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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:01 UK

US Open day one as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

1923: Right then, there's not a lot more left to say now so I'm going to bid farewell. Thanks very much for your company during this frustrating day. I'm now off to have a very subdued ready meal for one. Take care, be sure to tune in tomorrow.

Jim Hyler, chairman of the USGA championship committee: "We may be looking at Saturday morning to get the second round finished, get the cut and go from there."

r3d-d3v1l on 606: "Looks pretty bad to be honest. Still, if none of the pros want to play in the wet, I'll happily step up to the plate for them... My game's so bad anyway the wet won't make much of a difference."

1907: Play will start at 0730 Eastern on Friday, that's 1230 in our money. There are 78 players yet to start their opening rounds, so the next three days are going to be hectic. I wonder what the odds are for a Tuesday finish?

1859: Well, that news was hardly surprising was it? There has been no break in the rain and to be fair, even if there was, it would take quite a while to get the course ready again. Gutted? You betcha.


1836: Hold on to your hats folks, apparently the USGA is going to make an announcement about today's play within the next 10 minutes.

2o-DeMoN-o9 on 606: "You mention all these television pictures that you can see and I can't. Can you not show them? Contracts say that some other channel can show the US Open, but this isn't a golf competition! This is live coverage of the world's favourite water features!"

1830: It must be very, very dull for a player dealing with all this waiting around. What to do? Play Tiger Woods 2009 on the Wii (the greatest game known to man, fact), read War And Peace, learn Spanish, or in the case of Ian Poulter, update your Twitter page. Poults has made four comments in the last hour and here is his latest: "Guys you will laugh your head off. We have just been told by the USGA that when it stops raining they can get this course playable in one hour."
Can I just say that Ian didn't use the word 'head' on this occasion, as this is a family show I've taken out the offending word.

1812: More telly pictures, and I'm sorry to say that the scene is miserable. On one of the fairways, I can see more water than grass. Keep with it folks, I'll bring you more updates when I get any news.

mr_aleman on 606: "Well the tournament is going to be a lottery now. Really a bit of a shame as an even contest was what we wanted. Some of the players are going to have all the wet weather... Then again maybe some players will have to play 36 holes tomorrow. It should be fun and entertaining but what can you do about the weather?"

Ian Poulter on the USGA's policy of not allowing picking and placing: "It's a schoolboy error. We have said that over the last couple of days. The balls are picking up big clumps of mud. I understand the reasons but common sense should prevail."

1728: They say that you learn something new every day and I certainly have this fine Thursday. My lesson is that you should not rub a muscle heat rub into your back just before putting on motorcycle clothes - it makes for a very uncomfortable ride into work. Anyway, still no news from New York. Sky: grey. Rain: plenty of it. Rubbish. Telly shots from Bethpage show a poor fellow grappling with the wind, rain, two umbrellas and a pint of beer. He hasn't spilt a drop. Wonder if he's heard of America's Got Talent?

Spanish player Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (who was supposed to tee off at 1752 BST): "I was not expecting the weather to be this bad, but that's golf. It's going to be one of those long days. You better get ready because you don't know if you are going to be out there today."

sportlover07 on 606: "What we need is a purpose-built roof."

Jeff Hall, USGA's managing director of rules and competitions: "This is what we feared would happen. We were hoping for a break but we did not get it. The forecasters say we are locked in this until one/one-thirty (1800 BST/1830 BST), it is still going to be a rain event after that but there will be more breaks. We will do our best to get some golf in today."

1635: Afternoon all. Well this is all a bit frustrating isn't it? My mood isn't helped by television coverage teasing me with highlights from the final round of last year's dramatic US Open at Torrey Pines. Pah. In contrast, the scene in New York is completely different. There is no let up in the weather and the greens are now looking like lakes. As Alan Partridge would say from Marple racecourse: "It's raining!"

By Jonathan Stevenson

USGA executive director David Fay: "We're not throwing in the wet towel yet. We'll get as much play as we can today."

1550: Well, there's not a great deal happening in New York right now, so it's probably time to curtail these updates. Only for now, though - Mark Orlovac will be in the chair shortly and trust me, if there's anything to tell you, he'll be the first person to do so. I expect I'll see you at the weekend - hopefully I'll have ironed out my major flaws by then. Bye.

From unreasonable Mack, via text on 81111: "I don't care if play has stopped. I still want updates. Bring me updates."

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke: "I'm gonna try and relax for the day now - maybe go to the gym, just try and stay out of the bar! It doesn't look likely that we're gonna get out there today. The course does look a little easier than last time we were here, though."

