The start of the 2013 U.S. Open was a day to forget for Tiger Woods on Thursday, but he should be able to right the ship on Day 2.
A weather delay on Thursday at Merion Golf Club meant Woods didn't tee off until over three hours after his initial tee time, per NBC Sports:
After Woods began his round, there was a second weather delay, per Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman:
Second delay of day begins at US Open. Play suspended due to inclement weather at 6:10pET.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) June 13, 2013
Woods was only able to finish up 10 holes before play was stopped for the night, sitting at two-over 38.
Here's the live leaderboard to see what kind of performance Woods needs to turn in to contend with the early leaders.
Considering the overall low scores posted by the rest of the field, Tiger is far from out of it. Rather than focus on his score, however, the more pressing concern is his left wrist.
Television viewers were able to see Woods in physical pain as he tried to work his shots out of the rough, as noted by ESPN UK:
Tiger Woods (+2) seems to have a real problem with his left wrist. Flinched after a couple of shots from the heavy rough already today.— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) June 14, 2013
The stoppage of play may have actually benefited Tiger as he had more time to allow his left wrist to rest before hitting the course on Friday. That's the good news. The bad news is that he'll have to make up his eight holes in the first round on Friday before then embarking shortly thereafter on his second round.
Part of the problem with Woods in the first round was that he was missing putts.
His approach play was average, as he hit five of eight fairways and eight of 10 greens in regulation. Those numbers aren't enough to win the U.S. Open, but they're good enough to allow Woods to climb the standings.
Once he got on the green, though, he ran into trouble.
Woods ran into the same problem many other golfers were running into at Merion GC. As the day went on and the temperature rose, the greens started drying up, becoming very fast and hard to read.
Woods made a 50-footer on No. 6, but his day was largely a disappointment when it came to putting. He gave away at least a few strokes by failing to find the hole.
Further rain predicted for Friday, according to Weather.com, would make the greens much easier on the golfers.
If his wrist continues to be an issue, it shouldn't cause too many problems, as he finishes up his first round since he will only have to get through eight holes.
Prediction after 18 holes: E (70)
It's in the second round that you could see Woods fade.
Should his wrist continue to bother him, it's only going to get exacerbated throughout the day. It's hard enough to play 26 holes and remain competitive. That task becomes nearly impossible when dealing with an injury as well.
You also have to throw in the weather. If it starts to warm up and the rain stays away, Tiger could have some issues as the greens start to get quicker and harder to read.
Sooner or later, his driving and approach play will also have to improve.
If he wants to finish somewhere in the middle of the field, Woods will have no problem doing so if he continues to hit his drives into the deep rough.
If Woods wants to win, he needs to strike the ball much better. When you watched Tiger take his shots on Thursday, you never saw somebody who was going to be good enough to challenge the leaders.
Once again, the wrist will come into play. It was in the rough that Woods winced the most after shots. Should he keep hitting his drives into the heavy stuff, he'll have to exert more and more energy to get out. That will only put more pressure on the wrist.
Expect Woods to start the second round well enough, but he's gonna fade, especially on the back nine. He'll pick up a couple of bogeys, but every time he looks to have gotten things on track, he'll shoot himself in the foot.
Prediction after 36 holes: plus-3 (143)