Pros catch a break at Oakmont
Players received a welcome surprise as the first round of the US Open Championship 2016 got under way in Pennsylvania on Thursday.
With much of the talk in the lead-up to the year's second major focused on the incredible difficulty of the Oakmont golf course, with it's lightning quick greens, thick rough and foreboding bunkers, the pros would have been relieved to wake up and find that it had rained heavily overnight.
Rains mean that the greens won't be as fast and will be more receptive, while the fairways will not run on as much, making it easier to find the surface and stay on it.
Adam Scott recently discovered first-hand what rain can do to Oakmont.
“I was here a week and a half ago, and it was playing nice and firm,” said the Australian. “I played a round in firm conditions. It rained a lot that night, and we came out, and I played the next day with Rory (McIlroy), and both of us probably made five or six birdies each that day, playing really nice.”
This was borne out by the scores of some of the early starters on Thursday, with World No 624 Andrew Landry leading the way on three under par after 11 holes, and as many as 10 players joining him under par.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth was one of those, a birdie at the par-5 third taking him to one under.
Several big names – including Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Masters champion Danny Willett – already found themselves one over par, however, suggesting that even at its most receptive, Oakmont still presents plenty of danger.
And while overnight rain was welcome, there wasn't much to cheer about when it returned a couple of hours after play started, forcing a suspension in proceedings.
A stop-start affair is hardly what fans or players will be wanting, though the forecast looks set to improve significantly over the weekend.
That should also lead to higher scores as the tournament progresses and Oakmont starts to bare its teeth.
Hole-in-one helps Tom McKibbin make strong start in South Africa
The 19-year-old holed out with a five iron from 232 yards on the 11th hole.
A nice birdie-fest – Tiger Woods expecting low scoring Hero World Challenge
Woods withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.
Tiger Woods backs up Rory McIlroy and says LIV Golf boss Greg Norman ‘has to go’
Woods called McIlroy a ‘true leader’ as he spoke out about the Saudi-funded breakaway.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.