Unheralded Landry one ahead at weather-hit U.S. Open

Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:18pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - When the opening round of the weather-hit U.S. Open was finally completed on Friday, the unlikely leader was PGA Tour rookie Andrew Landry, who held a one-stroke advantage with several big names in hot pursuit.

Landry, competing in his first U.S. Open, had set the pace earlier on an overcast morning as he birdied his final hole for a four-under-par 66 at the rain-softened Oakmont Country Club.

American Dustin Johnson and England's former world number one Lee Westwood, each seeking a first major title, carded 67s while Spaniard Sergio Garcia, winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson in his most recent start, was among a group of three players on 68.

Among other golfing heavyweights in the field, defending champion Jordan Spieth opened with a 72, world number one Jason Day spluttered his way to a 76 and 2011 winner Rory McIlroy struggled to a 77 that included eight bogeys.

"Overall, I felt I played well," second-ranked Spieth said after mixing two birdies with four bogeys on a challenging Oakmont layout where only 11 players in the field of 156 broke par despite the more receptive conditions.

"I felt like I didn't quite get rewarded with my score for how I felt like I played. A couple tough breaks. It's a U.S. Open. I'm still in it."

Landry's opening round was the lowest ever in a U.S. Open played at Oakmont, eclipsing the 67s shot by Ben Hogan in 1953 and Gary Player in 1973.

"Just making putts," Landry said when asked what had been the key to his impressive start. "Game all-around was sharp, from tee to green to chipping to everything you do.   Continued...

Jun 16, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Andrew Landry hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports