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Mickelson, playing on his 52nd birthday and three days after facing an onslaught of questions about his involvement with the Saudi-backed LIV series, shot an unsightly eight-over par 78 to sit near the bottom of the 156-player field at The Country Club.
A record six-time US Open runner-up, Mickelson’s self-imposed four-month hiatus following comments he made about the LIV circuit and PGA Tour was evident as soon as he set off in the tougher afternoon conditions.
The long-time fan favourite bogeyed three of his first five holes and then made a double-bogey at the par-three sixth where he four-putted from 12 feet.
Mickelson, who struggled on the greens all day, added another double-bogey at the 12th hole before closing another bogey on a day when his latest bid for the career Grand Slam effectively came to an end.
McIlroy, who came into the year’s third major fresh off a successful title defence in Canada, went out early and shot a three-under-par 67 and maintained a clean scorecard until a bogey at the final hole.
That left Northern Ireland’s McIlroy level with Englishman Callum Tarren, Swede David Lingmerth, American Joel Dahmen and South Africa’s MJ Daffue.
“Even though I’m standing up here slightly frustrated that I bogeyed the last, it’s a great start to the tournament,” said McIlroy, who has gone nearly eight years since winning the last of his four major titles. “Just basically did everything that you need to do at a US Open.”
Leader Hadwin, who has never finished better than 24th in his 19 major championship appearances, carded five birdies over a sizzling six-hole stretch on the front nine to surge up the leaderboard.
The 34-year-old Canadian with one PGA Tour win to his name showed plenty of poise the rest of the way and coolly offset a bogey at the 12th with a birdie at the following hole to regain sole possession atop a jam-packed leaderboard.
Among a pack of seven golfers sitting two shots off the pace was former world number one and 2016 US Open champion Dustin Johnson, who like Mickelson also decided to join the lucrative and controversial LIV series.
Prior to the start of the round, a LIV Golf Twitter post read “Good Luck” and included headshots of the 15 players in the US Open field who have joined its ranks.
Of those golfers, none fared better than the long-hitting Johnson and the worst score of the bunch was the 12-over 82 carded by Australian Jed Morgan.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, who needed two balls to birdie the last hole after two kids stole the one he used for his tee shot, was level with PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and among a group sitting three shots back of Hadwin.
US Open leaderboard
-3 McIlroy, Tarren, Lingmerth, Dahmen, Daffue
Selected others: -2 D Johnson, Fitzpatrick, Rose
-1 Rahm, Morikawa, Thomas, Zalatoris
Kershaw: US Open can’t escape ‘black cloud’ of golf’s civil war
Rebel LIV Golf players warned they could face US Open ban
Friday 17 June 2022 00:52 , Tom Kershaw
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 16, 2022
Friday 17 June 2022 00:28 , Tom Kershaw
Adam Hadwin records a 4-under 66 will enter the second round of the U.S. Open with a one-stroke lead.
Hadwin's 66 is his lowest score in 63 career rounds in major championships and this will be his first lead/co-lead after any round in a major.
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) June 16, 2022
Friday 17 June 2022 00:26 , Tom Kershaw
Hadwin can’t make the birdie putt but that’s still a fantastic round of 66 from the Canadian and he holds a one-shot lead over five players at three under which, of course, includes Rory McIlroy.
Friday 17 June 2022 00:21 , Tom Kershaw
Hadwin’s drive at the last bounces on a sprinkler head and goes racing miles down the fairway into the semi-rough. It leaves him with only a short pitch in and a fine effort sets up a chance at birdie that would stretch his lead to two.
Friday 17 June 2022 00:07 , Tom Kershaw
A miserable afternoon mercifully comes to an end for Phil Mickelson. He won’t be keen to remember his 52nd birthday. That’s a round of 78.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:59 , Tom Kershaw
Being top of the leaderboard doesn’t seem to be hindering Hadwin, who booms a perfect drive down the 17th.
