By Andrew Both
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) -Twice champion Brooks Koepka began his bid for a fifth major with a routine par at Torrey Pines where fog delayed the start of the U.S. Open by 90 minutes and made it unlikely first-round action would be completed on Thursday.
Play was originally scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. PT (1345 GMT) but golfers who arrived for early tee times were instead greeted by a marine layer that covered the par-71 South course, which sits atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
World number 10 Koepka, who was runner-up at last month’s PGA Championship and missed the cut in his U.S. Open tune-up, found the fairway with his tee shot at the par-four 10th and then sent his approach to 18 feet where he two-putted for par.
World number two Justin Thomas and number four Collin Morikawa, playing with Koepka, also began their day with pars after getting up and down from a greenside bunker as the sun started to peak out from the clouds.
PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson, playing a day after his 51st birthday and a month after becoming golf’s oldest major winner, was also due out on the same hole two groups back with Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.
Mickelson, a record six-times U.S. Open runner-up who grew up playing city-owned Torrey Pines, is seeking a win this week to complete the career Grand Slam of golf’s four majors.
Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau was scheduled to launch his title defense at the par-four first hole in the afternoon wave alongside Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and 2020 U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci.
Also among the late starters is a high-profile group featuring world number one Dustin Johnson, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and Englishman Justin Rose.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Frank Pingue in TorontoEditing by Toby Davis)