Players strive to stay patient during Oakmont weather delays

Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:03pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Players watched soccer on television, drank coffee, checked mobile phones and just bided their time as they extended their patient approach at Oakmont to waiting out three weather delays at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Almost four hours of scheduled play was wiped out by thunderstorms and heavy rain at Oakmont Country Club before the opening round was eventually suspended for the day with just nine players having completed the full 18 holes.

The U.S. Open is known for being the most exacting of the four majors with an emphasis on staying patient and grinding out pars. Being able to maintain composure during frustrating weather interruptions amplified that challenge.

"We are just filling in time. You can't really control the weather. You can't let it fluster you," England's former world number one Lee Westwood told reporters after ending the day at one under after 13 holes.

"The U.S. Open is a test of patience. This just adds to it. So try and get your head around it and make the best of it. It's obviously a frustrating day having to keep coming off, but there's nothing you can do about the weather."

Westwood, just two shots off the early lead, was among several players who took advantage of the first weather interruption to watch television coverage in the media dining tent of the England v Wales soccer match at Euro 2016.

"It is good at the moment as we've got the Euros to watch in the weather delays," said the 43-year-old, who is still seeking his first major title.

"We managed to watch the second half of the England-Wales game in the first delay, which was good, then nearly all of the Northern Ireland game, and then the Germany-Poland game just now," he said, referring to the third stoppage in play.   Continued...

Jun 16, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Spectators seek shelter from the rain during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports