U.S. Open becomes endurance test as rookie leads

OAKMONT, Pa. — A bright and peaceful Thursday morning greeted the 116th U.S. Open at venerable Oakmont Country Club.

Then Mother Nature got nasty.

And now the national championship, already one of the toughest annual tests of the best players in the world, becomes even more taxing.

Unrelenting storm fronts changed the nature of the day, the tournament and the course, pushing the first round into Friday after play was suspended for the day at 4:35 p.m. ET. Seeing as half the field didn’t even tee off on Thursday, the second round will be completed on Saturday.

That is if the weather breaks favorably. The good news is the forecast is calling for clear skies the next six days.

After overnight storms pummeled the Steel City, play was suspended first at 10:04 a.m. because of the first storm front, then two hours later and again at 3:51 p.m. Play was suspended for a total of 4 hours, 45 minutes before U.S. Golf Association officials waved the white flag.

“(Delays) frustrate everybody, don’t they? We’d like it to just…

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