Even those at 71 felt as though they put in a hard day's work, a group that included Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
After missing from seven feet for birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, McIlroy dropped shots on the next two holes and then ran up back-to-back double bogeys on the 13th and 14th.
He would finish at ten over following a round of 80.
After watching Spieth, McIlroy and Phil Mickelson hack it around and subsequently failing to do much better, McDowell stood by his decision to prepare via broadcast this morning as a wry grin crept across his face. I just think today was the toughest day we'll have all week.
"It's frustrating because I'm hitting the ball well, " he said.
He was trending toward that number after a 4-putt green at the 13th hole and then wild misses off the tee and from the rough at the 14th. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports US Open.
With the top 60 and ties making the cut, Tiger, along with the guys listed at the top of this post, will need some help to make it to the weekend. "I just didn't putt well". Stallings asked. "I mean, it just doesn't happen". McIlroy incredibly made three double bogeys on his first 10 holes.
Meanwhile, former world number one Tiger Woods has endured a awful opening display, sitting tied for 102nd after a first round score of 78 sees him at +8.
Woods did play the next 10 holes in even par - with one birdie and one bogey. "I was anxious about running the putt by because it's downhill on the other side". Matthew Jones (76), Jason Scrivener (78), Adam Scott (78), David Bransdon (79), Cameron Smith (79) and major championship debutant Lucas Herbert (83) all had their games shredded on a course that was meant to be set up in a more generous way by the USGA considering the weather conditions. I actually hit a really good flop shot. He missed the past two U.S. Opens as he played in no majors in 2016 or 2017.
History doesn't matter if you can hit it like Dustin Johnson.
"I was skanking it and lost like five balls in the first four holes", said Piercy, who was joint runner-up with Lowry and Jim Furyk and Oakmont two years ago. The four putts led to a crushing double.