Four tied for lead in first round of fog-plagued U.S. Amateur

Updated: August 21, 2007, 12:38 AM ET
Associated Press

DALY CITY, Calif. -- Four players shot a two-under-par 68 to take the lead at the U.S. Amateur on Monday as fog plagued the tournament's first round at the Olympic Club south of San Francisco.

Kyle Ellis, Kyle Dickey, Nathan Tyler and Andy Mickelson were among the half of the 315-golfer field who managed to complete a full 18 holes, while the rest were still out on the two courses when darkness halted play. The field will be cut to 64 players after 36 holes, when the format switches to match play.

A thick morning fog delayed the start of the first round by four hours, which may crimp the schedule for the next few days. Not all players will have likely completed the first two rounds by Tuesday night and will have to finish Wednesday morning, when match play was set to begin.

"There's nothing you can do about the weather. A lot of guys were probably thinking about the delay, but I didn't want that to bother me," said Ellis, who will be a senior at Mississippi.

Ellis recorded his 68 on the slightly easier Ocean Course, as did his three co-leaders, Dickey, Tyler and Mickelson. Mickelson, who played on the Hooters tour but regained his amateur status in 2005, is not related to PGA golfer Phil Mickelson.

Jonathan Hodge was four under through nine holes on the tougher Lake Course. Gary Wolstenhome, an Englishman who beat Tiger Woods in the Walker Cup in 1995 and is a two-time British Amateur champion, was three under through nine holes on the Ocean Course.

Jason Kokrak, who qualified for this year's U.S. Open, was two under par through nine holes on the Lake Course, as was Josh Anderson. They are scheduled to finish their first round Tuesday morning.

Sihwan Kim, who won the Junior Amateur at the Olympic Club in 2004, shot a 73 on the Ocean Course, putting him in position to advance to match play.

Forecasters are calling for more fog Tuesday morning, but USGA officials are hopeful that the weather will not cause more delays.

This year's tournament is the third U.S. Amateur to be played at the Olympic Club, where Charles Coe defeated Tommy Aaron five and four in 1958, and Nathanial Crosby, son of the late Bing Crosby, beat Brian Lindley on the 37th hole in 1981.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press