England's Lee Westwood: "It's not easy, it's pretty miserable out there. The ball keeps picking up mud and then squirting out sideways, so it's a difficult mental battle. Have to say, it's not too disappointing to be taken off the course - and it doesn't look likely that we'll be out there soon. Another couple of inches and that's it for the day. I'll just sit around, watch tv and eat, I guess."

It's bad news for a Briton
1537: One man who presumably will be quite relieved to have been hauled off the course is England's David Horsey, who was suffering a nightmare round on 10 over after 10 holes, including two sevens. Mind you, there are four players on seven over too - all American.

1532: As things stand: Jeff Brehaut, Johan Edfors, Andrew Parr and Ryan Spears lead the US Open on one under and they will lead for a while too, because it's still pummelling down with rain at Bethpage Black. Seven players are even, including Justin Leonard, Angel Cabrera and our very own Ian Poulter.

From NedB-H on 606: "Don't expect them back out there anytime soon... Who are the expert bad-weather players in this field? McDowell maybe?"
Join the debate on 606

1522: The players are allowed to complete the holes they are playing, but after that, they're off. Play has been suspended for non-dangerous conditions by US Golf Association officials.


From Dave, Llandudno, via text on 81111: "Does anybody agree, the USPGA seem to be consumed with making these courses totally ridiculous? I'm of the opinion I want to see good attacking golf, which you just cannot do on these US Open courses."

It's good news for a Briton
1511: I'm going up arrow, and I don't care who knows. Ian Poulter birdied the fourth and has nailed three pars since as he sits pretty on level par, a shot off the lead held now by Brehaut, Parr, American Andrew Spears and - hello, what's this, a European? - Sweden's Johan Edfors, all on one under.

1506: The weather gods aren't exactly making life easier either - it's smashing it down with rain in New York, though that hasn't stopped Tiger from pulling a shot back with a birdie at the sixth. Back to one over.

1502: This is tough, make no mistake about that. Luke Donald has played four holes at this year's US Open, and he's carded two sevens already. Major winner extraordinaire Padraig Harrington is continuing his recent troubles too - he's four over after five.

From Andy Parr in Birmingham, via text on 81111: "Parr under par is not original! I know as I have put up with it all my golfing life!"

1454: This is how difficult Bethpage Black is: Tiger Woods just double bogeyed the fifth hole. Almost unbelievable. I can't wait to be able to watch this, in just a few minutes.

It's bad news for a Briton
1451: It's Brit down graphic o'clock - maybe we can use them all up before Wimbledon, he mused optimistically. As well as Casey and Westwood, we've got Simon Dyson on two over after, er, two, Luke Donald three over after, er, three, Simon Khan five over after nine, Richard Bland six over after, er, six and David 'why the long face?' Horsey nine over after eight. They're scoring like we do the first time we get our hands on the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour game on the PlayStation.

From keizo-Yamata on 606: "They say it's still raining non-stop and some parts of the course have water ankle deep. I can't see play completed today. As for Tiger, rain is his Kryptonite. He hates playing in it. The afternoon group are looking the better bet. Especially considering the rain will stop later in the day and tomorrow morning but start in the afternoon."
Join the debate on 606

1441: I don't do predos for golf, which is a mighty good job, because Paul Casey (who is one over after three) and the pride of Nottingham, Lee Westwood (who is two over after three) would have featured very, very highly. But as I said, I don't do them.

1436: And suddenly, there were four. Americans Jeff Brehaut and Justin Leonard, Australia's Michael Sim and Canada's Andrew Parr are currently laughing in the face of the monster that is Bethpage Black. One under, the lot of them.

1432: Finally, I get my hands on a real sport...

By Ben Dirs

1428: Seventy-one men out on course now, and only three of them under par, with 46 over par. David Horsey might be wishing he'd never qualified at the moment - two triple bogeys and two bogeys in six holes and the Englishman is eight over. On that bombshell, I'm going to hand you over now to Jonathan 'Stevo' Stevenson. Salut!

1422: Lovely stuff! Canada's Andrew Parr is under par! That's the sort of thing you'd find yourself having to laugh at if you were watching the golf with your girlfriend's father. Justin Leonard, a former Open champion, ducks in at one under with a birdies at 3 and 4. His name has been mentioned by the odd tipster...

1415: Only one man under again, American Jeff Brehaut after eight holes. Tiger Woods still level after three...

1412:Lefty26 on 606, I've always thought that if you saw Jeev Milkha Singh teeing off at the 1st at your local municipal, you'd write his drive off as a bit of luck and anticipate playing through within three holes. He looks like an elderly gentleman swinging with an upright hoover.

