Rain, rain won\‘t go away at U.S. Open

       Remember these names: Jeff Brehaut, Johan Edfors, Ryan Spears and a guy with a last name – Andrew Parr — that could win the U.S. Open, but he won’t. The same could be said of all of the above, who are your first-day leaders after the season’s second major was flooded out Thursday with about half the field on the course and half yet to start.
       Notice we didn’t say “first-round leaders,’’ which may or may not be figured out by Friday. Yeah, with one more inch of rain forecast in the next 24 hours, and the wet stuff overpowering the Bethpage Black Course for 14 of the past 17 days, the national championship is under a dark cloud and the first round in limbo.
       On a personal note, I’m feeling better about not flying out there to cover the tournament, which I contemplated for a long time but got turned off by the numbers (logistically and financially). At the same time, I’m sure I speak for the rest of us golf nuts throughout Arizona when I say that no U.S. Open golf is a real bummer.
     Imagine the mess? You’ve got 54,000 people – 42,500 fans and 11,500 volunteers, officials, guests and media – trying to get in and then out of tight quarters. In a steady drizzle with mud everywhere. And everybody wants out at the same time.
    But that’s what happens when the U.S. Golf Association calls it a day. I’m wondering if Phil Mickelson (1:30 p.m. tee time Thursday) and local favorite Charlie Beljan (2:30 p.m.) will even make their original times by Friday. With all that water resembling Lake Bethpage, I doubt it.
    It’s looking like things won’t be decided until early next week. If that happens it makes the U.S. Open even more of a test of patience. Maybe over the top, who knows?
    In a mess like this I like Phil Mickelson’s chances. Sometimes when you’re already carrying a lot of weight, which Lefty is over wife Amy, you can actually bear down harder. Mickelson just might dig deep.
    Nothing, however, seems like a lock at this point except that Brehaut, Edfors, Spears and Parr will be long gone by the end, whenever that comes.
    The real first-round leader? That would be Mother Nature, who scored a TKO. Now let’s see if Tiger and Phil can get up off the canvas and give us a show fitting of a U.S. Open.