Argentina’s Angel Cabrera leads The European Tour challenge in the 104th US Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills having moved into a three-way tie for the lead on four under par but with six holes remaining of his first round after weather delays disrupted the opening day.
Cabrera picked up four birdies in his first nine holes to lie alongside American Jay Haas and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, both of whom finished their opening rounds on four under par 66 when play was called to a halt at 4.45pm local time (8.45pm GMT) due to the threat of lightning. After a two hour suspension, the first round resumed shortly after 6.45pm local time (10.45pm GMT) with Cabrera remaining tied at the top of the leaderboard on four under par through 12 holes when fog halted play for the day an hour later.
Another European Tour Member, Open Champion Ben Curtis, shot an impressive two under par 68, to lie just two shots off the early pace while South African Trevor Immelman, winner of the South African Airways Open and the Deutsche Bank – SAP Open TPC of Europe on The European Tour International Schedule this season, also posted a sub-par opening round of 69 in his second US Open Championship.
Ernie Els recovered well from a double bogey on the par three 11th, his second hole, and another dropped shot on the 12th to post a level par 70 as he chases his third US Open title and the possibility of overhauling Tiger Woods as World Number One. To achieve that Els must win and Woods finish worse than sixth. Woods started his on title bid with a two over par 72.
Welshman Phillip Price matched Els on level par. Price's only two bogeys came as a result of three putting and he was delighted by his start on a course he describes as "perfect for me - it's not about power."
Peter Lonard was just one stroke further back on one over par 71 after a morning of calm sticky conditions at Southampton, New York. The conditions eventually deteriorated during the afternoon until play was suspended with a third of the field to still complete their first rounds.
England’s Lee Westwood, two under at one point, bogeyed the last three holes for a 73 and thought part of the reason may be that pain-killers he had taken to combat a wrist injury suffered in practice were starting to wear off.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia, winner of two of his last four events on the US PGA Tour including last week’s Buick Classic, had a 72, a score matched by Argentine Eduardo Romero, and Englishmen Brian Davis posted a 73, one better than his compatriots Paul Casey and Ian Poulter who shot 74, as did Swede Joakim Haeggman.
A third of the field were still to complete their opening rounds including World Number Three Vijay Singh who was going along nicely at two under par through 14 holes when play was called off for the day.
2001 US Open Champion and two-time Volvo Order of Merit winner Retief Goosen was level par through 13 holes.