The first day of the 2013 U.S. Open was mostly marked by inclement weather—storms caused two stoppages in play and left groups with afternoon tee times unable to finish their first round.
However, the shortened day doesn't mean that there was a lack of storylines. Round 1 provided plenty of intrigue as favorites struggled and underdogs got off to hot starts at Merion Golf Club.
Here were the most surprising developments from Day 1 and what they mean as Day 2 gets underway from Pennsylvania.
Phil Mickelson Takes the Early Clubhouse Lead
When Phil Mickelson decided to skip practice at Merion and fly to Caifornia to see his daughter graduate the eighth grade, critics may have felt that Lefty would struggle in his first round.
After all, flying to the golf course mere hours before your tee time isn't exactly a tried-and-true method for success on the course. But maybe it should be.
Mickelson came out on fire—picking up three birdies on the front nine and one more on the back while only bogeying once to turn in a 67.
His putting was spot on from the start and he seems locked in and ready to go despite landing in Pennsylvania around 4:00 a.m. for his 7:11 a.m. tee time according to CBS.
Mickelson's performance on so little sleep is nothing short of remarkable. If he can turn in the best score with everything that he had going on Wednesday, what he can do with a good night's sleep on Day 2 is definitely the top story to keep an eye on.
Tiger Woods Not Off to the Best Start
Simply put, Tiger is not living up to expectations.
He entered the field as a sizable favorite to win his first major since 2008. If his first round is any indication, that's not going to happen.
Woods just couldn't get things going on Wednesday and, as Jason Sobel of GolfChannel.com observed, he may be dealing with an injury. Woods was caught grimacing after hitting shots multiple times in Round 1, although some of that may have come from his disappointing score.
No mistaking it now: Tiger Woods is hurting. If this wasn’t a major, he might be out. Doesn’t WD from majors, though.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) June 14, 2013
The world No. 1 struggled early and often, bogeying two of the first three holes and struggling to find any consistency. Luckily for Woods the Day 1 struggles wouldn't last a full round—the highly ranked trio of Adam Scott, Woods and Rory McIlroy had their day cut short, with Woods beginning the second day on the green of No. 11.
As ESPN Stats & Info points out, the bad start isn't a good omen for Tiger.
This is 3rd time Tiger Woods has made bogey or worse in 2 of first 3 holes at U.S. Open. The other two resulted in a cut and a withdraw.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 13, 2013
How he responds in Day 2 is something to keep an eye on.
What Role Will Endurance Play?
Those fortunate enough to have an early tee time in Day 1 will be at a distinct advantage in Day 2. They were able to get a full round of golf in before much of the bad weather came in and made a difficult course even harder.
However, they also have the advantage of needing to just play a standard 18-hole round again. Those who couldn't finish their round on Day 1 not only have to complete that round, but also do another round right after that.
While the marathon day might not affect others, there's no doubt that some golfers will be affected.
Will we see an edge between those who finished out their first round and those that have to navigate the treacherous conditions for nearly 30-holes in some cases?