Over at 18, Lowry plays a fine approach into the green. He’s currently +2 and a birdie there would be a huge momentum boost heading into Friday.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:56 , Tom Kershaw
Fitzpatrick pulled his drive at 18 way left and then could only find the front bunker. He can’t get up and down and that’s a bogey to finish, unfortunately. Still, an opening 68 leaves the Englishman in a great position.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:48 , Tom Kershaw
All had been going swimmingly for Rose, but his approach into the par-5 8th hits the false front and rolls all the way back down. He then fluffs his chip and it rolls back to his feet. The next attempt isn’t much better and it leaves a tricky putt just to save par after what looked a great chance to move into a share of the lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:42 , Tom Kershaw
Speaking of which, Scheffler birdies the last to finish with a 70. That’s a good recovery, having been two over at one stage. He’s already won four events this year, including The Masters, and you wouldn’t bet against him adding a second major to that tally.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:38 , Tom Kershaw
Dustin Johnson gets a birdie at 17 too. The 2016 champion has flown a little under the radar today but he’s -2 now and there are a number of major winners lurking just a few shots off the lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:34 , Tom Kershaw
A wonderful putt at 17 from Fitzpatrick. He loves this course and that’s another birdie. He may not be the longest driver, but he’s consistently found the fairways, has a brilliant touch on the greens, and that’s what’s required in Brookline. The Englishman is one shot off the lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:30 , Tom Kershaw
Thomas’ long birdie putt just misses on 18 but that’s still an impressive round of 69 from the PGA champion. He was rightly one of the favourites coming into the week and he’s unlikely to be more than three shots back heading into the second round.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:23 , Tom Kershaw
It’s not been such miserable fare for Bryson DeChambeau though. It’s been a quiet round for the US Open champion, who breaks a streak of eight pars with a birdie to get back to level for the tournament.
Elsewhere, Tommy Fleetwood is creeping up the leaderboard too, following up a birdie at the 5th with a fine tee shot into the par 3 6th.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:20 , Tom Kershaw
Meanwhile, LIV rebels Mickelson and Oosthuizen are in a race to the bottom of the leaderboard. The South African in particular is enduring a dreadful back nine, with three bogeys and a double in his last six holes. He’s +8 with three holes still to play.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:18 , Tom Kershaw
It’s been a quiet afternoon for the world No 1 but a fine chip sets up what should be a birdie at the 8th, which would get him back to +1.
Matt Fitzpatrick is in danger of going in the other direction. After a bogey at 15, he finds the sand at the 16th. His bunker shot is good but not great and there’s work to do to save his par.
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:09 , Tom Kershaw
May 22: MJ Daffue earns his PGA TOUR card for the 2022-23 season via the Korn Ferry Tour
June 16: Playing in his first major championship, Daffue cards a 3-under 67 at the U.S. Open and is currently T2 https://t.co/rEk3tA6PIR
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) June 16, 2022
Thursday 16 June 2022 23:08 , Tom Kershaw
Justin Rose, who started on the back nine this afternoon, gets a birdie at the 5th that moves him to -3. If he can keep this recent form going, having shot a 60 in the final round of the Canadian Open, the 2013 champion could well be in contention come Sunday.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:58 , Tom Kershaw
A fine response from Hadwin who drains a long birdie putt at the 13th to retake the outright lead and now heads to the par-5 14th that’s offered up a lot of opportunities today.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:48 , Tom Kershaw
Hadwin couldn’t get up and down and he slips back into the co-lead at -3. Daffue is part of that pack again too after a birdie at 17.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:39 , Tom Kershaw
It’s been a tough draw for Lowry playing alongside Mickelson, who’s drawn a big crowd and is caught in a sharp downward spiral. The 2019 Open champion is hanging in there though and holes a nervy par putt to stay at +1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:33 , Tom Kershaw
Our leader Hadwin is in some bother at the 12th after pushing his tee shot into the right rough. The lie is bad with the ball sitting down in the deep stuff and he has no choice but to lay up short of the front bunker. That’ll be a tricky up and down to ensure he keeps the outright lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:23 , Tom Kershaw
Here’s another look at that chip-in from Fitzpatrick. He’s usually a reserved character on the course but he celebrated that one properly.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) June 16, 2022
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:21 , Tom Kershaw
There’s a long debate between Thomas and his caddie at 14 over a short par putt. The conference comes to no avail though as he hits it through the break and it slips by on the high side. That’s a poor bogey on the par 5.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:18 , Tom Kershaw
It’s not getting any prettier for Mickelson. He made his first birdie of the day at 12 but that is promptly undone by a double at 13 that still required a magnificent chip. He’s been wayward off the tee and struggled badly once he’s eventually got to the greens. He’s at +7 now and his flight home tomorrow afternoon is already booked.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:13 , Tom Kershaw
Thomas birdies the 13th to move to -2. He catches a tree with his second at the following par 5 though and his ball is rolling down towards the fescue.
