Golf: Alker starts well, Cambo struggles at Merion

Hamilton professional Steve Alker has made a promising start to the 113th US Open Championship in benign but wet conditions at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. Photo / Getty Images.
Hamilton professional Steve Alker has made a promising start to the 113th US Open Championship in benign but wet conditions at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. Photo / Getty Images.

Hamilton professional Steve Alker has made a promising start to the 113th US Open Championship in benign but wet conditions at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania.

The 41-year-old, who earned his place by finishing tied second in a sectional qualifying event in California, was one-under-par through six holes of his debut in the championship before play was suspended due to darkness.

Alker will resume his first round tomorrow morning (local time) only three shots back from Englishman Luke Donald who is four-under after 13 holes in the first round.

American Phil Mickelson, who has finished runner-up a record five times in the championship, is the clubhouse leader after he carded a three-under-par 67 for a promising start.

Alker, who finished tied 19th at the Open Championship last year at Royal Lytham & St Annes, showed no signs of nerves in his first start in the tournament that is widely regarded as the hardest in the world.

He birdied his opening hole, the par four 11th, before making five straight pars to keep pace with the best golfers in the world.

World No 1 Tiger Woods, who is a three-time US Open champion, is two-over-par through 10 holes to be in a share of 51st place.

Meanwhile, 2005 champion Michael Campbell has struggled on day one of the year's second major.

The 44-year-old, who is looking to make the cut at the tournament for the first time since 2007, has opened with a six-over-par 76 to be in a share of 133rd place.

Campbell began on the 11th tee and got off to a slow start. He played his first eight holes in six-over-par to derail his chances of making the weekend.

He fought back well on the inward nine with a couple of birdies on holes one and seven getting him back to four over par through 15 holes.

But Campbell undid his good work by making two bogeys in his final three holes to slip off the pace.

He will need a low round in tomorrow's second round to make the cut at the US Open for only the second time since his career defining win at Pinehurst in 2005.

Campbell has had an up and down 2013 season so far. He continued his momentum from 2012 with a couple of top 20 finishes on the European Tour in the United Arab Emirates but he followed them with five missed cuts in a row.

The eight-time European Tour winner has struggled to find the form he produced last year that looked like he was going to win for the first time since he claimed the World Match Play title at Wentworth in 2005.

- APNZ

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