Due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, only 9 players completed their first rounds on Thursday. This led to today's marathon day of golf. The Thursday morning groups needed to complete their 1st rounds, and the afternoon groups had yet to hit a shot, an entire day of golf looming. As it stands, the afternoon groups are nearing completion of their 2nd round, and Thursday morning’s wave group will start their 2nd round on Saturday morning.
The Story Thus Far...
Dustin Johnson put on a stripeshow today, hitting monster tee shots and precise irons all day long. DJ set a U.S. Open record by hitting a mind-boggling 25 greens in a row. Unfortunately for Johnson, his putter was ice-cold and kept him from distancing himself from the field. Over his two rounds today, Johnson hit 31/36 greens, 20/28 fairways and had 65 putts. The big story heading into the weekend will be whether or not Johnson can keep it together and finally close out his first major championship. He is currently tied for 1st with Andrew Landry and a slew of world-class players lurking closely behind (Lee Westwood at -3, Sergio Garcia at -2, Andy Sullivan, Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson at -1, and many more within shouting distance).
Who is Andrew Landry?
The man tied with Dustin Johnson is PGA Tour rookie Andrew Landry, who shot an opening round 66 (-4). Landry shot himself into the record books with the best opening round ever at Oakmont in a U.S. Open, taking the record from Ben Hogan and Gary Player… pretty good company. The 28-year-old Landry’s best finish on the PGA Tour to date is a t40th at last week’s St. Jude, so he is coming in hot by his standards. Landry’s game is centered around his superb driving ability and short game, a good recipe to solve the tough Oakmont setup. It will be interesting to see if Landry can continue his hot play over the weekend.
Scott Piercy - We saw Piercy compete at the Masters before fading on Sunday. After today, it looks like Piercy is in for another late weekend pairing after shooting rounds of 68-70 (-2). Much like Dustin Johnson, Piercy’s putter held him back from shooting significantly lower rounds.
Daniel Summerhays - The PGA Tour Vet shot the round of the day, a remarkable 5-under-par 65 in his 2nd round of the day. Summerhays was able to make up ground on Johnson and Landry after shooting an opening-round 74. Summerhays had a chance to tie fellow BYU alum Johnnie Miller’s Oakmont record (63) had he holed out his 2nd shot on the 18th. Summerhays, who once shot a 60 in a collegiate competition, called this round the best of his life.
Rory McIlroy - The former U.S. Open champion struggled to a 7-over-par 77 in his first round, shooting himself out of contention. McIlroy will have to play a great round on Saturday just to make the cut.
Rickie Fowler - 2016 was supposed to be the year where budding superstar Rickie Fowler jumped into golf’s elite by winning his first major championship. Instead, we are waiting for him to make his first cut in a major championship after an opening-round 76. Much like the aforementioned McIlroy, Fowler will need to fire a great score Saturday to make the cut.
What about Spieth and Day?
Jordan Spieth - Spieth battled through the tough Thursday conditions and sits at 2 over par heading into his second round, which will be played Saturday morning. Spieth is in good shape to shoot up the leaderboard if he can play a good 2nd round.
Jason Day - The world number 1 fired a disappointing opening-round 76, leaving him far out of contention and in danger of missing the cut. On his second 18 (which he is yet to finish), Day found his swing to pull back within shouting distance.
The Luck of the Draw
In golf, sometimes winning takes not only talent but a little bit of luck. Weather can often dictate which side of the draw is more favorable. The draw is whether a player tees off in the morning-afternoon wave of early-round action or the afternoon-morning wave. Due to Thursday’s heavy rains and blustery conditions, the 1st-round scoring average was 2 shots higher for the players who battled the weather versus those who got to wait and play in the soft conditions today.
Coverage for the weekend
Because of Thursday’s weather delays, the weekend will be filled with golf. Coverage will start early this morning and span across all sunlight hours of the weekend. Catch all the action on Fox and Fox Sports One.
See some of the best shots on Instagram in a snap.