Unknowns Shine on Day 1

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- It wouldn't be a U.S. Open without an unknown or two in the chase for the first-round lead.
 
Kris Cox and David Roesch were the players who drew the 'Who?' on Thursday at Shinnecock Hills.
 
The 30-year-old mini-tour veterans had 2-under 68s to sit in a logjam for fourth, two strokes behind co-leaders Jay Haas, Shigeki Maruyama and Angel Cabrera.
 
'I've never played on this big of a stage. It's exciting, thrilling,' said Cox, who won two tournaments on the Hooters Tour in 2001.
 
What it was like to see his name on the leaderboard in his first Open round?
 
'It's very, very nice,' he said. 'I was so busy trying to get to the house that I really wasn't thinking about it and it is Thursday, too. There's a lot of golf to be played, but it's always nice to see your name up there up top.'
 
Roesch won a Hooters Tour event in 2002. He and his wife had decided this would be his last year at giving professional golf a shot and he qualified at the St. Louis sectional last month for his first Open in his fifth attempt.
 
'I think when I first left St. Louis and realized I had qualified I pretty much was breaking down into tears for about an hour or so,' he said.
 
There were nerves but no tears on Thursday.
 
'On the first tee, I haven't felt like that in a long time standing there and you get a little shake in your hands,' he said. 'When I looked at the leaderboard and saw my name up there, yeah, some emotions started to come in. I kind of calmed myself, took some deep breaths. I have to control my emotions. Most of these guys are used to this.'
 
Roesch almost didn't give himself a chance to get used to it.
 
'I worked for TaylorMade this winter in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where they have the winter tournament series for the club pros,' he said. 'I was building drivers for club pros for the entire month of January and I was actually thinking of going to work for the company.'
 
Cox was asked what he was doing one year ago.
 
'I was playing on the Gateway Tour in Scottsdale, Ariz., hurrying to get done to go watch the Open,' he said.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Open
  • U.S. Open Photo Gallery
  • TV Airtimes
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
     
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