ARDMORE, Pa. – It took some time to become official, but Phil Mickelson is the first-round leader of the 113th U.S. Open.
Mickelson made four birdies and a bogey Thursday at Merion to shoot 3-under 67. The round had two different weather suspensions and was suspended for the day at 8:20 p.m. ET. Half the field returned early Friday to complete the round.
“Well, this was as easy as this golf course is going to play,” Mickelson said Thursday. “We had very little wind, there was some but very little. We had soft fairways, soft greens, and we had no mud balls. So we had the best opportunity to score low.”
Still, only five players ended the round under par.
Luke Donald had a chance to tie Mickelson atop the leaderboard but he three-putted the 18th hole to shoot 68. Masters champion Adam Scott was at 3 under par Thursday when play was suspended but played the final seven holes 5 over on Friday to shoot 72.
Tiger Woods putted horribly (32 total putts) and never got any momentum, collecting six bogeys and three birdies to shoot 3-over 73.
“It's one of those golf courses where there's some easy holes and there's some hard holes that follow,” Woods said. “And you got to take care of the easy holes and try and get through the hard ones. And for some reason I left myself quite a few putts in there where they were easily makeable and I didn't make any.”
Other notable players’ first-round scores: Lee Westwood (70), defending champion Webb Simpson (71), Bubba Watson (71), Justin Rose (71), Dustin Johnson (71), Sergio Garcia (73), Rory McIlroy (73), Brandt Snedeker (74) and Graeme McDowell (76).
There is a quick turnaround for Round 2. Most players that just finished Round 1 have little more than an hour before the second round begins.