Not many would’ve expected Phil Mickelson to be in the lead after finishing his first round at the 2013 U.S. Open, but that’s the case here as he finished at three-under.
With the poor conditions at Merion Golf Club over the last week—including a weather delay Thursday morning—scores were supposed to be very good. But to this point, not many golfers have been that successful. There are only a few golfers with a red final score, which should say it all.
The top of the leaderboard is far from complete as many contenders have yet to tee off. Here’s a look at what the leaders have done to this point, including which holes have been easy for them and which have been tough.
Here’s where the leaders stand as of 4:40 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 13.
U.S. Open Leaderboard
Phil Mickelson: -3
Lefty couldn’t have asked for a better performance to start the U.S. Open.
Mickelson has finished in second place in the U.S. Open five times, but he was atop the leaderboard when he finished his round.
Mickelson started on the back nine at Merion and had a little trouble early. Lefty bogeyed the 11th hole, where he and his group teed off, but got back on track quickly. He birdied the 13th hole and then after five pars, made his way through the front nine.
Mickelson birdied the first hole, which some were saying might be the easiest to birdie during Thursday’s round. He would play even par through the next five holes and then birdie two of the last four holes he played to finish at three-under on the day.
Mickelson made a couple of long putts on the day and played best on the par threes. He birdied two-of-four par threes on Thursday, shooting par on the other two. Overall, it was a great start for Mickelson and he’s sure to be among the leaders starting Friday.
Nicolas Colsaerts: -1
Colsaerts had one of the more inconsistent days at Merion among the golfers toward the top of the leaderboard. Colsaerts started on the 11th hole and was fine through the next two holes. He birdied the 13th and 14th but soon found himself in trouble.
The wheels started to come off once he hit the front nine. He bogeyed three of the first five holes on the front nine to go one-over on the afternoon. After shooting par on the sixth hole, Colsaerts cleaned things up, birdieing back-to-back holes and ending his round at one-under.
When Colsaerts finished his round, he was two shots off the lead. That bodes especially well for Colsaerts, considering he wasn’t one of the favorites to win the U.S. Open—even though it’s only been the first of four days at Merion.
The Belgian has only appeared at the U.S. Open twice in his career, getting cut two years ago and finishing in a tie for 27th in 2012. He’s off to a solid start this year and if the afternoon groups play like the morning groups did, Colsaerts should enter Friday’s round near the top.
Jerry Kelly: E
Kelly has played the U.S. Open nine times throughout his career entering this week and has never finished better than seventh. Most of the time he was either cut or very far from the leader. The seventh-place finish was the only time he finished inside the top 35 at a major.
Kelly started on the first hole at Merion on Thursday and played well through the first four holes. He had a slight hiccup on the fifth, bogeying the hole to put him at one-over on the day. He rebounded nicely the rest of the way, birdieing three holes and sitting at two-under until the 18th hole.
He had a couple of poor shots on the final hole of the course and would two-putt for double-bogey. His issues on the 18th really cost him as he dropped to even par for the round. Kelly is still just a few shots off the lead, but will need to play better on Friday in order to stay in the hunt.
Tim Clark: E
Clark would be one of the leaders if it weren’t for a couple of mishaps late in the round.
Even still, he ended his day just a few shots off of Mickelson’s lead, which is more than manageable. He’s looking to finish in the top 10 for the first time since 2005, when he tied for third at the U.S. Open.
Clark shot par on the first hole he played and would follow that up with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes. He would shoot par on the next nine holes, but ran into a ton of trouble on the fifth and sixth. There, he double-bogeyed and bogeyed to take away any confidence he had.
The pair of horrible holes for Clark put him at one-over for the day, but he got back to even par on the eighth hole, birdieing it. Clark would end his day with back-to-back pars. The fifth hole has played tough for most golfers at Merion on Thursday, but he has to be able to make good shots and avoid troubles at all costs.
Mike Weir: E (14)
Weir played very well on Thursday and is in a good position to make a run on Friday and likely throughout the weekend at Merion. Weir has never won the U.S. Open, but has come close a few times in his career. He’s finished in the top 10 four times in 12 attempts.
The lefty, though, hasn't played the last two years. It doesn't appear that Weir is rusty, as he’s played just about as good as anyone else on the course. He started on the 11th hole and was two-under through the first seven holes. He would bogey the 18th, a hole which seems to be giving some golfers trouble, to put him at one-under.
Weir had turned things around, not having a blemish on his scorecard through the next five holes, but dropped a shot on the sixth hole to go back to even par. The Canadian has played poorly all year long and could really use a strong finish at the U.S. Open to turn his season around.
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