US Open Golf 2013 Leaderboard: Live Day 1 Look-in and Overall Predictions

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US Open Golf 2013 Leaderboard: Live Day 1 Look-in and Overall Predictions
JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After a rather ignominious start, Round 1 of the 2013 U.S. Open is underway again without much drama.

Weather forced the first round to halt for about three-and-a-half hours, per the BBC:

According to Weather.com, it looks like the rain's going to hold off until about 5 p.m. ET. Then the chances of rain hover near 45-55 percent and only rise as the evening goes on.

Even if there's bad weather still ahead, plenty of golfers have a big enough window to get their first rounds finished up.

Here's a look at the information you need to know, followed by the leaderboard and some predictions you can take to the bank.

 

Where: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

When: Thursday, June 13

Watch: ESPN and NBC

Live Stream: ESPN3 and NBC Sports Live Extra

 

Live Leaderboard

 

Predictions

Count Out Rory McIlroy

David Cannon/Getty Images

According to Bovada, Rory McIlroy is the fourth-favored golfer to win the U.S. Open, at 18-1 odds. If you've yet to put any money down on the winner, don't waste it on McIlroy.

2013 hasn't exactly been a great year for the 24-year-old. He's yet to win a tournament and has largely disappointed in the biggest events so far. His poor third round doomed him at the Masters, and McIlroy only finished 57th at the Memorial Tournament after bad first and third rounds.

Part of McIlroy's problem has been his poor putting. He ranks only 129th in overall putting average and 57th in total putting.

McIlroy has yet to tee off, but if he does later in the afternoon, the greens will have had plenty of time to dry. That's going to cause McIlroy some real problems because these greens look very tricky. For a guy coming in with trouble putting, the last thing he's going to want to see is a dry, fast green.

 

Phil Mickelson Is Going to Fall Off

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Scores are pretty much dropping across the board. Everybody was able to take advantage of the slower fairways and greens. Now, however, they're drying up and making things very difficult for the golfers.

As if that doesn't make it tough, Phil Mickelson already came into the first round with a handicap.

ESPN's Ian O'Connor wrote about how Mickelson chose to fly back to California in order to attend his daughter's eighth-grade graduation. It's a great story, as so many times players and coaches put sports ahead of family.

Unfortunately for Mickelson, it's only going to hurt him in the first round. Those who have flown in planes can attest to the detrimental effects of jet lag. You get tired and apathetic. Now, imagine having to play 18 holes in the U.S. Open with jet lag.

Sooner or later it's going to catch up to Mickelson. He hasn't been at his best in 2013, finishing 54th at the Masters and missing the cut at the Players Championship.

Mickelson undoubtedly made the right decision, but he's going to have to pay the price on the course.

 

Charl Schwartzel's Putting Is Going to Keep Him Alive

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned before with McIlroy, the greens are going to continue drying out as the day goes on. That's not going to help Charl Schwartzel, but he should not be heavily impacted because of his strong putting this year. He sits 16th in total putting.

Schwartzel is already halfway through with his day, so the greens won't be fully dry by the time he's finishing up. He won't have to make a massive adjustment in his putting as he continues his first round.

The 28-year-old is also a very fast starter. He ranks sixth on the tour in first-round scoring, per ESPN's broadcast.

Schwartzel was able to notch good scores in the first round at the Memorial, Masters and Players Championship. He subsequently fell off by about the third round.

By the time Saturday and Sunday roll around, Schwartzel will probably have dropped a few spots on the leaderboard. For now, though, he'll be able to sit pretty near the leaders.

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