Wolff discusses return to pro golf at U.S. Open: 'It's f------ hard'
Matthew Wolff's return to professional golf after a two-month absence got off to a roaring start on Thursday, with the young phenom rolling in eight birdies en route to a first-round 70 at the U.S. Open.
It was Wolff's first competitive round since the team event of the Zurich Classic on April 23, a stint on the sidelines that included skipping the PGA Championship to take a break from the grind of professional golf. After the opening 18 holes, the Oklahoma State alum offered praise to his peers who are able to thrive in the atmosphere of sports at the highest level.
"Kudos to every professional athlete. I haven't been out here for a while but it's f------ hard," Wolff said, as per Dylan Dethier of Golf.com.
It was a welcomed display from the 22-year-old, who enamored crowds with his powerful loopy swing and the prodigious length he showed off during his incredible collegiate career. After a red-hot start to his professional career, including the 54-hole lead at last year's U.S. Open, Wolff admitted earlier in the week that the time away from the game was needed to improve his mood both on and off the golf course.
"If you're not enjoying yourself and you're not happy, it doesn't matter how much money you're making or what you do or what you get to do," Wolff told Brendan Quinn of The Athletic. "It's probably not worth doing it. So I'm just trying to find what makes me happy. Golf makes me happy, no doubt about that, but how do I get it to where bad shots don't affect me as much?"
It's probably a safe bet Wolff enjoyed his round for most of the time on Thursday, with his eight birdies by far the most of the early wave at Torrey Pines. Unfortunately, the two double-bogeys and three bogeys kept his score from being an all timer, but his round was still enough to finish inside the top 10.
"I don't know if I've ever had a round like that," Wolff told Jason Sobel of Sirius XM. "I think that the most important thing is that I'm enjoying myself."
Wolff tees off late on Friday afternoon to see if he can continue his birdie barrage at the southern California track in the season's third major championship.