U.S. Open: UW's Williams out to promising start on rain-filled Thursday

Five golfers who competed in the Pac-12 this year began play at the 113th U.S. Open Championship on Thursday at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania, and Washington's Chris Williams impressed early on with a 1-under through 10 holes. Due to two rain delays that lasted a combined four hours and 15 minutes, most golfers will have to finish their first round on Friday.


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A 3.5-hour rain delay early Thursday signaled that it was going to be impossible for everyone to complete 18, and Chris Williams will have himself an especially busy Friday. Starting off on No. 11, the Ben Hogan Award winner fought back from a round-opening bogey to birdie his next two holes and get under par. As of now, Williams is tied for seventh and three strokes off the lead. He and fellow American Gavin Hall (who hasn't even started college yet) are also tied for the amateur lead (though Hall has completed only five holes).

 

 

For a little while today, Williams' teammate Cheng-Tsung Pan was tied atop the leader board. The native Taiwanese golfer birdied two of his first four holes to get to 2-under and was 1-under with seven holes remaining before going bogey-bogey-bogey on 4-5-6 (he also started off on No. 11). Pan was one of the lucky ones and was able to finish his first round, doing so by carding a 72 (+2) that currently leaves him in a tie for 51st.

 

 


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Cal's Michael Kim was another one of the fortunate bunch to complete 18 holes and wrapped up the day with a 3-over on the par-70 course. Kim's day got off to a rough start with a "7" on the par-5 second; a tough number to take considering No. 2 is one of just two par 5s at Merion. It turned out to be a rather eventful round one way or the other for Kim, who either bogeyed or birdied nine of his last 14 holes. Way too early to tell where the cut line will be, but perhaps Kim can use the end of his round (two birdies in the last three holes) as momentum for Friday, when the Haskins Award recipient will try to secure a spot for the weekend rounds. Right now, Kim is tied for 78th.

 

 

Meanwhile, Max Homa and Michael Weaver are far from done. Both are 2-over, with Weaver 10 holes through and Homa only finishing six. Obviously, much more to come from these guys tomorrow.

Way back when (well not too far back), Phil Mickelson was a Sun Devil. Of course, he's known much more for his wildly successful stint on the PGA Tour (try 41 tour victories and four majors), and Thursday was just another positive chapter for Lefty: He is in a tie for second with Adam Scott at 3-under behind only Luke Donald (-4) but is safely in the clubhouse with a 67 while Donald still has five holes to play on his opening 18 (and Scott still has seven holes remaining). Tiger Woods, the most famous former Cardinal golfer, got off to a bad start with three bogeys in his first five holes and will have to resume his first round Friday after shooting +2 through 10.

 

 

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