SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2007)-- Andy Mickelson, 26, of Minooka, Ill., was one of four golfers who finished with a 2-under-par 68 to hold the early lead after the first day of play at the U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club where play was suspended due to darkness. One hundred fifty-nine golfers failed to finish after early morning fog delayed play for four hours.
Play for the first round of stroke play will resume at 7:30 a.m. PDT Tuesday. The second round is tentatively set to begin two hours later than planned.
Kyle Dickey, 22, of Summerville, S.C.; Kyle Ellis, 23, of Senatobia, Miss.; and Nathan Tyler, 25, of Tucson, Ariz., also shot 68 at the par 70, 6,786-yard Ocean Course. Colt Knost, 22, of Dallas, Texas, was one of three golfers who posted 1-under 69 at the well- known par 70, 6,948-yard Lake Course that has hosted four U.S. Opens. Knost won the U.S. Amateur Public Links title in July.
The others who finished with 69's at Lake were David Merkow, 22, of Hartland, Wis., and Kevin Schultz, 21, of Richardson, Texas.
Two more posted 69s at the Ocean Course. Schultz, however, was the one who let a career-round slip away. He was 5-under-par with three holes to play before giving four strokes back in two holes.
"I’m disappointed, but if you would have told me at the beginning of the day that I would be one under par, I would have thought that was pretty good," said Schultz, who needed only 22 putts in his round.
Only nine of the 156 golfers who finished were under par. Five more were under par through nine holes, led by Jonathan Hodge, 20, of Strawberry Plains, Tenn., who was 5-under at the Ocean Course. Gary Wolstenholme of England was 3-under at the Ocean Course. Josh Anderson, 18, of Murrieta, Calif., and Jason Kokrak, 22, of Warren, Ohio, who qualified for the 2007 U.S. Open, were 2-under at the Lake Course.
Although Mickelson was a professional golfer until 2005, he is not related to his more famous namesake Phil Mickelson, the 1990 U.S. Amateur champion.
"I get asked that a lot," said Andy Mickelson, taking it in stride.
Following a brief stint as a professional golfer on the Hooters Tour and another brief career as a golf teacher, he filed to regain his amateur status. He now is a manager for a packaging company 30 miles southwest of Chicago.
"I get so pumped up to play great golf courses now," said Mickelson, who graduated from Bradley University. "There is no pressure. I just have fun. I’ve still got a job tomorrow no matter how I play. It doesn’t change my paycheck like it used to."
Shiwan Kim, 18 of Buena Park, Calif., who won the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur at The Olympic Club, finished with a solid 73 at the Lake Course.
--Story by Craig Smith, USGA
ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur
The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA
championship, was first played in 1895 at
Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The
which has no age restriction, is open to
with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is
of 13 national championships conducted
annually by the USGA, 10 of which are
for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent
competition in the world.
Applications are typically placed online, starting
third week in April at www.usga.org.
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