Ardmore, PA – The weather delayed first round of the U.S. Open Championship wrapped up Friday morning with Phil Mickelson alone atop the leaderboard.
The left-hander flew home on Monday for his daughter's eighth grade graduation, then flew back east overnight prior to his Thursday morning tee time. He snuck in a few hours of sleep on the plane, and some more at the place he is staying at for the week in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Thursday's 3 1/2 hour rain delay afforded Mickelson another hour of sleep, but he admitted after completing his round that he hit a wall with two holes to go in his first round.
Mickelson fought through the tired feelings to birdie the ninth and par the 10th to wrap up his opening-round, 3-under 67 on the East Course at Merion Golf Club.
Luke Donald was atop the leaderboard when play was called by darkness Thursday evening. However, he dropped a pair of shots late in his round Friday morning to fall one back at 2-under 68, where he was joined by Mathew Goggin.
Goggin wrapped birdies at four and six around a bogey on the fifth. He parred his last four holes to close out a round of 68.
Nicolas Colsaerts joined Mickelson as the only two players from the Thursday's morning wave to post scores in red figures. Colsaerts carded a 1-under 69, which left him tied for fourth with Russell Knox when the opening round was finished.
The marquee pairing of the top three players in the world completed their first rounds on Friday morning as well.
Tiger Woods, a three-time U.S. Open champion, returned to the course and kicked in a par putt on the 11th green. He traded a bogey for a birdie from the 12th, then faltered to a bogey at 17 to post 3-over 75.
He was joined there by Rory McIlroy, who 3-putted the 11th for bogey to dip to even-par. McIlory stumbled to three bogeys in a 4-hole span from the 15th to slide to plus-3.
Masters champion Adam Scott bettered his playing partners by a stroke. He birdied the 11th to get to 3-under, but that was his final birdie.
Scott bogeyed 12 and 14 to dip to minus-1. He tripped to a double-bogey at the 15th, then coughed up another stroke at 17 to end at plus-2.
Despite the soft conditions and predictions of low scores, only five players finished in red figures after round one.