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Friday October 23 2020
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Storms rule the day at Oakmont

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The rains came throughout the day, causing the delays and ultimately postponing play.

Despite the hard and torrential rain at times, the course itself appeared to hold up well.

In many of the spectator areas around the course quickly became muddy and slippery for fans trying to navigate from hole-to-hole. 

In all, there were three suspensions in play. 

The first suspension of play was at 10:04 a.m. EDT. Play resumed at 11:23 a.m. EDT. The second suspension of play was at 12:07 p.m. EDT. Play resumed at 2:33 p.m. EDT.

Then play was called again at 3:51 p.m. due to dangerous conditions, and eventually the first round was postponed until Friday when the first round will be completed.  

"You can't really control the weather," said Lee Westbrook, who was in contention early with a partial round score of 2-under par. "The U.S. Open is a test of patience. This just adds to it. You have to try and get your head around it and make the best of it."

Only a few players finished rounds, with amateur Scottie Scheffler turning in a card with the best 18-hole performance, shooting a 1-under par (69).

"I played pretty good out there, but it really hasn't sunk in yet," said Scheffler, a sophomore at North Texas University. 

Scheffler became the first amateur to break 70 at Oakmont since 1973, as he took advantage of the changing conditions to sink a few putts from distances that might usually be very difficult.

"Yeah, there's definitely some scores out there to be shot," said Scheffer.

"It's tough with the adjustments that we had to make during the round. We're used to playing short to all these pins, and now we've got to worry about controlling our spin.

"And you've really, really got to be on the fairway to attack these pins again."

While Scheffler was the leader on the scoreboard, the 624th ranked player in the world, Anthony Landry, was 3-under par through 12 holes. 

Entering the Open as a late qualifier as a first substitute, Pine-Richland alum Mike Van Sickle was in the second group that teed off early Thursday, and was one of the few along with Scheffler to complete his first round. 

Van Sickle, who had a number of local fans following him early in the morning, battled through his first round to finish with a 6-under par (76).

After the round, he shared his thoughts on Twitter.

"Fought hard today. Putting at Oakmont is tough, but not as tough as I made it look," said Van Sickle.

"Still a lot of positives."

Penn State can claim not one, but two players in the field this week.

Kevin Foley and TJ Howe, each earned spots in the field as qualifiers, as Howe, like Van Sickle, was a late addition. 

Through 10 holes, Foley is 5-over par (T-45th), while Howe, was in the later groups that didn't tee off. 

For both, it's their second start on PGA Tour this season.

USGA officials were indicating that the priority was to complete the first round on Friday, and they they will wait and see what happens.  

With clear skies anticipated Friday through Sunday, there's a chance that they could try to get partial play of the second round started on Friday, and play into Saturday morning. Then, if all goes well, the third round can begin by early afternoon Saturday, giving the USGA a chance to keep the tournament inside of the four-day window. 

Of course, this is all dependent on the weather.

In Pittsburgh, in the late Spring, as we all know, we'll have to wait and hope for the best.  

During the first rain delay, which lasted about 45-minutes around mid-morning, many players took shelter and others became fans -- watching an intriguing soccer match.

Englishmen Westwood and Luke Donald made their way to the media center and took in the exciting finish of England's 2-1 win over Wales in the Euro 2016 tournament, as Daniel Sturrage scored in added time to lift the Three Lions to victory.

The 2014 U.S. Open champ, Martin Kaymer, who was playing with the English pair, also watched A said he was looking forward to watching his National team, Germany, take on Poland later in the day. 

All of the groups scheduled to play in the afternoon never came close to getting on the course due to the delays.

Among the players who won't play until at least Friday include: the world's number one player: Jason Day, last year's U.S. Open runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, along with other former Major champions Adam Scott, Phil Mickleson, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk and the last two that won at Oakmont: Angel Cabrera and Ernie Els.

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