April 14, 2024

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Rory McIlroy's US Open championship was not destroyed by 1 inch in 18

Rory McIlroy’s US Open championship was not destroyed by 1 inch in 18

Rory McIlroy had a great opening run at the US Open, but had a somewhat choppy finish.

He fired a huge drive at the 18th hole at Los Angeles Country Club, which totaled 357 yards when it came to relief. But he pulled his second shot into some thick rough between the left-side green’s bunker and the shooting surface.

Then McIlroy sniffed. You read that correctly; inhale.

The USGA shot tracker noted that McIlroy’s third on 18 hit an inch.

LOS ANGELES – Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a missed putt on the 18th hole during the first round of the 123rd US Open at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023.
Photo by Sean M. Hafey/Getty Images

But his wedge clearly went straight under the ball and through the rough Bermuda rough, echoing a 20-handed player in place of a four-time major champion.

McIlroy managed to get up and down from there, making an 11-footer for a bogey-5 to end his run. His dropped shot on 18 was his only bogey of the day as he took 5-under 65.

Despite finishing on a bad note, McIlroy put himself in great shape heading into Friday.

He came out of the gates and on fire, shooting a 5-under par 30 on the opening nine. This tied his previous career best with a front nine in Raid’s opening round. He previously had a 30 at the 2010 Open Championships in St Andrews, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He would go on to finish tied for eighth.

On the LACC’s first hole, 594 yards par-5, McIlroy rallied and shot a 382-yard drive down the middle to begin his championship.

It was a harbinger of things to come.

He proceeded to birdie both the first and second holes – the first time McIlroy had opened a major with back-to-back birdies.

Then, in a tough par-4 par five, McIlroy holed a 20-foot putt for birdie.

He landed more than two hits on the court, ranking 12th in strokes earned: placing him within the US Open field.

Two holes later, on a 258-yard par-3 7th, McIlroy fired a long iron to two feet. He pecked at another bird.

He put the Northern Irishman into a batting clinic when he hit his first 15 greens on regulation during his opening inning.

He started his second of the tenth round at 8:24 am local time.

Look for McIlroy to try lower again on Friday in softer conditions due to the morning dew. He would start his second run three strokes behind Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, shooting a record-breaking 62-second start for their US Opening.

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