A word to Mito Pereira, who endured that heartbreak at the PGA when he double-bogeyed the 18th with victory in his hands. He’s battled well on just his second US Open appearance, having missed the cut in 2019, and is -1 through 14 holes.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:07 , Tom Kershaw
We have a new leader! Hadwin birdied five of his last six holes on the front nine and, after finding a bit of bother right of the green at 10, produces a magnificent chip that should save his par.
Thursday 16 June 2022 22:04 , Tom Kershaw
Koepka manages to save bogey after a nightmare at the 12th. He’s back at +3 now and is in danger of playing himself out of contention.
There’s no such problem for Fitzpatrick though! He comes fighting back straight away with an exquisite chip-in at the 12th for birdie.
Thursday 16 June 2022 21:47 , Tom Kershaw
That’s a blow for Fitzpatrick at the 11th. He dragged his tee shot ever so slightly and his ball ran into the thick stuff at the par 3. He can’t get good control on the chip and his putter lets him down for the first time today. He slips out of a share of the lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 21:36 , Tom Kershaw
After that disastrous four-putt earlier, Phil Mickelson has gritted his teeth to make the turn in +5.
He’s not the only big-name player struggling out there, though. Sergio Garcia and Tyrrell Hatton are at +4.
Mickelson is having a nightmare 😬
He missed THREE then finally finished it off for a bogey that leaves him five over 😯 pic.twitter.com/QsIfHND3Mn
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) June 16, 2022
Thursday 16 June 2022 21:34 , Tom Kershaw
Johnson and Thomas are both ticking along nicely at -1 and are well-poised to make a charge.
It’s been trickier conditions for the afternoon wave of players but they’ve stood up to them well.
Fitzpatrick has a test of his newfound share of the lead at the 10th but rolls in a short putt across the slope to save par.
Thursday 16 June 2022 21:13 , Tom Kershaw
What a brilliant approach into the tricky 9th from Fitzpatrick. He’ll have a great birdie chance to move into a share of the lead.
Over on 18, Justin Rose drains a huge birdie putt to get back into the red. There’s a wry smile from the Englishman because that one was travelling way past if it didn’t rattle the flagstick.
Thursday 16 June 2022 21:00 , Tom Kershaw
It’s been 10 years since Webb Simpson won the US Open but he’s back in contention after a chip-in eagle at the 8th takes him to -2. There are eight players at that mark now, including Matt Fitzpatrick, who also takes advantage at the par-5 with a birdie.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:49 , Tom Kershaw
Air shot alert! Sam Horsfield attempts a flop shot from just off the green at 10 and his club scythes straight underneath the ball, which doesn’t even move. A bogey for the Englishman sees him drop back to +1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:35 , Tom Kershaw
Here comes Thomas! After a slow start, the PGA champion picks up a birdie at the par-5 8th to move into the red for the first time.
It’s going from bad to worse for Mickelson, who has an absolute nightmare at the par-3 6th. A fine tee shot gave him a great chance for birdie but he then four putts! He shakes his head as he walks off the green and the toll of the last few months looks very heavy on his shoulders.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:25 , Tom Kershaw
There’s good news on the English front, though. Fitzpatrick makes a fine birdie at the short 5th after finding the green with a 3-wood off the tee and then so narrowly misses out on a birdie at the tricky 6th. That keeps him at -1 where he’s joined by Justin Rose, whose rollercoaster start has featured three birdies and two bogeys.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:22 , Tom Kershaw
Koepka and Smith both manage to produce fine escapes to save par. Mickelson can’t replicate that, though. It’s another rusty chip and putt from the 52-year-old and he’s now three over through five holes.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:09 , Tom Kershaw
Mickelson isn’t the only one hitting some horrendous shots out there. Moments after Cam Smith drags his approach by a country mile at 15, Brooks Koepka rivals him by flinging one straight into the grandstand.
