U.S. AMATEUR
Sticking to Dietary Routine, Carlson Opens With 67 August 15, 2016 | Bloomfield Township, Mich. By David Shefter, USGA

Michigan native Nick Carlson had the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills circled on his calendar and didn't disappoint in Monday's first round. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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Some potatoes and fruit. And a Snickers bar at the turn.

Not exactly a nutritionist’s dream diet, but Nick Carlson is a creature of habit. So when it comes to breakfast, the University of Michigan sophomore sticks to his routine.

If it keeps producing rounds in the 60s, why change?

Carlson, 19, of Hamilton, Mich., posted a 3-under 67 on the South Course of Oakland Hills Country Club in Monday’s first round of stroke play in the 116th U.S. Amateur Championship, a morning that not only included his food choices, but also three birdies and an eagle.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty crappy breakfast,” admitted Carlson. “But that’s what I do. I’m not a big breakfast guy.”

Playing in his first USGA championship, Carlson carded an impressive score on the more demanding South Course, which has hosted six U.S. Opens and will be the site for all the matches when the Round of 64 commences on Wednesday. Carlson will play the shorter North Course in Tuesday’s second and final round of stroke play.

“Yeah, it’s just a brutal golf course,” said Carlson of the South layout. “It was everything I expected and probably a little more. When I got here on Saturday, I was like, ‘Holy cow, this is going to be tough.’”

With a bevy of friends and family watching and another close buddy, Chad Kamphuis, on his bag, Carlson admitted to being overly jittery on the par-4 10th tee, his first of the day. Then he stuffed his approach to 5 feet and made birdie. But he never completely settled his nerves until his short bogey putt found the back of the hole on the par-3 ninth.

“It’s a cool experience to be able to play two hours from home,” said Carlson, who had this championship circled. “It’s one of those [events] where you’ve just got to have some fun.”

And have the proper pre-round meal.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

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