Missing the cut at a major is natural.
Tiger Woods has missed a cut. Rory McIlroy has missed a cut. The red-hot, I'm-always-in-contention-at-majors Adam Scott has missed a cut. Heck, even Michael Jordan (supposedly) and Floyd Mayweather (maybe) have been cut.
So, if your favorite golfer doesn't make it past Friday at Merion this week, don't feel bad. It's only normal.
With Round 1 being, ahem, cut short due to rain and darkness on Thursday, it's still slightly difficult to determine the actual cut line.
Rules state that the top 60 players (and ties) make it through to the weekend. Currently, that would mean everyone with a two-over or better would be safe.
However, rules also state that anyone within 10 strokes of the leader also advances. With Luke Donald leading the field at four-under, that takes the cut line all the way down to six-over, which would include 142 of the 156 golfers.
So, obviously the cut line is set to change dramatically in the next 24 hours. Nevertheless, we still have a good idea of some of the world's top golfers who surprisingly look to be in trouble at the U.S. Open.
Alright, with a little bit of sleuthing (and help), I've got this one figured out.
Back on June 7, Keegan Bradley put this picture on his Instagram, proving that he is a Boston Bruins fan.
You may be wondering why in Sam Hill this is even relatively important. Well, here's why, courtesy of SportsPickle:
We'll know the golfers who are hockey fans tomorrow because they'll be exhausted and shoot 85 at the US Open.— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) June 13, 2013
It all makes sense now. Bradley was up until the wee hours of Thursday morning watching his Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup Final, and it resulted in an atrocious round of golf.
OK, so none of that is probably true, but I need there to be some reason as to why Bradley, who has never missed a cut at a major, played so poorly on Thursday
The 2011 PGA Championship winner had five bogeys, a triple-bogey on No. 16 and just one birdie on his way to a seven-over 77.
It's going to take a lot of work (and a lot of rest) to make it to the weekend.
Thorbjorn Olesen isn't as much of a household name as Keegan Bradley, but his Round 1 struggles are almost nearly as head scratching.
The 23-year-old Dane missed the cut at the British Open in 2011, but for nearly a year now he has been proving himself as a legitimate force at the majors.
Last July, he finished tied for ninth at Royal Lytham. He followed that up with a 27th-place finish at the PGA Championship, and earlier this year, he tied for sixth at the Masters.
Although he is still young and has just one win on the European Tour, his maturity and talent have always been thoroughly impressive. And even though his game doesn't perfectly fit the short Merion course, which requires shot-making, no one was expecting this.
Through 10 holes, Olesen is already seven-over. He went par, par, par, par, double-bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, par, double-bogey.
Eesh. Olesen is going to have to recover quickly, or this could get extremely ugly for the burgeoning star.
All signs pointed towards Matt Kuchar contending at Merion.
He was on fire—he finished second at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and won the Memorial in his two tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open.
He is the epitome of consistency—he has 11 top-30 finishes (including three straight solid performances at the U.S. Open) in his last 13 majors and leads the Tour in top-10s since the start of 2000.
His style fits Merion—he isn't a big driver, but he's good getting to the green and knocking down puts.
He's even beginning to earn this distinction, per PGATour.com's Brian Wacker, which, while probably a frustrating title to have, speaks to his talent:
Is Matt Kuchar the best without a major? He doesn't think so, but he's making a pretty strong case. My story: http://t.co/QtDY3xwHvd— Brian Wacker (@pgatour_brianw) June 12, 2013
All things considered, his poor opening round may be the most shocking event from Thursday.
Kuchar isn't in as bad of a position as the previous two on this list, but after shooting a four-over 74 that has him in a tie for 105th place, he has plenty of work in front of him.