PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 10: Taisei Shimizu of Japan signs his autograph for a young fan during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 10, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The atmosphere on Pinehurst No. 2 was remarkably relaxed Monday for the first day of practice rounds for the 2024 U.S. Open. It’s not likely to stay that way.

As the week kicked off, some familiar faces lined the practice greens and worked their way through the natural rough of the course. It’s a fan’s dream, as the players are far more accessible during these first couple of days. They’ll stop and sign autographs here and there, without the pressure of competition yet weighing them down.

Much of the setup for the course is the same this year as it was during the last U.S. Open here in 2014. Not everything (which we’ll get into later in the week), but most of it. It made the Cradle of Golf in Pinehurst feel like a natural home for the U.S. Open.

The next 11 years will see the tournament come back two more times, as well, as it’s a player and fan favorite experience.

Here’s a look at some of the best images from Day 1 at Pinehurst. We’ll have more for you all week long.

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