Berry Henson of the United States fired a one-under-par 71 to be among six players who broke par in the opening round of the World Classic Championship at Laguna National on Thursday.

Such was the tough playing conditions that the Black Mountain sponsored player felt huge relief to trail the leaders by one-shot.

The Asian Tour stars struggled with the hilly and bunker laden course but Henson walked away feeling like a hero after getting the better of the course known as the ‘Beast’.

“I managed to slay the beast and I’m pretty ecstatic I managed to shoot under-par especially on my first attempt here. I feel that under-par is going to be a good score no matter what the conditions are.

“I think breaking par is going to be the story this week and if you can do that, you’ll be moving up the leaderboard. For now, I just super excited to be able to post a red number and I’m looking forward to doing better tomorrow,” said the American, who traded three bogeys against four birdies.