Ryder Cup: Commentator says Rory McIlroy has been ‘scapegoat’
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Rory McIlroy pulled off an incredible par save during the opening round of the US Open, just moments after taking out his anger in a Brookline bunker. McIlroy headed into the third major of the year as the tournament favourite following an impressive win at last week’s Canadian Open.
And, the Northern Irishman began his opening round at the Country Club just how he finished in Canada four days ago, as two birdies through his opening nine holes saw him sit at two-under-par through his opening 13 holes. McIlroy’s only real blip came on the par five came at the par four fifth – the world No 3’s 14th hole after beginning his round on the back nine.
A wayward tee shot left McIlroy in all sorts of trouble, after his ball came to rest in the bank of a bunker down the right-hand side of the hole. Throughout his career the four-time major champion has shown just why he is regarded as one of the world’s best, however his approach at the fifth showed the Northern Irishman is still human.
Stood in the sand trap with an awkward stance, McIlroy looked to chop his ball out of the thick bank, but went on to miscue his strike into the bunker just 10 or so yards ahead of him. Losing his cool, the Northern Irishman took out his frustrations on the Country Club sand, taking two fierce swipes at the bunker surface before trudging away.
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By the time he had made it over to the bunker just ahead of him, McIlroy had clearly settled himself as he played a neat wedge shot out of the trap which ran just past the hole. The hard work was not done there though, as his third shot still left a tricky putt in order to save par.
In true McIlroy style though, the world No 3 drained the 10-plus foot putt with ease to pick up one of the great par saves, keeping the dreaded bogey off of his card. After saving his skin on the fifth, the Northern Irishman looked to take advantage, as he carded back-to-back birdies to move him to four-under for the tournament and into a solo lead.
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After a near-perfect Thursday, McIlroy’s pristine scorecard finally took a hit, as the 2011 US Open champion finally picked up a frustrating bogey on his last hole of the day. Despite the staggered finish the world No 3 still left himself in a strong spot heading into day two of the tournament.
His bogey five at the par four ninth signed off a more than impressive three-under-par 67 to leave him in a tie for the early lead alongside Englishman Callum Tarren and David Lingmerth of Sweden. He will kick off his second round on Friday in the second half of the draw, and will once again be joined by Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama.
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