Birdie run gives Donald lead at suspended Open


ARDMORE, Pa. – In nine career U.S. Open starts, Luke Donald has never finished better than 12th place.

He’s looking to change that at Merion Golf Club this week.

The former world No. 1 played his opening 13 holes in 4 under on Thursday to grab sole possession of the lead before the horn sounded suspending play for the day.

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Donald leads by one stroke over Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, and by two over Webb Simpson, Mathew Goggin and Alistair Presnell.

I'm excited to get off to a great start, Donald said. I made a great putt on 1, another good birdie on 3, and then just played the holes like they should be played. I feel like I'm in pretty good control of my game, and it's nice to get off to such a good start.

With an opening birdie on his first hole followed by four more on Nos. 3, 11, 12 and 13, against just a single bogey, Donald is in position to get into contention at this tournament for the first time in his career. His flatstick was working well, needing just 18 putts through 13 holes.

This is the only major at which he doesn’t have multiple top-10 finishes.