Thursday 16 June 2022 20:06 , Tom Kershaw
Andrew Novak, the world No 362, moves into a share of the lead after a hat-trick of birdies to close out his front nine.
There’s no birthday luck for Mickelson, though. After bogeying two of his first four holes, he pulls a drive way right of the fairway and that’s trouble again.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:58 , Tom Kershaw
Na can’t get up and down for bogey and a costly undoes much of his fine start.
Thomas makes up for his early error, though, with a terrific tee shot that fades into the back corner of the green at the par 3 6th. He rolls in a confident birdie putt and the PGA champion is back at even par.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:53 , Tom Kershaw
DeChambeau has come into this tournament under the radar due to his wrist injury, despite being one of the most high-profile players to join the LIV series. After three pars, a birdie at the 14th sees the 2020 US Open champion move to -1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:52 , Tom Kershaw
Justin Rose almost broke 60 last weekend and, although he hasn’t continued that vein of form, a birdie moves him back to level par after a rocky start.
There’s trouble up ahead for Kevin Na, with the co-leader having to take a penalty drop. He then flies his pitch long of the green and will struggle to escape with a bogey.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:46 , Tom Kershaw
Thomas holds his nerve well at the 5th to save par. He backed off his putt after a big gust of wind but recomposed himself to roll it in to remain at +1.
It’s been a tough start for Koepka too, who is two over through four holes. However, he hits a sensational approach into the 620-yard par-5 14th and will have a chance to make eagle.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:42 , Tom Kershaw
Kevin Na could rarely be described as surging but the American has now taken a share of the lead with a fine birdie at the par-5 6th. Na, who resigned his membership from the PGA Tour after joining the LIV Golf series, showed little form at Centurion but is taming the blustery late afternoon conditions well in Brookline.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:33 , Tom Kershaw
It’s more bad news for Mickelson. He found the fairway at the tricky 3rd but his approach came up short of the green. He then produced an uncharacteristically poor chip and his putt lips out. That’s two bogeys in three holes for the six-time major champion.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:24 , Tom Kershaw
Johnson makes a fine birdie at the 3rd to move back to level par. Fitzpatrick follows him in to complete a terrific save after he found the fescue with his drive and could only hack his ball out into another chunk of rough.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:19 , Tom Kershaw
There’s trouble for Thomas at the 4th. The PGA champion’s approach finds the bunker and he tries to be too cute with his escape and the ball gets held up in the rough. He almost manages to hole out from there but that’s a tap-in bogey and he falls back to +1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:12 , Tom Kershaw
Kevin Na chases a birdie putt into the hole in signature fashion up at the fourth. That’s a fine start for him and takes him to -2.
There’s a new name in a share for the lead, though. MJ Daffue won’t be familiar to most casual golf fans but the world No 296 has now birdied three of his opening five holes.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:10 , Tom Kershaw
Fitzpatrick’s birdie putt flies by the hole at the second but he’s so confident on those nervy short ones and tidies up for par. Johnson’s chip was poor out of the rough and that’s a bogey for the former world No 1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:06 , Tom Kershaw
Mickelson can’t recover and makes a bogey on his opening hole. Justin Rose meets the same fate too.
Dahmen’s birdie putt just stays high of the hole but he taps in for a par and that’s a round of 67 for the American. It’s now a four-way tie in the clubhouse at -3.
Thursday 16 June 2022 19:00 , Tom Kershaw
This is undoubtedly the tougher side of the draw with the winds picking up in Brookline. Mickelson backs off his shot from the first fairway, changes clubs as the breeze swirls, and then slices his approach way wide of the green.
There’s not as much difficulty for Fitzpatrick up at the tricky par-3 2nd. He finds the green and will have a chance to move into the red.