Lefty26 on 606 "Always heard good things about JM Singh but had never actually watched him play until the Sunday at the London Golf Club, a few weeks ago. Only a mother could love that swing!"

Tiny via text on 81111 "I miss it when Monty is not playing and shoots a 69 and is all pleased with himself, before shooting an 80 and stomping off the course in a cream puff. Anyway, The Big Easy to win I reckon. Young Romero to go close again. The force is strong in the young one."

1404: Miguel Angel Jimenez drops shots at 10 and 11 to fall back to two over. The old cigar chomper could struggle round this stretch of real estate. Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, many peoples' tip, is level after two.

It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a Briton
1358: Not great news for Luke Donald - triple bogey at 11 (his second). We've got a stack of English bodies propping up the leaderboard - David Horsey five over after five, Richard Bland four over after three and Donald three over after two. Another bogey for McDowell at 12, he's two over after three.

1355: Young Japanese player Ryuji Imada has birdied 4 to get to one under. Tiger Woods pars the 2nd to stay level, Harrington and Cabrera hold firm at two over, as do Casey and Poulter. By the way, in case you're wondering, I'm not describing any shots because I'm not at Bethpage and he hasn't started on the telly yet...

Dave in Grimsby via text on 81111 "Re Andy in Southampton. Was the spirit guide called Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker?"

1352: Bad luck all you non-believers out there, according to BigBarno (see below), you've got no chance. Oh, and watch out for lightning...

BigBarno via text on 81111 "I fancy Zach Johnson this week. Sure, he's a former major winner, great driving accuracy, good form and has a hot putter but mostly importantly he is a God-fearing citizen, and to get round Bethpage unscathed this week he'll need someone looking down in him."

1346: Good God this course looks savage. Only one man under par again, Andres Romero (who's only played the 11th). Vijay Singh bogeyed 3, Drew Weaver bogeyed 5. Whoa there, hold your horses! Michael Campbell, champion in 2005, has birdied the 10th - he's one under! If he ends up winning it, though, I'll eat my seven iron.

Andy, Southampton, via text on 81111 "I recently met a yogi in the Himalayas and he told me his spirit guide had told him that Ernie Els would win, so look no further."

1339: Argentina's Andres Romero joins Weaver and Singh on one under after a birdie at the 10th. Elsewhere, it's all about grinding it out, baby. Forty-five men on the course, three men under par, 23 men over par, including Casey and Poulter, who made bogey at 11 and 2 respectively...

1333: Harrington - bogey; Cabrera - bogey; Woods - par. That's how they rolled at the 1st... Ben Curtis has dropped back to one over after bogey at 11...

Spib via text on 81111 "My money definitely on Casey now Tiny has said he won't win - anyone who puts Murray and Henman in the same bracket knows nowt!"

1323: American Drew Weaver joins Vijay Singh at one under after a birdie at the par-five 4th...

YamahaJoe on 606 "I've played Bethpage many times (albeit on Tiger Woods on the PS), and it's the trickiest course I've ever played."

1320: WE HAVE A MAN UNDER PAR! Vijay Singh has birdied the 2nd. A couple of big boppers from the British scene out on course - world number three Paul Casey has parred the 10th (his first), and Ian Poulter has done the same at the 1st. Graeme McDowell has dropped a shot at the 11th (his second) to drop to one over. By my reckoning, the many-splendored trio of Woods, Harrington and Cabrera have teed off...

Tiny via text on 81111 "No way will Casey win. Like Monty, Clarke and Westwood - and like Murray and Henman in the tennis - he's not got the bottle or that little bit extra that is required to win a major and join the true greats."

Jonnie in London in the TMS inbox "Ben, I think I may be the only person going against Tiger, but have taken an each way punt on Tim Clark at 66/1. He's a straight hitter and is always there or thereabouts at majors. Then again I am the man who said Man Utd would beat Barcelona easily and India would win the Twenty20 World Cup."

1305: Interestingly, ESPN's golf chap reckons Ian Poulter's going to win this year. Is that interesting? Thinking about it, I'm not sure it is. Anyway, David Horsey has shaken off the old whisky fingers - for the time being at least - par at the 2nd to stay three over. Steve Stricker - a lot of smart money on him - has parred the 10th (his first), as have Vijay Singh and Henrik Stenson. Not much movement out there, the leaderboard currently resembles a galleon in a storm, with all the names hanging on for dear life. One slip and you're dead, gobbled up by the choppy waters of Bethpage...

Alan from Southend via text on 81111 "Just had a bet with my mate Pete in the office that Ian Poulter will shoot lower than Paul Casey today! Anyone disagree? Come on the Poults!"

