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While most, if not all, of his fellow competitors in the 113th US Open were sleeping somewhere near Merion Golf Club on Wednesday night, Phil Mickelson was boarding his private plane in Carlsbad, Calif., after attending his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation. He caught a few hours’ sleep on the cross-country flight, landed in Pennsylvania at 3:30 a.m. local time, slept another hour, then arrived at Merion, bleary-eyed but ready.
By shooting a 3-under-par 67 on Thursday, Mickelson was alone in the clubhouse lead – but one shot behind Luke Donald – when first-round play was called at roughly 8:20 p.m. with exactly half of the 156-player field still on the course. A day that was projected to include heavy rain, strong wind, and even some hail was interrupted twice, for a total of 4 hours, 17 minutes.