His playing partner, Dustin Johnson, steps up next and hits a huge slice that finishes closer to the sixth tee. That was a comforting one for every amateur golfer out there.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:55 , Tom Kershaw
Joel Dahmen, easily distinguished by his signature bucket hat, moves into a share of the lead after a fantastic chip at the par-5 8th, using the backstop and letting the ball roll back down towards the flag.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:52 , Tom Kershaw
Phil Mickelson gets a great reception from the crowd in Brookline. His form at the LIV event last week didn’t suggest he can be a threat but there will certainly be plenty of intrigue following him around. Whether that proves a distraction for Shane Lowry, who is in the same group, remains to be seen. The former Open champion comes into the event in great form.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:43 , Tom Kershaw
Matt Fitzpatrick gets underway with a perfect drive down the middle. The Englishman, who finished fifth at the PGA Championship, has fond memories of The Country Club after winning the US Amateur Championship there in 2013.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:36 , Tom Kershaw
It’s a steady start for Justin Thomas, who opens with a par after finding both the fairway and green in regulation. No such luck for Sergio Garcia, though, who’s one over through two.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:25 , Tom Kershaw
The second wave of players also features the majority of the high-profile defectors to the LIV Golf series. One of the least popular is Kevin Na, but he gets off to a fine start, chipping in for birdie.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:18 , Tom Kershaw
After a poor start, Will Zalatoris made three birdies on the back nine to finish with a 69. That’s yet another impressive performance from the American at a major after missing out in a play-off against Justin Thomas at the PGA last month.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:08 , Tom Kershaw
McIlroy can’t get up and down. That’s his first blemish of the day and sees him drop back into a share of the clubhouse lead at three-under-par. His playing partner, Hideki Matsuyama, gets a birdie to finish on even par.
The afternoon wave is just getting underway now at The Country Club, with Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson all teeing off in the next half an hour.
Thursday 16 June 2022 18:01 , Tom Kershaw
It’s been a more fired-up version of McIlroy than we’re used to seeing and after thrashing at a bunker earlier in his round, there’s another visible display of frustration at the ninth after he cuts his approach into the thick rough. That’ll be a tricky chip to ensure he escapes with a par and sets the clubhouse lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:47 , Tom Kershaw
Never in doubt! McIlroy reads the slight right-to-left slope perfectly and that birdie gives him the outright lead at -4. It’s been a terrific opening round from him, although he did spurn a similar position at the PGA Championship last month.
In the same group, Schauffele also takes advantage of the par-5 to move into the red.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:42 , Tom Kershaw
Rory McIlroy leaves himself 80 yards into the par-5 8th and floats a wonderful pitch over the false front that skips twice and then stops dead pin-high. The Northern Irishman will have a great chance to move into the outright lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:38 , Tom Kershaw
Max Homa joins the crowd in the clubhouse at -,1, as does James Piot, the 2021 US Amateur champion who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event in London last week.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:33 , Tom Kershaw
It’s been a scrappy round from Jordan Spieth. He misses the green at the 18th and will need to produce an impressive up and down from the thick stuff to escape with an opening 71.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:29 , Tom Kershaw
A fine finish from the defending champion. Rahm pulled his drive way left at the 9th but gets a fortunate lie. He digs out an approach that sticks to the right side of the green and rolls in a confident putt for birdie. A round of 69 leaves him well poised.
That score is matched by Morikawa, who made a sloppy bogey on his final hole after inexplicably fluffing a chip into the bunker.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:24 , Tom Kershaw
Xander Schauffele follows McIlroy in for birdie at the 7th. The American hasn’t been at his best so far but that brings him back to level par. He will be one to look out for over the weekend. He’s never finished outside the top 10 at the US Open.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:18 , Tom Kershaw
What a putt from Rory McIlroy! An iron off the tee at the short par-4 7th set up what should have been a good chance to attack the flag, but he misjudged his approach and left himself with a long, sloping putt. No bother, he rattles it into the heart of the hole to move into a share of the lead.
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:07 , Tom Kershaw
There’s a huge break for Jon Rahm at the 17th. He hooked his drive over the trees but the ball just about carries a row of bushes and he’ll have a short chip onto the green. What threatened to be a double-bogey will instead be a birdie chance for the defending champion.
