A 90-minute fog delay on Thursday morning resulted in 36 players being unable to complete their first 18 holes of the 2021 U.S. Open.
And so after wrapping up the opening round on Friday morning, Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen were tied on 4-under 67 and share the early lead.
While Oosthuizen was expected to be contend this week, Henley is a bit of a surprise.
But not to him.
“I feel like I’m a top-50 player in the world,” said the 32-year old Georgia native, who’s ranked No. 63. “I’ve had a ton of top 10s. I’ve been in contention. I’ve been really consistent.
“That doesn’t mean I’m going to do that the next three days, but I definitely felt comfortable out there.
“I don’t feel like it’s a huge surprise because I do feel like I’ve played some good golf in some bigger events in the last year. But in terms of putting four rounds together at a U.S. Open, I’ve struggled with that. I’m just going to keep trying.”
Henley finished with six birdies against two bogeys while the South African Oosthuizen carded five birdies and one bogey.
“That fog this morning probably kept the greens a little cool,” said Oosthuizen, who finished runner-up at last month’s PGA Championship. “The last few holes, as well, you can attack it a little bit more. You can feel the firmness of the greens. It’s getting a little firmer.
“But yeah, I played nicely, putted nicely and hopefully just keep the momentum going.”
The lead duo were one clear of Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who were T3 on 68.
One further back, on 69, was a six-player logjam headlined by two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, home favorite Xander Schauffele, reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, and pre-tournament betting favorite Jon Rahm.
Reigning PGA champion Phil Mickelson struggled to a 75 and blamed the spectators afterwards.
2021 U.S. Open
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Russell Henley -4 (67)
1. Louis Oosthuizen -4 (67)
3. Francesco Molinari -3 (68)
3. Rafa Cabrera Bello -3 (68)
5. Brooks Koepka -2 (69)
5. Xander Schauffele -4 (69)
5. Hideki Matsuyama -4 (69)
5. Jon Rahm -4 (69)
5. Rikuya Hoshino -4 (69)
5. Hayden Buckley -4 (69)