Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Golf

Bad weather ends U.S. Open Round 1 with little accomplished (w/ video)

OAKMONT, Pa. — Even a rain-soaked Oakmont didn't keep the U.S. Open from delivering its usual dose of frustration Thursday. Just not the kind anyone expected.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, who had spent five days preparing on firm, fiery greens, posed over a wedge into the 17th that landed behind the hole, spun back and kept rolling until it trickled down a slope into the bunker.

"You've got to be KIDDING me! How is that in the bunker?" Spieth said before slinging his club toward the bag.

"Completely different golf course than we played in practice rounds," said Spieth, who was 1 over through 11 holes when play was stopped for a third and final time because of bad weather. "I mean, night and day."

Masters champion Danny Willett sat in a cabin behind the seventh tee for more than an hour as his group waited out the first delay. When the weather cleared, players were sent back onto the course without having a chance to warm up again.

"You're in a U.S. Open, they don't give you a chance to even hit a few balls," Willett said, and he wasn't alone in that observation.

Most frustrating of all?

Only nine players finished the first round, and 78 players didn't even tee off. Play was to resume at 7:30 this morning.

It was the worst rain delay in a U.S. Open since no one finished the opening round at Bethpage Black in 2009 in a tournament that ended on a Monday.

The first round was suspended for the final time just as 28-year-old qualifier Andrew Landry was finishing up a dream round in his U.S. Open debut. Coming off two straight bogeys, Landry drilled his approach to about 10 feet on the par-4 ninth when the horn sounded as a violent storm approached. He had the clubhouse lead at 3 under.

"I was trying to get it in," Landry said. "But it's hard when you've got a couple of 60-footers out here. And it's the U.S. Open, so you've just got to be patient with it."

He wasn't the only player to make a quick impression in his first U.S. Open. On the short list of players who finished was Scottie Scheffler, 19, who just finished his sophomore year at Texas and opened with 69.

"I feel pretty good. It hasn't really sunk in yet," he said. "There's definitely some scores out there to be shot. We're used to playing short to all these pins, and now we've got to worry about controlling our spin. And you've really, really got to be on the fairway to attack these pins again."

Willett, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler could not get off the course soon enough. They played in the same group and were a combined 14 over through 13 holes.

Spieth took solace in having only seven holes to play this morning to finish his first round, given that so many others had yet to hit a shot.

"Those other guys have to play 36 holes in a row at a U.S. Open," Spieth said, "which isn't easy."

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