Here is where Utah golfers Tony Finau and Zac Blair stand after the opening day at the US Open

Finau corrects putting woes and Blair gets by with iron play as the opening day of the third major ends.

Twice during the US Open qualifying event in Ohio, Zac Blair stood over his tee shot knowing he was behind schedule.

In the slog of the 36-hole day, he trudged to the ninth hole already one-over par. He had botched an easy up-and-down on a short par-five and forced the issue on a par-three, bogeying both. He knew he needed a seven- or eight-under day to actually get into the field. Yet he battled back to get to four-under after 18 holes and put himself in position.

And on the 27th hole, he had a similar feeling. He was even through the first eight holes after the break. He needed to hunt birdies. He ended up shooting 65 to go nine-under and make his fifth major appearance.

But he made it as stressful as possible.

“You start putting a lot of pressure on yourself to go out and execute, not screw up,” Blair told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I was able to pull it together. ... I think you’re hoping that you just have a few fall early and get off to a good start.”

When it came time for his actual opening round at the US Open, he followed his own advice.

The former BYU golfer gave himself a largely stress-free round, shooting an even-par 70. He hit 14-of-17 greens in regulation. He is tied for 17th alongside Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa.

Fellow Utah golfer Tony Finau finished two shots better, shooting two-under and sitting just outside the top five. Last year, Finau also shot an opening round 68 at the US Open. He ended up finishing T32 after a substandard weekend.

Blair and Finau showed the two opposite ways to navigate Pinehurst. Finau went the traditional route, bombing away off the tee and letting a course that rewards driving distance benefit him.

The Salt Lake native averaged 321 yards on his driver — 12th in the field — and hit 92% of his fairways. He was fifth in strokes gained off the tee behind Ludvig Åberg and Bryson DeChambeau.

Blair did the majority of his work on approach play. He gained nearly three strokes on the field on his approach, only Åberg and Nico Echavarria were better. Blair is typically one of the shorter drivers on tour. He is 181st in driver distance and again lost strokes off the tee on Thursday. But it’s worked for now.

On the 13th hole, Blair hit a wedge from 95 yards to three feet and tapped in for a birdie. On the third hole, he banged one close from 138 yards and hit a 17-foot putt.

He gave himself multiple birdie looks. He hit a shot from 207 yards to 14 feet and came away with a par on 16.

As for Finau, he coupled his driver with one of his better putting days of the season. He’s spent most of 2024 losing strokes on the green. This has been his worst putting season since he turned pro.

But he finished 20th in the field in putting on Thursday, gaining 1.23 strokes. He rolled in a 33-footer on 18 for birdie. He had two par-saves out of the bunker.

Blair and Finau will have afternoon tee times on Friday to make the cut.

This would be Blair’s second made cut at a major this year. He finished T53 at the PGA Championship. Finau went T55 at the Masters and T18 at the PGA Championship.