Day joins big names struggling at US Open

Evin Priest

Aaron Baddeley has emerged as an early contender midway through the first round at the US Open with the Shinnecock Hills course punishing golf's biggest names.

Baddeley raced out to the lead at two-under-par early in his round but has dropped two shots to sit even par through 12 holes.

The Victorian sits just two shots back of a share of the lead at two-under held by Matt Kuchar and Calum Hill, with veteran Englishman Ian Poulter headlining a four-way tie for third one shot back.

Baddeley's fellow Australian Marc Leishman sits at two-over through eight holes.

Jason Day, billed as one of the tournament favourites, is having a horror round with five front-nine bogeys and another at the 11th dropping the world No.8 to a whopping six over the card.

But Day is not the only top player having a shocker on a windy day at the notoriously difficult Shinnecock Hills.

Major winners Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson, as well as Hideki Matsuyama, are all four over while former US Open champion Rory McIlroy has dropped a whopping seven shots on his opening nine.

Of the other Australians out in the morning wave, David Bransdon is five-over and Jason Scrivener is a further two shots back.

Matt Jones, Cameron Smith, Adam Scott and Lucas Herbert will get their US Open campaigns under way in the afternoon groups.