1300: Right, so it looks like that sign on the 1st tee wasn't a gag, this course is going to be brutal. No Players under par now of the 22 on the course, and we've already had two triples at the 1st. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland is out and about, and he's parred the 1st. Ben Curtis, my tip (and don't you forget it), has also parred the 1st.

Azylfc on 606 "I think it will be an outsider who comes good here. Whilst everyone is watching Tiger and Big Phil they will miss Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan or Mike Weir sneaking in to the top three and clinching it on the 18th. Having said that, the ever steady Jim Furyk is another shout."

hameau02 on 606 "Ogilvy for me this week, 20-1 looks a gift of a price for ew money. US Open has a history of repeat winners, he's in great nick with two wins and four top 10s from 12 tournaments this season, with no missed cuts. Putts well and mentally very strong too. Can't see any of the Europeans figuring really, perhaps Poulter for top UK?"

1253: Not much better for Richard Bland of England at his first hole - two shots gone. Of 15 players out on course, only five are par or better...

1246: Not a great start from David Horsey of England - triple bogey at the 1st, while Simon Khan made bogey. What about Steve Stricker of America for the title? Eleven cuts from 13 this year, a win, a second and a third and six top 10s. Averaging 69.29, and he could pretty much buy Newcastle United with this season's winnings.

1242: Deary me, there goes one of my potential bets (and it was a canny one as well) - kwiniaskagolfer (still not his real name) has pointed out that Soren Kjeldsen pulled out yesterday (with an ear infection apparently).

1236: Players are on the course - JP Hayes has stolen into an early lead, birdieing the 1st, or the 10th in his case... I've just noticed that Richard Bland of Southampton is going out at the same time as fellow Englishman David Horsey. I was thrown because he's off at the 10th, while Horsey if off at the first.

1230: Everyone like a punt? Some very interesting bets flying about, US Open-wise. What about Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell at 100-1? Best European at Augusta, and he carded a last-round 63 at St Jude on Sunday to finish fifth, so he's got some form behind him. And what about top Scandinavian? Henrik Stenson is the obvious favourite, but he's not in form. So what about Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen? In decent nick, hits it straight and you can get him each way at 11-2.

flippinmurder on 606 "Garcia seems to have been forgotten. He's one of the best drivers of the ball in world golf and all he needs is a couple of putts to roll in. He's in a great group - Adam Scott and Villegas."

Lefty26 on 606 "I think Casey will win. He's in form, he has won three times this year (nobody else has done that) and he is as long as anyone else.

He suggested in interviews that he absolutely loved the course (for which I think read, 'this suits my game perfectly') and I'll cross everything and say that he has got the toughness not to crack if he is near the top come Sunday."

1220: I have to say, if we're looking at a last man standing scenario, I fancy former Open champion Ben Curtis. Straight hitter, tremendous putter, gritty little grafter. In his high school yearbook, it would have said he was the boy most likely to survive a nuclear holocaust.

1218: Check out the big brain on kwiniaskagolfer (not his real name) on 606 - Simon Khan is actually out before David Horsey. Sorry...

1215: As if Bethpage Black wasn't tricky enough, it looks like it's going to lob it down as well. There's been rain all morning, and they're talking about 20-30mph winds throughout the day. It could be Car-nasty all over again...

1210: The good news for competitors in this year's US Open is that there's some very good shopping down the road in New York. The bad news is that Bethpage Black is a ruddy nightmare. Indeed, a sign on the first tee reads thus: "WARNING The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers". Ramsgate pitch and putt this isn't, and Tiger Woods was the only man to break par when he won here in 2002.

1204: For those of you not really interested in the more mundane beasts on display today, Tiger watch kicks off at 1306 BST when the main man goes off with USPGA and Open champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina. Vijay Singh is off at 1244, Ian Poulter at 1255. The first Brit out, however, is David Horsey, who qualified via Walton Heath, at 1222.

1200: Hello! The first trio have just teed off and Rickie Fowler, Casey Wittenberg and Bo van Pelt are currently marching into the jaws of Bethpage as we speak. I can't actually see any pictures at the moment, but that shouldn't stop you piling in with your early tips, banter and general US Open nonsense. Get involved!

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see also
Play called off at sodden US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf
Casey set for US Open challenge
18 Jun 09 |  Golf
Major champions lead US Open draw
12 Jun 09 |  Golf
Woods offers support to Mickelson
16 Jun 09 |  Golf
McIlroy still on learning curve
17 Jun 09 |  Golf
Wilson eager for US Open to begin
16 Jun 09 |  Golf
Woods storms to Memorial success
07 Jun 09 |  Golf
Mickelson to compete in US Open
02 Jun 09 |  Golf

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