Race to Dubai leader Paul Casey and three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington believe patience will be the key to success at this year’s US Open Championship after play was abandoned on day one at Bethpage Black due to a waterlogged course.
Heavy rain fell throughout the day at the New York municipal and play was initially suspended after three and a quarter hours - with around half of the field still to begin their opening rounds.
Sweden’s Johan Edfors was tied for the lead at one under par after four holes, alongside Canadian Andrew Parr and Americans Jeff Brehaut and Ryan Spears.
England’s Ian Poulter and Masters Tournament champion Angel Cabrera were among those on level par as they approached the end of their opening nine holes, while Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Andres Romero and Graeme McDowell were also coping with the difficult conditions better than most and were a shot further back at one over - the same score as defending champion Tiger Woods.
Casey was also at one over after completing five holes of his round starting at the tenth hole.
The world number three said: “It (the rain) is only going to get worse but we will see what happens.
“It’s not my decision (to abandon play for the day) and out of my hands – you are certainly going to have to strike the ball very well but it’s going to be the guy who keeps his head this week.
“Patience is paramount and you are going to have to deal with not only a very tough golf course but also some of the decisions that are being made like not being able to lift, clean and place.
“That’s going to be very difficult and you are going to have be patient and expect some difficult lies and some mud-balls. That’s the way it is. It all adds to the fun!”
Harrington, playing with Woods and Cabrera, suffered a disappointing start and was four over after six holes when his round was halted.
However, he refused to blame the adverse conditions and graciously praised the grounds staff for their efforts in the early part of the day.
“I certainly thought nothing in the holes that I played was unplayable,” admitted the Irishman. “I think when they called it, it was starting to become unplayable.
“What they did for those holes was managed what would be unplayable in another situation. It was certainly fine as we played. There was nothing unfair, I would say.
“But there was a lot of work to keep it that way and I think at the end of the day, it got on top of them.
“This is a tough battle for them. They did as well as they could have done and in fairness, the conditions were playable when we started and they kept playable for the holes I played anyway.”
When asked if the abandonment would play into the hands of those yet to start their opening round, Harrington added: “I don't think there's a guy who hasn't teed off today that is not sitting very happy right now in their hotel room, or maybe at the cinema watching a movie.
“But that's the nature of the game. You're going to get bad breaks. You're going to get the wrong side of the draw.
“Who knows what the next three or four, or even five days are going to bring.
“I'm on the back foot, so the best thing for me is to come back fresh tomorrow. I know it's going to be early. It's a new start but for me, I've still got 66 holes of this tournament to go.”