Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mickelson clubhouse leader at U.S. Open

ARDMORE, Pa. — Even for Phil Mickelson, his path to the top of the leaderboard Thursday in the U.S. Open was unconventional.

He traveled about 2,400 miles in the air and 7,000 yards on the ground. He took a short nap on his private jet from San Diego and another one during a 3½-hour morning rain delay when he found a secluded corner of the library room in the Merion Golf Club clubhouse. He carried five wedges but no driver.

Some 17 hours later, Mickelson had a 3-under 67 to match his best opening round in the U.S. Open.

Mickelson arrived from his daughter Amanda's eighth-grade graduation about 3½ hours before his tee time. He three-putted his first hole for bogey and didn't give back a shot the rest of the day at Merion, which proved plenty tough by yielding only one other round under par to the 78 players who completed the round.

Because of two rain delays — the second was for 45 minutes at 6:10 p.m. — the first round wasn't scheduled to be completed until this morning, with the second round beginning this afternoon.

Enough time for Mickelson to fly to San Diego and back again?

"I don't want to push it, no," he said with a tired smile.

Tiger Woods faced a tougher road. He appeared to hurt his left hand after trying to gouge out of the deep rough on No. 1. He grimaced and shook his left wrist again after hitting a 5-wood out of the rough on the fifth hole. He had three bogeys though five holes before starting to make up ground with a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-4 sixth.

But he failed to take advantage on the short stretch of holes in the middle of the round, and he was shaking his left hand again after shots out of the rough on 10 and twice on 11. Woods was 2 over for his round and had a 4-foot par putt on the 11th when play was stopped for the day.

"I've got a lot of holes to play (today)," Woods said. "And hopefully I can play a little better than I did (Thursday)."

Luke Donald was 4 under through 13 holes, making one last birdie before leaving the course sitting atop the leader­board. "The greens are a lot slower than we thought they'd be, because of the rain," he said. "And you could be a bit more aggressive with the stroke. I saw the lines pretty well (Thursday) and made some good putts."

Mickelson was always going to be home before the Open because Amanda was chosen to be a featured speaker at her graduation. He left Merion on Monday, a day earlier than planned, when heavy rain washed out most of the practice round. Besides, Mickelson felt like he knew the course well enough from his scouting trip last week.

"(Amanda said) 'Stay, it's the U.S. Open. I know how much you care about it.' And I told her that I want to be there," Mickelson said. "She's worked very hard, and I'm very proud of her."

The ceremony was at 6 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday. Mickelson was on the plane two hours later, landing in Philadelphia about 3:30 a.m. He slept on the plane and then played five holes before the rain delay. He found a few cushions for a makeshift bed in the clubhouse library.

Despite his four birdies, Mickelson saved his round with some crucial pars.

U.S. Open leaderboard

Golfer Par Thru

Luke Donald -4 13

Phil Mickelson -3 F

Adam Scott -3 11

Webb Simpson -2 8

Mathew Goggin -2 6

Alistair Presnell -2 6

Notables

Lee Westwood -1 13

Rory McIlroy E 11

Ernie Els E 8

Bubba Watson +1 F

Tiger Woods +2 10

Note: First round suspended due to darkness

Weather: High 73, 30 percent rain chance

TV: 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., ESPN; 3 p.m., Ch. 8

Mickelson clubhouse leader at U.S. Open 06/13/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.