The marginalia of US Open lore is scrawled thick with surprise first-round leaders who burst from obscurity only to vanish as quickly as they appeared. The roll of names reads like the answer key to a pub quiz – Lee Mackey Jr, Bob Gadja, Mike Nicolette, Olin Browne, Justin Hicks – improbable opening-round leaders all, each of whom plummeted back into relative anonymity.
The good news is that round one of the 116th US Open ended. That was 33 hours after it had begun. In a nod towards the impact of torrential rain 11 entrants had broken par; only eight did that in the entire tournament when it was played here at Oakmont in 2007.
Advanced apologies for something more akin to a weather bulletin.
What a prize lies in wait if the gambler can change his ways. Arguably there would be no greater storyline at the conclusion of this US Open Championship than Phil Mickelson raising the trophy aloft, thereby completing a grand slam of majors and endorsing his status as one of the finest players in the game’s history.
Tiger Woods has announced that he will be giving a miss to next week’s US Open at Oakmont, the second major of the season where the former world No1 will be absent.
Ian Poulter has been named as one of Europe’s vice-captains for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National after injury ruled the Englishman out of playing in the event this September.
Matt Kuchar moved into a tie for the lead after the second round of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Friday after posting a second successive round of 66. He stands in first place at 12-under par with his fellow American Brendan Steele, who has only one US tour win in his career - in 2011.
Danny Willett’s journey to the position of Masters champion suggested he was never likely to rest on his laurels.
Crisis, what crisis? Rory McIlroy has criticised what he regards as the negative perception of his 2016 to date. McIlroy has not won this year despite a consistent run of six top-10 finishes in nine strokeplay events. At the WGC Match Play Championship he was defeated in the semi-final.
Frustration got the better of Rory McIlroy on moving day and by the end of it he had to find time to head over to the Nike truck by the driving range and get the head fixed back on to the fairway wood he crashed into the ground at the 16th causing the club-head to fly off.
At 21 minutes past six on Thursday evening, Phil Mickelson was poised to etch his name into sporting folklore. The American had a 16ft putt at the 18th to become the first player to score 62 at a major championship.
Henrik Stenson clutched the Claret Jug but even then, bizarrely, it was Phil Mickelson, the old black-clad lefty, who dominated our attention.
One of the oddities about Open venues is that they often seem to turn up a similar type of champion to the ones they produced previously. This is certainly true of Royal Troon, which in the last six instances has thrown up an American winner, more often than not an unheralded one.
The 145th Open Championship has become a private party. The duel in the drizzle, 39 years on from epic events down the coast at Turnberry.
Peter Dawson, the president of the International Golf Federation, has accused his sport’s leading players of “overreaction” regarding the Zika virus threat after Jordan Spieth became the latest to withdraw from the Olympics.
Should Dustin Johnson need advice on how to handle the sudden glare of golf’s spotlight, he could do worse than have a word with Jason Day.
In the tournament where Phil Mickelson cited divine intervention for denying him a place in the record books Henrik Stenson must believe he is worthy of some.
Soren Kjeldsen’s specialism isn’t so much of the course and distance type. More, wind and rain. Could a golfer from Denmark revel in anything less?
In any list of reasons for the present popularity and high financial standing of golf, the name, and the game, of Arnold Palmer are irresistibly linked.
The closing in of Dustin Johnson on the summit of golf’s world ranking may be the least of Jason Day’s worries.
Rory McIlroy delivered the most powerful Ryder Cup message to the United States yet with a dramatic success at the Tour Championship which also ensured the Northern Irishman claimed the $10m FedEx Cup prize. At the start of Ryder Cup week Europe are the side with momentum. With the purses added together, McIlroy departed Georgia $11.5m richer than when he arrived.