Asian Tour star Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will be on red alert at the U.S. Open when he fired an opening three-over-par 73 to take a share of 68th place on Thursday. Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, mixed his card with two birdies against five bogeys at Pinehurst, where Martin Kaymer of Germany leads on a 65.

Thongchai, who won the Nordea Masters two weeks ago, got off to a fast start when he birdied holes four and five but stumbled with three bogeys in his first nine and added another two blemishes on his way home.

He will need to put on a battling performance in the halfway stage to secure a safe passage into the weekend rounds.