Bad weather hits Merion, suspends U. S. Open play
ARDMORE - Thunder, lightning and heavy downpours have settled in over the Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia, suspending first-round play at the U.S. Open.
U.S. Golf Association officials called a halt to play at 8:36 Eastern, just short of two hours after the opening shot of the tournament was struck.
Thunderstorms with possible severe weather are forecast throughout the day, casting doubt on whether the first round will be completed.
The Merion Golf Club course was drenched by six and a half inches of rain over the weekend and into the early portion of this week.
Among those who got in some play before the skies opened is five-time US Open runner-up Phil Mickelson. He left earlier this week to fly to San Diego, where his daughter Amanda graduated from the eighth grade yesterday. Mickelson then took a late flight back last night and made it in time for his 7:11 tee time. Mickelson is even par through five holes.
The rain short-circuited a blazing start by Ian Poulter, who shot to the top of the leader board by making birdies on his first three holes.
No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods is set to play in a group with second-ranked Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Adam Scott for the first two days. Woods enters the tournament with four wins this year. He's trying to snap a five-year winning drought at major championships.