Donald closes out a 68 at Merion

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Updated: 6/14/2013 10:54 am

Ardmore, PA (Sports Network) - Luke Donald bogeyed two of his last three holes on Friday morning as he closed out a round of 2-under 68 at the U.S. Open Championship.

Donald was atop the leaderboard when play was halted on Thursday night by darkness. There were two weather delays on Thursday that pushed the completion of round one into Friday morning.

The Englishman dipped one stroke behind leader Phil Mickelson, who posted his 67 on Thursday.

Donald, whose best finish in an Open is a tie for 12th in 2006 at Winged Foot, stood at minus-4 through 13 holes when the horns blew to suspend play Thursday. He returned to the East Course at Merion and started his round with pars at 14 and 15.

He faltered to a bogey at the par-4 16th. Donald followed with a par on 17, but he tripped to another bogey at the last to fall one behind Mickelson.

"A complete switch in wind and obviously a big drop in temperature," Donald said of the early morning conditions. "So those holes (Nos. 14-17) are playing long. I didn't hit a poor drive on 14, it was still a good drive and it left me probably a 4- or 3-iron into that hole. So very different to yesterday. I'm guessing a lot of the guys were hitting 3-wood and probably a short to mid iron. So it made 14, 15, 17 a lot harder."

Donald's opening-round 68 was just the second time in 10 U.S. Open starts that he started with a round in the 60s.

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