- Associated Press - Thursday, June 13, 2013

ARDMORE, PA. (AP) - First-round play has been suspended for a second time at the U.S. Open.

Officials blew the horn at 6:11 p.m. Thursday when it started raining and thunder could be heard in the distance.

There was an earlier delay of 3 1/2 hours.

In between, Phil Mickelson completed a round of 3-under 67 to take the clubhouse lead.

Tiger Woods was 1 over when play was stopped the second time. He winced and shook his left arm after playing a shot out of the rough on the fifth hole.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

So much for getting a good night’s sleep.

Phil Mickelson arrived at Merion Golf Club about four hours before his 7:11 a.m. tee time and still managed to shoot a 3-under 67 for the clubhouse lead at Thursday’s opening round of the U.S. Open.

“I might have used just a little caffeine booster at the turn just to keep me sharp,” Mickelson said. “But that was our ninth hole or so, and I just wanted to make sure I had enough energy.”

Mickelson flew overnight from San Diego after watching his oldest daughter’s eighth-grade graduation, where she was one of the featured speakers. At first, he was a little shaky. But after rolling a birdie putt 8 feet past his first hole and putting his tee shot in the rough at his second, he settled himself _helped by a little more sleep during a rain delay.

It was his lowest opening round since 1999 in a championship he’s never won, even though he keeps coming close. He’s been runner-up a record five times.

“If I’m able _ and I believe I will _ if I’m able to ultimately win a U.S. Open, I would say that it’s great. … But if I never get that win, then it would be a bit heart-breaking,” Mickelson said.

By the time Mickelson tapped in a par to complete his round, the sun had replaced clouds, and putters had long replaced squeegees. Drenching storms caused the morning delay, halting play less than two hours after it began.

The rains meant the marquee group featuring Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy didn’t tee off until 4:44 p.m. At that moment, Mickelson and Nicolas Colsaerts (69) were the only players in the clubhouse under par.

And that was counting a 102-year, par-3 13th hole that was yielding birdies one-third of the time, including one by 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who used the hole to start a run of three consecutive birdies that included a chip-in at No. 15. Schwartzel soon lost that cushion and shot an even-par 70.. Woods 3-putted his first hole for bogey.

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