Despite wet greens from heavy rain and little wind, the Merion Golf Club East course proved to be as difficult as US Open Golf championships warrant. The soft greens during the first round induced wedge shots to spin back, while the tall, thick rough yielded few prospects other than short punch outs.
Inclement weather later postponed play, as many did not finish their first round of play.
The tough course conditions kept scores typically high for a US Open, as PGA tour favorite Phil Mickelson grabbed the early round lead with a 3-under par 67 at the storied golf club just outside Philadelphia, PA. Mickelson and Nicolas Colsaerts (1-under par) were the only players to finish play in the red.
Luke Donald is at 4-under par after finishing 13 holes before play was postponed due to darkness. Play was delayed 45 minutes earlier because of lightning.
No. 1 tour player Tiger Woods shot an uninspiring 2-over par after 10 holes.
2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott shot 3-under par through 11 holes. Scott was the topic of controversy when TV viewers called in that he grounded his wedge in the hazard on the fifth hole. USGA rules officials reviewed tape and determined there was no violation.
Defending US Open Champion Webb Simpson shot 2-under through nine holes.
Playing conditions may get tougher as the heavily sloped greens firm up. Penalties for missing fairways and greens will be amplified as up-and-downs will be increasingly difficult with the faster greens.
Play resumes Friday at 7:15 am Eastern time.