US Open 2016

Field frustrated by Oakmont rain delays

OAKMONT (Pennsylvania) • The world's top golfers watched football on television, drank coffee, checked mobile phones and just bided their time as they extended their patient approach to waiting out three weather delays at the US Open on Thursday.

Almost four hours of scheduled play were wiped out by thunderstorms and heavy rain at Oakmont Country Club before the opening round was eventually suspended for the day, with just nine players having completed the full 18 holes.

The US Open is known for being the most exacting of the four Majors with an emphasis on staying patient and grinding out pars. Being able to maintain composure during frustrating weather interruptions amplified that challenge.

"We are just filling in time. You can't really control the weather. You can't let it fluster you," England's former world No. 1 Lee Westwood said after ending the day at one-under after 13 holes.

"The US Open is a test of patience. This just adds to it. So try and get your head around it and make the best of it. It's obviously a frustrating day having to keep coming off, but there's nothing you can do about the weather."

Lee Westwood, just two shots off the early lead, was among several players who took advantage of the first weather interruption to watch television coverage of Euro 2016.

"We managed to watch the second half of the England-Wales game in the first delay, which was good, then nearly all of the Northern Ireland game, and then the Germany-Poland game just now," he said, referring to the stoppages.

One of the biggest frustrations for the players was not being permitted to warm up on the practice area after the first weather delay.

"That was a bad one," said Masters champion Danny Willett, who was four over par after 12 holes.

"We sat in a cabin for an hour and 10 minutes behind the seventh tee without being given a chance to hit any balls or do anything."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Field frustrated by Oakmont rain delays'. Print Edition | Subscribe