ARDMORE, Pa. – Apparently those wicker baskets at Merion can be quite wicked.
Lee Westwood was cruising along and in a share of the lead at 3 under when he encountered the par-4 12th.
After driving into the rough and needing to pitch out, the Englishman’s third shot caromed off the wicker at the top of the flagstick and rolled off the front of the green, eventually leading to a double-bogey 6.
Interestingly, had his ball become lodged in the basket, the local rule for the U.S. Open calls for the ball to be placed on the lip of the cup.
Still in search of that elusive first major, Westwood was 1 under through 13 holes – three shots behind the leader – when play was suspended because of darkness.
Westwood hasn’t finished worse than 23rd in his past five U.S. Open starts, dating to 2008. He has five top 10s in 13 career appearances, including third-place finishes in 2011 and ’08.