Golf: Koepka makes steady start at fog-delayed US Open

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) – Twice champion Brooks Koepka began his bid for a fifth major with a routine par at Torrey Pines where fog delayed the start of the US Open by 90 minutes and made it unlikely first-round action would be completed on Thursday (June 17).

Play was originally scheduled to begin at 6.45am PT (9.45pm Singapore time) but golfers who arrived for early tee times were instead greeted by a marine layer that covered the par-71 South course, which sits atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

World number 10 Koepka, who was runner-up at last month’s PGA Championship and missed the cut in his US Open tune-up, found the fairway with his tee shot at the par-four 10th and then sent his approach to 18 feet where he two-putted for par.

World number two Justin Thomas and number four Collin Morikawa, playing with Koepka, also began their day with pars after getting up and down from a greenside bunker as the sun started to peak out from the clouds.

PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson, playing a day after his 51st birthday and a month after becoming golf’s oldest major winner, was also due out on the same hole two groups back with Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

Mickelson, a record six-times US Open runner-up who grew up playing city-owned Torrey Pines, is seeking a win this week to complete the career Grand Slam of golf’s four majors.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau was scheduled to launch his title defense at the par-four first hole in the afternoon wave alongside Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and 2020 US Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci.

Also among the late starters is a high-profile group featuring world number one Dustin Johnson, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and Englishman Justin Rose.

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