BROOKLINE, Mass. – On a cool, calm Thursday played under overcast skies, Rory McIlroy was steaming on the fifth hole of his first round at the Country Club at the 122nd US Open.
On the driveable par 4, McIlroy’s tee shot ended up in a big rough lining a bunker. He was forced to take a very awkward position in the bunker and choke down to the pit. And then he smashed the ball 10 yards into another bunker and took powerful shots onto the sand in frustration.
But McIlroy recovered and made a 13-footer for par to keep the momentum on his side. He would finish his second nine with birdies on two of his final three holes to post a 3-under 67 to enter contention for his fifth major.
“You’re going to encounter things at a US Open, whether it’s lies or stuff like that, that you won’t really encounter another week,” McIlroy said. “The thickest rough on the course is around the edges of the bunkers. So I was kind of cursing the USGA.
“You just have to accept it. I gave the sand a few shots because I already messed it up so it wasn’t like it was much more work for Harry (Diamond, his caddy) then I just reset and played a decent bunker shot, and then it was really nice to drill that putt.
US OPEN: Country Club First Round Scores
NEVER MISS A MOMENT: Sign up for the latest news straight to your inbox
‘IT’S WRONG:Even this US senator is disgusted with Phil Mickelson and the Saudi golf league
He made many more putts and for the second consecutive major, found himself on the first page of the rankings at the end of the day; he took the first-round lead with a 65 at last month’s PGA Championship before fading, then rallying on the final lap but failing en route to finishing eighth.
“Sitting here talking about the bad things when 17 of the holes were really good. I’m happy with the start. I thought my mindset was really good there,” McIlroy said. “A really solid start. You would take 67 around this golf course any day. Although I’m a little frustrated that I bugged the last one, it’s a good start to the tournament.
“I felt like I did most things right today. I certainly putt well, and hit the ball in all the right places, and hit a lot of greens, got myself gave a lot of chances. Basically, I did everything you had to do at a US Open.
Adam Hadwin was atop the leaderboard for most of his afternoon run. He parried the final six holes to cap a sterling 66 to keep the lead alone.
Joining McIlroy at 67 were Callum Tarren, Joel Dahmen, David Lingmerth and MJ Daufee. The week didn’t start well for Tarren as his clubs didn’t arrive with him from Toronto. It was the second time at a US Open that his clubs weren’t with him after a robbery. At the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach, he didn’t get his clubs until the day before the tournament started. This year, however, it was only a day late.
Tarren finished birdie-eagle-par.
“My caddy kept saying, pars are good, pars are good, and I’ve made a lot of pars, but to have a finish like that just caps off the round,” he said. declared.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler shot 70, defending champion Jon Rahm 69, defending PGA Champion Justin Thomas a 69 and Phil Mickelson, who finished second a record six times in the championship, shot 78 .
Dustin Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion, was the lowest 15 player on the court to join LIV Golf. He shot 68. Also at 68 was Matt Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 US Amateur at the Country Club.
McIlroy has won four majors, most recently eight years ago at the 2014 PGA Championship. That week he became the latest player to win a major championship after winning the previous week (he won the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio).
‘They made their bed’:Rory McIlroy becomes shameless PGA Tour leader against LIV Golf ahead of US Open
He can do it again. The 2011 US Open champion won the RBC Canadian Open last week for his 21st PGA Tour title. And McIlroy could become the first in the history of the game to win a PGA Tour event the week before winning the US Open.
He is able to do it.
“You feel like you’re right in the tournament from the start of the week, which is good,” McIlroy said of a strong start to a major. “I go into tomorrow with the mindset to carry on, rather than knowing where the cut line is or whatever, if you don’t start off on the right foot those thoughts start to seep in. OK , what do I need to be right here for the weekend? It’s definitely a different mindset when you’re off to a great start.
“I just have to keep going.”