The official world golf ranking may have him at No. 624, but when rain hit the U.S. Open Thursday, Andrew Landry was alone atop its leaderboard. With play in the major golf tournament suspended for the second time, the 28-year-old professional was in first place, thanks to his hot start in the first round of the four-round event.
At the time of this writing, Landry was five strokes under par through 13 of 18 holes (with play suspended), putting him three shots ahead of a group tied for second place at two strokes under par. That’s an incredible beginning for Landry at the tournament being played at the Pittsburgh-area Oakmont Country Club, widely considered one of the most difficult courses in the world.
Landry is a relative unknown in the golfing world and making his major championship debut at the 2016 U.S. Open. Landry was born in Port Neches-Groves, Texas, and was a three-time All-American golfer at the University of Arkansas. He has led for much of the day plagued by bad weather. It’s a remarkable start for the golfer, who was a 1,000-1 shot to win the tournament before it began.
“Somebody’s going to have to take a picture of his name on top of that leaderboard,” Paul Azinger, a golfing pro turned commentator, said on Fox Sports’ broadcast, via Golf Digest. “We have massive leaderboards here, and it’s really cool to see your name up there leading the United States Open.”
Landry’s being five strokes under par is surprising not just for a middling golfer but for any golfer at all. The last time the U.S. Open was hosted by Oakmont, a score of five strokes over par won the event. The rain has apparently made the going easier on the golfers, slowing down the greens that are typically icy and hard to navigate.
Landry has played in 11 PGA Tour events this season. During four-round golf tournaments, a number in the field of players are cut after two days, meaning they did not play well enough to make it to the final two rounds over the weekend. Landry has missed the cut six times and made it just five times. He has booked $69,130 in winnings, without finishing among the top 25 in any event.
With Landry’s official world golf ranking at No. 624, he is led by many of the most famous players on the tour, such as three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods, who hasn’t played in a tournament since the Wyndham Championship last August: Woods is ranked No. 569.