Play underway as US Open returns to Merion

Associated Press
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Ernie Els, of South Africa, walks down the first hole during practice for the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Ardmore, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Play is underway at the 113th U.S. Open.

Cliff Kresge, ranked No. 551 in the world, struck the first tee shot at the first hole early Thursday as the championship returned to Merion after a 32-year absence.

The day's marquee group was scheduled to tee off in the early afternoon, weather permitting. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott are together as the top three players in the world rankings, although a forecast calling for severe weather could delay or interrupt their round.

Merion last hosted the Open in 1981, when David Graham became the first Australian to win the championship.