Oakmont proving to be tough US Open test despite rain
OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) The latest from the U.S. Open golf championship (all times local):
Oakmont was supposed to be a brutal test of golf in the U.S. Open. That's holding true despite a day of downpours that softened the slick and undulating greens for the best players in the world.
While little known Andrew Landry was able to cap off a 4-under 66 Friday morning and six other players finished under par, there were a lot more struggling with a golf course that has a reputation for not easily giving up good scores.
Rory McIlroy had a big, fat 77 in his opening round, while Rickie Fowler shot 76. Defending champion Jordan Spieth couldn't break par either, shooting a 72.
With the rain-delayed first round still underway, Oakmont was playing to an average score of 74.4 despite greens that weren't nearly as treacherous as they were before the storms hit.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth is in the clubhouse after finishing off an opening round 2-over 72 in the U.S. Open.
Spieth completed his marathon round more than 24 hours after it started, getting up-and-down on his final hole for a par that left him six shots off the pace set by leader Andrew Landry.
Spieth, who won last year at Chambers Bay in Washington state, tossed a club in frustration at one point Thursday when an approach shot spun back into a bunker. He was in better spirits Friday morning, though he finished a stroke behind playing partners Zach Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
Dustin Johnson, who lost to Spieth last year when he three-putted the final hole, didn't begin play in the rain-delayed tournament until Friday morning. He was even par through three holes.
Phil Mickelson also finally got his Open underway and promptly bogeyed his first hole. Mickelson, a six-time Open runner-up, would complete a career Grand Slam with an Open title.
Rory McIlroy's quest for a second U.S. Open title is off to a bumpy start. So is Masters champion Danny Willett's bid to follow up on his triumph at Augusta.
McIlroy, the world's third-ranked player, posted a score of 7-over 77 during his opening round at Oakmont. The 2011 U.S. Open champion's tour of Oakmont included eight bogeys, including five over his final seven holes.
Willett, who surged past Jordan Spieth at the Masters to capture his first major, had issues of his own. He hit only 8 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens while shooting 5-over 75. The third golfer in their threesome, Rickie Fowler, shot 6-over 76. All three were well back of leader Andrew Landry at 4 under.
Lee Westwood, still searching for his first major championship, birdied his final two holes to get to 3-under 67.
McIlroy and company will have a chance to reset for the rest of the day on Friday, as a backlog at soggy Oakmont means they likely won't hit the course again until Saturday.
A relative unknown is atop the leaderboard at the soggy U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Andrew Landry, the 624th ranked player in the world, rolled in a 10-foot putt for birdie on Friday morning to finish off a round of 4-under 66. That's the lowest opening round score in the first round of a major at Oakmont, bettering the 67s put up by Ben Hogan in the 1953 U.S. Open and Tom Watson in the 1978 PGA Championship.
Landry, a PGA Tour rookie, says it has taken a while to get comfortable but he feels his game is starting to come around. He earned a spot in the U.S. Open by getting through sectional qualifying. The 28-year-old Texan says he plans to nap and do some laundry while 78 players start their first rounds after they were delayed by rain on Thursday.
Play was halted three times by storms on Thursday before eventually being suspended. When golfers returned to the course at 7:30 a.m., the USGA kept the gates close to spectators until 8 a.m. to allow the course to drain.