Australia markets close in 40 minutes

    +16.30 (+0.24%)
  • ASX 200

    +16.50 (+0.26%)

    +0.0027 (+0.42%)
  • OIL

    +0.64 (+0.83%)
  • GOLD

    +5.40 (+0.33%)

    +1,713.22 (+5.87%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +25.45 (+5.88%)

    +0.0010 (+0.15%)

    -0.0046 (-0.40%)
  • NZX 50

    -220.33 (-1.93%)

    -57.13 (-0.51%)
  • FTSE

    +2.35 (+0.03%)
  • Dow Jones

    -329.60 (-1.11%)
  • DAX

    -56.27 (-0.46%)
  • Hang Seng

    -166.97 (-0.94%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +129.86 (+0.49%)

Rory McIlroy in US Open contention after final birdie on 18th in fading light

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy put himself in contention at the US Open by running up the 18th to tap in a birdie to finish his opening round three shots off the lead before bad light stopped play.

A total of 36 players ended day one having failed to finish including joint leader Louis Oosthuizen, who with two holes still to play is four-under par with American Russell Henley, the clubhouse leader.

Others in contention were Francesco Molinari showing a return to form a stroke off the lead as well as a high-profile group of players on two-under, among them Brooks Koepka, John Rahm and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

But on a day where play was delayed by 90 minutes because of the fog, McIlroy’s 100-yard run down the last caught the eye to complete his round on a day when he battled to stay in contention.

Of that final putt, the Northern Irishman said: “The birdie was awesome. That putt was pretty. I was sort of, like, I think it’s straight, I’ll hit it straight and we’ll see. But yeah it was nice to get in, get an extra hour of sleep tonight and it was a bonus to birdie it as well.”

For McIlroy, it ended his run of bad opening rounds in the Majors. At the Masters, he shot a 76, which would eventually lead to him missing the cut, and then his 75 at the recent PGA Championship meant he was never in contention.

He added: “It was good. I got off to a really good start with a birdie at the first and I played well. I didn’t miss a green until the seventh hole. That’s the key around here, you can get away with some wayward shots off the tee, and I did today but I was able to recover well and hit greens. And if you can just keep hitting greens out there, that’s the name of the game and I did that well.”

Oosthuizen knows he has the chance to take a first-round lead with two holes remaining of his round at Torrey Pines.

“I just enjoy playing really tough golf courses,” he said. “I think somehow I focus a little bit better when I play those courses knowing that the margin for error is really small.”

Home favourite Phil Mickelson, bidding for a clean sweep of the Majors after his shock PGA win, had a tough opening day on his home course with a 75.

Read More

Matt Wallace column: Level par might be enough for me to win the US Open

Phil Mickelson hoping for second fairytale to complete golf’s Grand Slam with US Open win at home course

Phil Mickelson becomes oldest Major winner at 50 with PGA Championship victory