Matthew Wolff has positioned himself to be golf’s next young gun to have a so-called major breakthrough.

The 2019 NCAA individual champion with the unorthodox swing is in a three-way tie for second place at the U.S. Open — one stroke behind Justin Thomas — after posting a 4-under 66 Thursday in the first round at Winged Foot.

The 21-year-old Wolff is part of a new breed of young Americans making their presence felt on the PGA Tour, after 23-year-old Collin Morikawa earned his first major title at the PGA Championship in August.

“Seeing all these young guys coming out here and having so much success. I answer it the same way every time: We feed off each other,” said Wolff, who finished in a tie for fourth in his major tournament debut at the PGA. “Seeing Collin coming out here, winning a major is unbelievable.

“It gives me the confidence to know I can come out here and do the same thing.”

Wolff, a California native who played collegiately at Oklahoma State, had a chance to tie Thomas on No. 16, but his 40-foot putt for birdie barely fell short of the cup. He also nearly joined Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris in nailing aces Thursday on the par-3 seventh hole, leaving his tee shot less than a foot from the cup.

Wolff carded five birdies — including three in a row on holes 11-13 — and one bogey to move into Friday’s second round in a tie for second with Reed and Thomas Pieters.

“At the end of the day, it is one of the hardest golf courses I’ve ever played,” Wolff said. “You have to roll with the punches. I just hit the ball really well, and my putting cooperated, which was pretty nice.”

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Collin Morikawa, PGA Championship, PGA TOUR, Justin Thomas

World news – US – Matthew Wolff turns heads with blistering US Open first round

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