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Miguel Tabuena must have fretted at the locker room as he awaited his moment to tee off at the US Open Thursday.
It never came.
Three weather delays postponed what could have been the moment of truth for the young Filipino golfer who was scheduled to play his first major championship at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
But Tabuena was not alone in the waiting game. Nearly half the field failed to hit their first tee shots while only a handful were able to finish their rounds. And if bad weather continues, the tournament may be in for a Monday finish.
Among those who were able to tee off, the best scorer was little-known Andrew Landry who was clinging to a one-shot lead with one hole to go when play was suspended for the day, with only nine of the 156-strong field completing their rounds.
Although Thursday’s rain – in the wake of overnight showers – took the edge off the formidable par-70 layout northeast of Pittsburgh, not everyone could take advantage.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth and world No. 3 Rory McIlroy will be hoping to turn things around when they return to finish their first rounds on Friday.
World No. 1 Jason Day and five-time major-winner Phil Mickelson didn’t make it to the first tee as three separate delays halted play for more than four and a half hours.
If Landry was an unlikely name atop the leaderboard at three-under par through 17 holes, 19-year-old American amateur Scottie Scheffler was an equally surprising clubhouse leader after a one-under 69.
“It was tough,” Landry said of the delays, although he appreciated the more receptive greens.
“They’re a good speed and they’re so perfect out there,” said Landry, ranked 624th in the world. “You can make so many putts.”
The softer course was in stark contrast to the firm conditions of the practice rounds.
“Completely different golf course,” said Spieth. “I mean night and day.”