Elsewhere, Will Zalatoris makes back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to get back to level par.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:56 , Jamie Braidwood
We haven’t seen any of Tarren all day but as the TV coverage scrambles to find his highlights, the 31-year-old from Darlington played some lovely approach shots over his round, particularly his second shot into the par-5 8th. It caught the breeze wonderfully and curled towards the pin.
Tarren was left with a six-footer for par at the last and he finds the middle of the hole to card an excellent round of 67 for the clubhouse lead.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2022
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:50 , Jamie Braidwood
We have a new name at the top of the leaderboard, though, and few would have predicted England’s Callum Tarren leading the way at the end of his opening round.
The world No 445 surges to the top of the leaderboard with an eagle-three at the par-5 8th. That’s his penultimate hole of the round after going -4 over his closing nine.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:43 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy was positioned in the middle of the next bunker and this time he gets it out, but he can only watch as it runs maybe eight or nine feet past.
Still, if he makes this it would be par.
And you know what, he makes it. What a lovely putt from McIlroy, trickling that downhill.
Somehow, he recovers to make his par. What drama?
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:40 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy landed in the bunker and at a horrible angle. He was left perched on the side, with the ball above his stance. His swing clips the ball and it only goes 10 or 15 yards, right into another bunker.
McIlroy then smashes his club into the sand bank, and then again.
It’s rare to see that level of anger from McIlroy on the course but after a faultless round so far he knows that is a costly error.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:32 , Jamie Braidwood
At 315 yards, McIlroy should be able to reach the short par-4 5th from the tee but pushes his drive right and into the rough. It’s in an ugly spot and McIlroy lets out a groan of frustration at the result.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:29 , Jamie Braidwood
It’s all change now, with Hagestad now joined by the Swede David Lingmerth, who made his third birdie of the day at the 5th. Lingmerth had to qualify for the US Open and only made the field as a late replacement for Martin Kaymer. NeSmith, meanwhile, has dropped back to -2 after his first bogey of the day.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:20 , Jamie Braidwood
Welcome to the party, Stewart Hagestad. The US Open has a deep field of amateur players and it now has one at the top of the leaderboard. The American moves to -3 alongside NeSmith.
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:12 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy was worried for a moment after sending his drive wide left, only to get a break as it landed on the trampled grass left by the spectators. From there, McIlroy hangs a high approach into the heart of the green. He’ll have a 20-foot chance for birdie but it’s a tricky one downhill.
That was well judged, though. McIlroy’s effort did run past the hole but only by a foot and he can tidy up for his par.
Morikawa, meanwhile, had a similar birdie effort at the monstrous par-5 but left it short.
US Open - Bogey for Morikawa
Thursday 16 June 2022 16:03 , Jamie Braidwood
The first mark on Morikawa’s card, as he falls victim to the tricky 13th. The par putt from eight feet fell away to the right and so far the back nine is indeed proving to be harder than the front.
It leaves Matthew NeSmith in the outright lead - not that the TV coverage is showing any of his shots!
Thursday 16 June 2022 15:49 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy, purring. His approach into the 3rd threads the green-side bunkers and rolls into the heart of the green. Another birdie chance to come.
Oof. McIlroy hit that. It touches the lip to the right of the hole and skirts past. It left five or so feet dor par but that’s nicely done.
Thursday 16 June 2022 15:36 , Jamie Braidwood
Yep, that was always going to be a tough one for McIlroy to do anything about. He hacks it out of the rough to the ooohs of the crowd but from there McIlroy can only watch as it runs out to about 12 feet past the hole.
For par, and the line is good... McIlroy crouches, the ball hangs... and it drops! Another huge par save from McIlroy! Brilliant recovery.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2022
Morikawa, meanwhile, goes from having a 20-foot putt for birdie to a tricky uphill one for his par save after it slid past the hole. Morikawa knocks it down to stay ahead.
So, between then, McIlroy and Morikawa have played 25 holes. No bogeys.
