By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
ARDMORE, Pa. — Luke Guthrie's major championship debut got off to a slow, staggered start.
Two weather delays forced play in the opening round of the 113th U.S. Open to be suspended Thursday evening with 78 players still on the course. The group includes Guthrie, the Quincy native who finished just seven holes before darkness took over.
Guthrie was at 2-over and tied for 51st when he was pulled off the Merion Golf Club course.
Exactly half of the field of 156 players must finish the first round Friday morning before the second round can begin.
Luke Donald owns the lead at 4-under through 13 holes, while Phil Mickelson is the clubhouse leader after shooting a 3-under 67.
Guthrie, who qualified for the U.S. Open with a top-15 finish at a sectional qualifier, had his original tee time pushed back nearly four hours, and he responded by starting with a par on the 340-yard, par-4 first hole.
However, back-to-back bogeys followed. Guthrie righted the ship momentarily with a birdie on the par-5 fourth hole, but two more bogeys followed.
His birdie on the par-4 seventh got him back to 2-over before his group was informed play had been halted.
Matt Weirbing, the son of Quincy native and pro golfer D.A. Weibring, shot a 5-over 75 in the opening round and currently sits tied for 121st.