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US Open up for grabs as Adam Scott survives for the weekend

Also at even-par 142 was Justin Thomas, who had a 68.

AP and Scott Spits

SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD

  • Richard Bland (-5)
  • Russell Henley  (-5)
  • Louis Oosthuizen (-4)
  • Matthew Wolff (-4)
  • Bubba Watson (-3)
  • Jon Rahm (-3)

Henley, Oosthuizen share first round lead as former champions struggle

Australian former Masters winner Scott is just three shots off the pace after play was suspended due to poor light in the opening round of the US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Scott completed his round at one-under, while Henley matched his US Open career low round to set the pace with a four-under 67. South African star Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, shares the lead with Henley at four-under but still has two holes to play in his opening round.

Adam Scott tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of the US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Adam Scott tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of the US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.Credit:Getty Images

Oosthuizen was among more than 30 golfers unable to complete their opening rounds due to a morning fog delay of 90 minutes.

Of the remaining Australian Australians in the field, world no.28 Cameron Smith remains even through 16 holes, tied for a share of 24th. Wade Ormsby is a shot further back at one-over after an opening round 72, while Matt Jones is also one-over through 16. Brad Kennedy and Marc Leishman are another two shots adrift after their opening rounds of 73.

Three-time major winner and 2015 US Open champion Jordan Spieth is on the verge of missing the cut after a disastrous opening round of six-over 77, while English star and 2013 champion Justin Rose fared even worse with a 78.

Italian former British Open champion Francesco Molinari and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello each shot a three-under 68, while heavyweights Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm were among a group on 69.

Rory McIlroy started well and held on for a 70 despite some late struggles, while defending champion Bryson DeChambeau had three successive bogeys at one stage en route to a 73.

DeChambeau went directly to the range to hit some balls in the gloom.

Phil Mickelson struggled, with his hopes of completing the career grand slam by winning the only major that has eluded him hanging by a thread after a 75.

American world no.63 Henley entered the week riding a string of poor results but sounded as though it was only natural that he should be on his lofty perch looking down at some of the ‘Who’s Who’ of the sport.

Russell Henley is an unlikely leader after the opening day of the 2021 US Open.

Russell Henley is an unlikely leader after the opening day of the 2021 US Open.Credit:Getty Images

“I don’t feel like it’s a huge surprise because I’ve played some good golf in some bigger events in the last year,” said the three-time PGA Tour winner.

Four-time major winner Koepka, the runner-up at last month’s PGA Championship, started on the back nine and held the sole lead at one point until a bogey at the picturesque par-three third, where his tee shot into a stiff headwind drifted into a barren penalty area.

“You can’t win it today but you can definitely lose it,” said Koepka, the game’s most fearsome competitor in major championships over the past four years.

“[I’m] pretty pleased. Not the best, but I’ll definitely take it.”

“I’ve just got a good game plan, focused, I know what I’m doing, and I don’t try to do anything I can’t. It’s just all about discipline in a U.S. Open.”

Mickelson, who triumphed in this year’s PGA Championship 16 years after first holding the Wanamaker Trophy aloft, played a day after his 51st birthday and a month after becoming golf’s oldest major winner. He recorded two late bogeys en route to his four-over-par 75. The record six-times runner-up was left eight shots back of Henley.

Mickelson, who grew up playing Torrey Pines, started his day at the par-four 10th where he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker and made bogey.

The left-hander, distracted by a spectator’s phone, took a penalty stroke at the par-five 13th after his approach shot settled in a bush near the green. His next shot hit the flag stick and ricocheted back into the rough from where he got up and down for bogey.

His day ended ignominiously with two late bogeys.

“I had some chances to get the round a little bit better. Fought hard, made a lot of short putts to kind of keep myself in it and then I ended up bogeying six and seven,” said Mickelson.

“Two-over would have been a pretty good round and I ended up at four, so I’m a little disappointed about that.”

Russell Bennett with Reuters

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