Rain does little to soften Oakmont's bite

Jun 14, 2007 - 3:12 PM By John Nestor PA SportsTicker Golf Editor

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania (Ticker) - If players thought they were going to catch a break thanks to a late thunderstorm on Wednesday night, they can think again.

Birdies are being made but bogeys are as well and David Toms and Angel Cabrera lead the field and are among just seven players under-par in Thursday's first round of the U.S. Open.

Looking for his third U.S. Open title and first since 2002, Tiger Woods was at 1-under but dropped to even-par after a tee shot into a greenside bunker led to a bogey at No. 8.

It looked like the field would catch a break as close to a half inch of rain and hail pelted the course Wednesday evening, just as the USGA had brought the greens up to their usual treacherous standards.

"They were getting to the firmness we would have liked," said United States Golf Association agronomist Tim Moraghan. "Now it could be a couple of days to get them back to where we want them."

It looks like the greens have bounced back sooner than Moraghan expected as few players have been able to gain any momentum.

Woods started his round with a bogey but then managed a pair of birdies, on Nos. 2 and 6, on what looks like it will be a typical grind it out day at the U.S. Open.

Toms, who won the PGA Championship in 2001, had three birdies and a bogey in his first nine holes. Starting on No. 10 with a par, Toms carded his first birdie at 11 before giving it right back with a bogey at the par-5 12th. He rebounded with birdies at 14 and 16 to catch Cabrera and Jose Maria Olazabal who dropped into a tie for third at 1-under after a bogey at the ninth.

Cabrera, who has one top-10 in seven previous U.S. Open appearances, birdied three of his first five holes to race out to the lead. He came back to the field a bit with a bogey at the par-3 eighth.

Pat Perez and Peter Hanson are each 1-under through seven and Michael Block is 1-under through five.

Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Jim Furyk are among the big names who have afternoon tee times.






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