The Latest: First round of U.S. Open suspended by darkness

Jun 16, 2021, 8:28 PM | Updated: Jun 17, 2021, 9:48 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):

8:24 p.m.

The opening round of the U.S. Open has been suspended due to darkness with 36 players left on the course.

The start of the round was delayed 90 minutes due to fog before giving way to bright sunshine on brutally-tough Torrey Pines.

Russell Henley shot a 4-under 67 in the morning wave and is tied with Louis Oosthuizen, who will have to play his final two holes Friday morning.

Francesco Molinaro and Rafa Cabrera Bello are one back after opening with 68s. A group of five players, including two-time U.S. Open champion and Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama, are two back.

The second round will start after completion of the first round on Friday.


6:59 p.m.

Jon Rahm has put himself in contention at the U.S. Open in his first round since testing positive for COVID-19.

Rahm opened with a birdie on his first hole, the par-4 10th, and turned in 1-under 35. The Spaniard added a 7-foot birdie on the short par-4 second hole and is two behind leader Russell Henley as darkness creeps up on Torrey Pines.

Rahm was leading the Memorial by six shots two weeks ago when he was informed he tested positive for COVID-19 after completing his third round. He tested twice negative late last week and began preparing for the U.S. Open in full on Saturday.


5:25 p.m.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout has made a move up the U.S. Open leaderboard after holing out for eagle on the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines.

The 27-year-old had an early bogey offset by a birdie on No. 14 after starting on the back nine in the first round.

Bezuidenhout laid up on the 574-yard 18th and hit a 93-yard shot that took two hops and spun into the hole. He’s at 3 under through 10 holes, one shot behind leader Russell Henley.

4:09 p.m.

Phil Mickelson’s bid to win his first U.S. Open and complete the career grand slam is off to an uneven start.

Frustrated a dinging cellphone early in his round, Lefty had three bogeys in his first six holes and two more late to shoot a 4-over 75 at Torrey Pines. The 51-year-old is eight shots behind Russell Henley after the morning wave of players.

Mickelson had to back off his second shot at the par-5 13th hole, his fourth of the day, when a phone kept going off in the gallery. He hit his second shot left into the bushes and his fourth, after a drop, hit the flag and caromed into the rough, leading to a bogey.

Mickelson had a birdie on the par-4 17th and was at 2 under before bogeys on No. 6 and 7.

He became the oldest major winner last month when he won the PGA Championship at 50.


6:15 p.m.

Russell Henley has set the early target at the U.S. Open with a 4-under 67 at Torrey Pines. He has a one-shot lead over Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Henley got up-and-down from just behind the green on the par-5 18th for birdie and the lead. He was one of only three players to reach 4 under from the morning starter, and the only one who finished there.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka dropped two shots over his last seven holes for a 69. Patrick Rodgers was at 4 under with five holes to play and had to settle for a 70.

The lead could hold by the end of the day. The wind was freshening off the Pacific. And because of a 90-minute fog delay, the first round would not be completed until Friday morning.


1:20 p.m.

Matthew Wolff already has experienced the ups and downs in golf at age 22. That speaks for his opening round of the U.S. Open, too.

Wolff was 1 under through 15 holes. He has made only three pars. He three-putted three straight holes. He answered with three straight birdies. He lost a share of the lead with a double bogey.

When last seen at the U.S. Open, the emerging star from California had a two-shot lead going into the final round at Winged Foot. He closed with a 75 and finished six shots behind Bryson DeChambeau.

Wolff has struggled since then, inside the ropes and in his head. He finally stepped away from being disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard after rounds of 76 and 79 at the Masters. He even skipped the PGA Championship.

Wolff says he needed time to sort out the balance of golf and life and that he’s just wants to be happy.


12:30 p.m.

The fog lifts, a major championship gets underway, and Brooks Koepka shows up.

Koepka was among those off to a strong start in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He shot 33 on the back nine of the South course and made it look easy.

Koepka has the reputation as “Big Game Brooks” for his performance in the majors, which includes four titles. He missed the cut last week in South Carolina. No matter.

He was the first to reach 4 under until dropping his first shot at the par-3 third. Patrick Rodgers was at 4 under through the 13th hole, while San Diego native Xander Schauffele also was at 3 under. Phil Mickelson, the more famous local and reigning PGA champion, was at 2-over par.


12:15 p.m.

The thick kikuyu rough got most of the attention before the U.S. Open started. The greens at Torrey Pines are proving to be no bargain, either.

Just ask Max Homa.

The 30-year-old from up the coast in Burbank began the U.S. Open with a pair of pars before running into trouble on the par-4 12th hole.

Homa ran a chip shot from left of the green past the hole to about 21 feet and saw his first putt go over the edge of the hole. His second putt, from 3 feet, violently lipped out and spun away, leaving him about 5 feet coming back up the hole.

Homa missed that putt before finally knocking in a 3-footer for triple-bogey 7. He also three-putted the par-4 14th for double bogey.


8:15 a.m.

The U.S. Open is finally underway after a 90-minute delay because of fog.

The USGA can count on dry weather when it comes to California. The wild card has always been the marine layer as the temperature warms, and that’s what caused the delay Thursday.

The long delay makes it certain the first round won’t be completed until Friday morning.

It was reminiscent of the fog delays at Pebble Beach for the 2000 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods played without delay on Thursday morning. He waited some 30 hours before hitting his next shot late Friday afternoon.


6:45 a.m.

The U.S. Open waited 13 years to return to Torrey Pines. And then it waited a little longer.

The opening round Thursday was delayed by two words: June Gloom. That’s what locals refer to as the marine layer that covered the South course and led to a 30-minute delay.

The forecast is dry and ideal for the week, though fog on the Pacific coast as summer approaches is always a concern.

Sahith Theegala, raised up the road in Orange and a Pepperdine alum, is set to hit the opening tee shot from the first hole. Andy Pope, who has made it through qualifying four of the last times for the U.S. Open, is first to play off No. 10.

Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka are among those playing in the morning.


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The Latest: First round of U.S. Open suspended by darkness