June 13, 2013
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As was expected, the rains came early on Thursday and delayed the 2013 U.S. Open. With rain also expected on Friday and Sunday, the weather could prove to be this tournament's biggest storyline.
But there was still golf to be played once the clouds parted, and here we'll review some of the biggest storylines early from the day as Thursday's play progressed.
Without question, the early storyline was the weather, as rain storms postponed play for three hours and 40 minutes in the morning.
That weather pushed back the start times of stars like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to 4:44 p.m. ET. Still, the storms may return before all of the players can finish today, as The Weather Channel is forecasting storms resuming around 5 p.m. ET in the area.
Ian Poulter was surely annoyed by the delay, as he started the morning on fire with birdies on his first three holes before the rains came. He has continued to golf well alongside Charl Schwartzel and Tim Clark.
Sergio Garcia had a brutal start, however, as he double-bogeyed 14 and quadruple-bogeyed 15 in a rough stretch of play. As you might have guessed, Twitter had jokes, with Sports Humor knocking this one out of the park:
Making the cut isn't going to be easy for Mr. Garcia.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson started strong, a somewhat surprising development considering he landed in Philadelphia early Thursday morning after attending the eighth-grade graduation of his daughter in California on Wednesday.
With a 7:11 a.m. ET tee time, he certainly cut things close. Perhaps, he used the rain delay to take a nap.
At this point, it seems likely that a few of the top players like Woods and McIlroy won't even play on Thursday, while a few other golfers may not finish the round.
We should all probably get ready for some Monday golf.
Phil Mickelson started strong, so he'll put to rest any folks doubting whether he would be prepared with a solid first round.
Players with strong driving accuracy should do well, so long as they avoid the roughs, as the softer grounds from the rain will allow players to target shots close to the holes without the fear of the ball bouncing or skimming off the greens. Plenty of balls should simply stick in the wet, soft ground.
Look for Poulter, Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar, Mickelson and Steve Stricker to be the big names hanging around the top of the Thursday leaderboard.
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