COMMENTARY | Call him the Forgotten Knight, but Englishman Luke Donald has snuck his way into the lead at the 2013 US Open. Currently at 4-under par, Donald holds a one shot lead over Phil Mickelson heading into Friday.
Granted, Donald's first round was suspended on hole No. 14 due to darkness following a Thursday rattled with weather delays. He will resume and finish the final five holes of his first round on Friday morning before beginning his second round later in the afternoon.
The former world No. 1 has yet to win a major championship in his career and is frequently mentioned in the conversation of the "best player to have never won a major". As the Mirror Sport website reports, Donald was pleased with his play overall, which included a stretch of three consecutive birdies on his back nine.
"Those are kind of the holes you want to make an easy score if you can," Donald said about holes 11, 12 and 13 at Pennsylvania's Merion Golf Club.
"Obviously the weather conditions are making the course a lot softer, and you can attack the pins a little bit more. So it's playing as gentle as it might play so far, and obviously this afternoon not much wind."
"If you were going to make a score, today was a good day," Donald continued. "I've obviously got five holes left and five pretty tough ones to finish, but really happy with the way I started my round."
Donald's best finish in a major championship is third place, which he accomplished at both the 2005 Masters and 2006 PGA Championship. He also managed a tie for fifth place at the British Open last season. While he has threatened tournament leaders on numerous occasions, Donald has yet to break through into the major championship winner realm.
Donald's next five holes are no walk in the park. Hole Nos. 14 - 18 at Merion Golf Club are playing as difficult as any past US Open venue, forcing most of the field over par in no time.
Assuming Mother Nature can hold off for the next three days, Donald has his best opportunity to add a major title to his resume this week. Of course, he'll also need to withstand a surging and consistent Phil Mickelson, who has made it explicitly clear that he is on the top of his game.
Adam Fonseca has covered professional golf since 2005. His work can also be found on the Back9Network. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife. Follow Adam on Twitter at @chicagoduffer.
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