By Larry Fine
BEDMINSTER, New Jersey (Reuters) - Major championship golf can be a long, difficult grind and on Friday at Trump National the fates aligned against many players.
A two-hour thunderstorm delay on Thursday forced 39 players to return to Trump National very early on Friday to finish their opening round before beginning the second.
An advisory to players from the U.S. Golf Association to leave early for the course because of possible extra security for the expected arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump made for even earlier wake-up calls.
To top it off, there was pouring rain all morning, and some more in the afternoon.
"It's been a really long day. Been here since about 5:15," moaned Marina Alex, who managed a 70 for a three-under 141 total as the top American on the leaderboard.
"They texted us last night about security, more time coming into the golf course. I was so tired last night, I was 'oh, my gosh, another 20 minutes tomorrow morning.'"
Angela Stanford, another early starter on Friday, was actually disappointed at not running into intensified security.
"I secretly want to be a Secret Service agent,” she said after shooting 72 for two-under 142.
“So I'm kind of hoping to see one at some point. They are hard to find. But it's pretty cool. You have Secret Service at your major golf tournament.
"They told us to be ready for heightened security. I think they forgot to tell the security, because we rolled right in here this morning. So I was like waiting for them to pull me out of my car and ... nothing.
"That's 20 minutes of sleep I could have used."
Trump finally arrived late afternoon, after flying back from France, where he attended the country’s Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Andrew Both)