February 15, 2019

GOLF Story
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: June 17, 2016 11:31:07 AM

Landry fires 66 to take first-round lead at U.S. Open

OAKMONT, Pa. -- Andrew Landry didn't have to do much to retain his Thursday lead.
After sinking five birdies through 17 holes and placing his iron shot close to the pin on his 18th hole, play was suspended due to rain at the 116th U.S. Open at historic Oakmont Country Club.
That left Landry with hours to prepare for the important putt he would make on Friday morning.
Landry, ranked 624th in the world, sank a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 9 to cap his weather-delayed opening round at 4-under-par 66, and he holds a one-shot lead at the year's second of four majors.
"I just pretty much thought about it this morning, thought about it a little bit last night, but I didn't like dream about it," the 28-year-old Nederland, Texas, native said of his putt.
Lee Westwood of England and Dustin Johnson are tied for second after each shot an opening-round 67. Scott Piercy, Shane Lowry of Ireland and Sergio Garcia of Spain were in a three-way tie for fourth after firing 68s.
Landry's 66 was the lowest first-round score ever in a U.S. Open at Oakmont, and was three shots off the Oakmont course record set by 1973 Open winner Johnny Miller.
"That's pretty cool," Landry added, but he refused to let the feat go to his head.
"It's just there's so much golf left. ... Yes, I am doing great, but there's 54 more holes left."
Only nine of the 156 golfers in the field completed their round Thursday, meaning some golfers were scheduled to play as many as 36 holes on Friday into Saturday.
"It's 36 holes on this golf course, you don't really wish that on anybody," said Piercy, who briefly shared the lead with Landry after birdieing No. 13 -- his fourth of the round -- but relinquished his share of the top spot with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15-16.
Top-ranked Jason Day was among those unable to tee off Thursday but having an extra day's worth of prep time didn't do him any favors. He shot a 76 with five bogeys and a double bogey.
Jordan Spieth finished with an opening-round 72. The defending U.S. Open champion and No. 2 ranked player in the world completed 11 holes on Thursday, shooting a 1-over-35 on his front nine before play was suspended.
"It was tough starting and stopping and conditions changing from when we started to when we finished, but it is what it is," Spieth said.
Spieth opened Friday with bogeys on Nos. 4 and 7 -- his 13th and 16th holes respectively -- but birdied No. 6.
"I didn't shoot myself out of it," Spieth said. "Ideally, I would have been where the leader is at 4-under."
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland struggled through his first round, stumbling to a 77 by bogeying his last three holes Friday. He had eight overall in the round opposite one birdie.
McIlroy, ranked third the world, finished 13 holes on Thursday and entered the day at 4-over.
Bubba Watson was at a 2-under through 14 holes when play was halted Thursday. The world's fourth-ranked ranked player parred three of four holes for a 69 to complete his round Friday.
Rickie Fowler, the world's No. 5, was 4-over on his front nine and bogeyed Nos. 11-12 Thursday. He entered the clubhouse at 6-over with a birdie on No. 16 and a bogey on No. 18.
Phil Mickelson was 1-under through nine, but the 46-year-old bogeyed five shots on the back for a 74. Mickelson is seeking his first U.S. Open victory, which would give him the career Grand Slam.
Amateur Scottie Scheffler's trio of birdies put him in contention with a 69, good for a six-way tie for sixth. He is the first amateur to break 70 at Oakmont since Vinny Giles, who also shot a 69 in the second round of the 1973 Open.
NOTES: Thursday's three weather suspensions were the most in the U.S. Open since the first round at Merion Golf Club in 2013. ... The last time a player ranked as low as Andrew Landry led a round at the U.S. Open was in 2008, when Justin Hicks fired an opening-round 68. Hicks finished tied for 74th at 17-over. ... The 684-yard hole at No. 12 is the longest in the history of the U.S. Open, beating the previous record holder (No. 16 at 2012 U.S. Open, The Olympic Club's Lake Course) by 13 feet. ... Thursday's nine complete opening rounds marked the fewest since the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park's Black Course, when none finished Thursday

All Times Eastern