Update: The first round is scheduled to resume at 5:45 p.m. ET following a 3 hour and 30 minute weather delay. Barring more weather issues, play is expected to continue until approximately 8 p.m.
Memphis enjoyed terrific weather in the days leading up to the first round of the St. Jude Classic, but that trend didn't continue on Thursday. Heavy rain and lightning hit in the afternoon, forcing players off the course and the round to be delayed. The goal is to resume play if weather allows.
While a first-round weather delay is hardly unusual and not always significant, it could be this week. Many players are using the St. Jude Classic as a warmup for the U.S. Open next week. If weather doesn't allow for play to resume and the tournament is unable to catch up, it could result in a Monday finish. The last thing players who are headed to Pinehurst would want is a late finish that delays their arrival at the U.S. Open. Phil Mickelson could be among the players impacted. He got off to a solid start on Thursday, shooting a 3-under round of 67, and is currently tied for third place. If he remains in contention and the tournament does finish on Monday, will he stick around and lose a day of U.S. Open prep?
Retief Goosen and Troy Merritt are currently tied for the first-round lead. Goosen completed his round, notching six birdies on his way to a 4-under 66. Merritt was playing No. 17 when the delay hit. He birdied three of his previous four holes prior to the delay.