding it out", Woods said.
If U.S. Opens are occasions in which people gather to experience and witness misery, then a U.S. Open did not begin on Thursday, even though the 119th one did officially. "Around 7:00 at night is when you want to play it", he said.
It all added up to his lowest opening round in the US Open since the 65 that sent him on his way to his first major success, the Processional at Congressional in 2011, and when one considers that he had been 34-over for his seven first rounds at the US Open since, this was highly welcome. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Woods round out the top five in order. The 2013 U.S. Open champion, who has flirted with the No. 1 ranking several times this year, birdied the last three holes and also had an eagle.
Woods doesn't have much time to figure it out. It is a quick turnaround, one of roughly 13 hours from when he finished to when he will tee off at 11:24 a.m. ET. And he will be starting on the 10th hole.
"Right away we've got a tough par 4 right from the get-go, " he said.
"It's typical Pebble Beach where the first seven holes you can get it going, and then after that you're kind of fighting and kind of hanging on", Woods said.