‘I gave the sand a few blows and then just reset’ – McIlroy shrugs off bunker desperation to take US Open lead

Rory McIlroy struggled to contain his emotions despite a stellar start in his bid for a fifth major title at the 122nd US Open.

cIlroy carded a three-under-par 67 at Brookline to share the opening clubhouse lead with England’s Callum Tareen, Sweden’s David Lingmarth and American Joel Dahman, with defending champion Jon Rahm scoring a 69.

A month after Opening 65 at the US PGA, it was another welcome good start for McIlroy after previous struggles, but it was not without incident as he slammed one club into a bunker and another down the fairway in despair. Thrown away.

Starting on 10th, McIlroy had covered his first 13 holes at two under pars, before a pushed tee shot on the fifth ended in a rough rump on the edge of the bunker and took him to a stance in the sand with the ball. Had to fight to get it. right above his feet.

From there McIlroy could hack his second shot into another bunker a few yards in front of him, triggering a furious reaction that saw him twice slamming his club into the sand.

“You’re going to face things at the US Open that you don’t really face any other week,” McIlroy said.

“It’s hard not to be disappointed because I’m going there to be like, just back in the bunker. The roughest rough on the course is around the edges of the bunkers.

“So every time I was going to the ball I was cursing the USGA, but it’s one of those things. It happens here, it doesn’t really happen anywhere else. You just have to accept it.”

“I gave the sand a few strokes because I messed it up already, so it wasn’t like it was too much work for Harry (Diamond, his caddy), and then I just reset and played a nice bunker shot, And then it was really cool to punch a hole in that (par) putt.”

After making an equal save in fifth place, McIlroy birdied seventh and eighth to take a straight lead, only to drop his only shot of the day on the ninth day after missing the green with his approach.

This prompted club throws and McIlroy said: “The margins in this tournament are great, and I think you can see that with some of the reactions.

“Once I played my front nine two-under, the goal was to try and play this round without a bogey. I did that for 17 holes, which was great, and then I was in two minds about which shot. Hit the second shot on nine and missed the green where you can’t miss it.

“I didn’t do that all day. If I missed it, I missed it in the right place, played for the thick of the greens, and so I was disappointed, because you leave it, it’s too easy and down You make equal, you advance.

“But that’s okay. It’s something to learn. (I’m) sitting here talking about bad things when 17 holes were really good. I’m happy from the start.”

Tareen, who is ranked 445th in the world, had set the opening goal after carding one eagle, three birdies and two bogeys in his 67, with the 31-year-old from Darlington acknowledging his presence at the top of the leaderboard as one. I had come. Shock.

“I’m pinching myself because I didn’t know my name was at the top of the leaderboard until I hid that last putt,” Terren said. “Just excited with my debut, and let’s see what happens over the next few days.”

Rahm laughed off being the victim of a cheeky bit of daylight robbery as he made a solid start to the title defense. A birdie on the 18th hole completed the opening 69, but only two young spectators were caught off the ball after a tee shot into the rough.

“I’m pretty sure I know who he was,” said Rahm, smiling. “I recognized the two kids who were running in opposite directions and had a smile on their face. I’m 100 percent sure I’ve seen two kids stealing it.”

After putting a new ball into play, Rahm was given a free drop from a temporary immovable handicap and hit his second shot to 21 feet before rolling into a birdie put.

“I’m really glad someone saw the ball first,” said the Ryder Cup star, who hit a provisional ball on day 17 for fear of losing his wild tee shot. “We knew exactly where it was.

“After free respite I had 135 yards for the pin, in an area that wasn’t that thick. I don’t think they expected someone to hit it there or be around, so I was able to drop it in such an area. Was able which was a bit of a downgrade.

Rahm’s successful birdie putt prompted a fist pump that brought back memories of his reaction to close out the win at Torrey Pines 12 months earlier, but he added: “It’s not really comparable.

“It’s a thank-god-a-made-a-put kind of deal. I feel like I played pretty good golf all day.

“I’ve just seen a lot of putts pass and don’t go in, and to hit a two way drive in the last two holes and somehow end up with two birdie putts and a tie in the first round of the US Open. To make it last, it’s quite a big deal.”