Thursday 16 June 2022 15:29 , Jamie Braidwood
Now then. The first poor shot in a while from McIlroy comes from the tee box at the par-3 2nd, as he slices it wide and to the right. That’s not where you want to be, as it nestles into the long straw grass on the bank. That will be a tough chip back down to the green.
Thursday 16 June 2022 15:22 , Jamie Braidwood
Joaquin Niemann has been there or thereabouts at the previous two majors this season and the 23-year-old from Chile jumps to a shot off the lead with an eagle at the par-5 8th.
Woah, McIlroy is a fraction away from a huge birdie putt at the 1st! ‘Wow’ he mouths after the putt rolls just an inch or so away from the hole.
US Open - birdie for McIlroy
Thursday 16 June 2022 15:06 , Jamie Braidwood
Go on then. Another green made for McIlroy, and it’s followed by another birdie as he rolls in the putt from 16 feet. It closes a clean opening nine of 33, which puts him one behind Morikawa.
Shaping up to be a really nice battle, this. Morikawa and McIlroy are both halfway through their rounds but they of course started at different points. McIlroy will play the front nine next with Morikawa on the back nine, which is considered to be the trickier of the two.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2022
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:51 , Jamie Braidwood
Watch out. because Morikawa has reached the turn at -3 after making the third birdie of the front nine. The Open champion drains one from 16 feet to take the outright lead. Now, just imagine he pieces together the driving and is able to set up those trademark approach shots, too.
Rahm closing his front nine with a bogey to drop to -1. He was just inches away from making a lengthy par save after getting into some trouble by landing in the green-side bunker.
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:46 , Jamie Braidwood
Lovely touch from McIlroy, who at the 17th has pitched to within eight feet... Not quite. McIlroy grimaces as the birdie putt stops short.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2022
US Open - Birdie for Rahm!
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:37 , Jamie Braidwood
And here comes Rahm! This leaderboard is shaping up nicely. The defending champion makes short work of the par-5 8th as he picks up his third birdie in four holes and joins the pack of players at -2.
US Open - Birdie for McIlroy!
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:33 , Jamie Braidwood
There we go! After saving par from 12 feet at the last hole, McIlroy rattles in a birdie from 20 feet at the 200-yard par-3 16th! Excellent putt from McIlroy. It was downhill but he struck it confidently and with good pace. He’s into the red.
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:16 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy catches the rough with his drive at the par-4 15th, and then walks away from his ball after his approach to the green lands short and into the long stuff about 25 yards away. Another tricky up and down to come.
It’s a decent but not great effort from McIlroy. He wanted it to run on and is left with 12 feet for par.
Straight in the middle! Brilliant putt from McIlroy to save his par. Now, he needs to start turning these par putts into birdie putts.
Thursday 16 June 2022 14:01 , Jamie Braidwood
At 624 yards, the par-5 14th is an extraordinary hole and features a blind approach to the green over a bank. McIlroy’s drive finds the rough, not a great start, and has to hack out to set him up for an approach with his third. After checking out the view of the enormous green, McIlroy runs back down the hill to hit his shot. It’s on the green but a long way off. It’s a decent effort from McIlroy and he taps in for his par.
So after five holes McIlroy is even, but he’s safely negotiated one of the trickier stretches of the course. Schauffele, meanwhile, gets his birdie with a confident 10-footer.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:54 , Jamie Braidwood
Oh, hello there Jon Rahm. He sinks a lovely birdie putt from 12 feet at the par-3 6th, reminiscent of the putts he was nailing on his way to winning the US Open last season. It gets him into the red for the first time today.
Morikaway replies with a scrambling par. The Open champion keeps finding the long rough and the bunkers but keeps getting himself out of trouble with lovely touches around the green. He saves his par with six feet.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:44 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy is eventually faced with another testing par putt, this time from around eight feet, but makes an important four after initially getting into trouble off the tee.
Meanwhile, Morikawa has his second birdie of the round at the short par-4 5th. After driving into the green-side bunker he gets out and leaves a short putt for his three.
