OAKMONT, Pa. — Defending champion Jordan Spieth seemed as agitated as Mother Nature just before the second of three storm delays at the U.S. Open on Thursday. When the horn blew to halt play, he took an angry kick at his golf bag.
Minutes earlier, he and fellow competitors Zach Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau had been warned about playing too slowly. Then, Spieth hit an approach into the short par-4 17th hole that appeared perfect: it landed beyond the hole and spun backward. But the ball kept rolling off the green and into a bunker.
The Fox network microphone caught Spieth saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me! How is that in the bunker? That’s such crap.” No microphone caught the animated remarks he made soon afterward to a U.S. Golf Association rules official.
Ultimately, he was 1 over through 11 holes when play was suspended for the day. He indicated that dealing with the weather-related shift in wind was a challenge.
“It’s a challenge not being able to warm up, too, going out there and trying to hit tee shots at the U.S. Open” he said, referring to the fact the players were ordered directly back onto the course after the first delay. “But it is what it is.”
Mike Miller of upstate Brewster, former champion of the New York State Open at Bethpage Black and qualifier at the sectional last week at Canoe Brook in New Jersey, was a respectable 3 over through 11 holes in his first U.S. Open round . . . Rickie Fowler had a rough start, as he did in the Masters. After going 6 over through 12 holes, he said, “I’ll go get a little bit of rest, come back out early and see if we can get some back, coming in.” . . . Rory McIlroy was 4 over through 13 . . . Only nine players finished, the lowest total after the first day of an Open since 2009 at Bethpage, when no one did.
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, often criticized because many of his players are “one and done,” leaving college after their freshman years, posted this as he approached the entrance: “On my way to see that one and done golfer Jordan Spieth!!”