Rahm also birdies the 314-yard par-4 to get back to even.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:36 , Jamie Braidwood
Quite the swing from McIlroy at 13, who sent his drive wide to the right and among the spectators. He was able to carry his approach over the creek guarding the green and has put it to about 20 feet.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:30 , Jamie Braidwood
A few early red scores on the board, and plenty of American flags at the US Open as well. Joining Morikawa at -1 is Hayden Buckley, Matthew NeSmith, Travis Smith and the Australian Adam Scott.
Russell Henley has just gone one better after moving to -2 through three.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:27 , Jamie Braidwood
Another short miss for Rahm! A wonderful approach onto the slope at the fourth trickles back down to inside five feet of the hole. The birdie putt was tentative, Rahm barely moving the putter back, and it dribbles wide.
Morikawa knocks one down from a similar distance to save par after scrambling from the bunker.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:18 , Jamie Braidwood
A beauty from McIlroy at 12. His approach was softened by a bounce on the rough, which came right up to the edge of the green, and it hopped on to the fringes leading about 10 feet for birdie.
Another chance coming up.
The fine margins are shown by Schauffele’s approach - which landed maybe just a step behind McIlroy’s, but got stuck in the rough. The American almost chipped in though! Half a turn away from birdie.
And so was McIlroy! The line looked good but it faded to the right.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:13 , Jamie Braidwood
Oof - an ugly one from Rahm at the third as a short par putt does a U-turn around the lip of the hole. He drops to +1.
Thursday 16 June 2022 13:04 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy plans a lovely iron into the small green on the par-3 11th, with the pin tucked towards the front. McIlroy lands it and pulls his ball back towards the cup, leaving about 15 feet or so.
The birdie putt pulls up about half a foot short, as McIlroy takes a lingering look back at the hole after tapping in. All three players in McIlroy’s group found the green and Hideki Matsuyama is able to make a two from 10 feet.
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:57 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy, who is starting out on the 10th hole, finds the green with his approach but is left with about 40 feet for his birdie. These greens looks firm and lightning fast and the putt slides about four feet to the left. An early tester, but McIlroy rolls in the par putt.
Morikawa has made a nice start and is up and running with a birdie at the second - and what a putt it was, from about 50 feet.
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:43 , Jamie Braidwood
McIlroy is next up and the Northern Irishman gets his US Open bid underway, after a week which has seen the four-time major champion also set as the staunchest and most prominent critic of the LIV Golf series.
“It’s certainly a burden I don’t need but I have very strong opinions on the subject,” McIlroy said this week. “I think I am providing the thought process for a different view shared by a lot of people.
“The PGA Tour was created by people and tour players that came before us – the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer…They created something and worked hard for something, and I hate to see all the players that came before us and all the hard work that they’ve put in just come out to be nothing.
“Legacy, reputation… at the end of the day that’s all you have. You strip everything away, and you’re left with how you made people feel and what people thought of you. That is important to me.
“The crowds in Canada, LIV is never going to have that, the sense that it means something. What they are doing over there does not mean anything, apart from collecting a ton of money.”
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:30 , Jamie Braidwood
A tee-off time of 7:18am seems a little harsh on the defending champion Jon Rahm but the Spaniard is underway alongside the reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa and the confident 23-year-old American James Piot, who was one of those to compete at the LIV Golf tournament last weekend. Piot was spotted wearing a LIV Golf jumper during his practice rounds.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 16, 2022
US Open: Upcoming tee times
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:22 , Jamie Braidwood
Starting at Hole 1
1218: Collin Morikawa, James Piot, Jon Rahm
1229: Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Max Homa
1240: Billy Horschel, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger
1251: Harold Varner III, Sebastian Munoz, Alex Noren
1302: Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris
Starting at Hole 10
1229: Scott Stallings, Davis Riley, Victor Perez
1240: Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele
1251: Kevin Kisner, Russell Henley, Brian Harman
1302: Keegan Bradley, Marc Leishman, Aaron Wise
1313: Francesco Molinari, Laird Shepherd, Stewart Cink
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:20 , Jamie Braidwood
And they’re off! US amatuer Michael Thorbjornsen has the honour of hitting the opening drive at the first tee and with it, the US Open is underway at Brookline.
Rebel LIV Golf players warned they could face US Open ban
Thursday 16 June 2022 12:12 , Jamie Braidwood
Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website