Golf

Rory McIlroy made a poor start to his bid for a second US Open title on Thursday (AP).

Sluggish start for Rory McIlroy at Oakmont

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Rory McIlroy's conservative approach failed to pay dividends as he struggled to take advantage of ideal conditions for the early starters in the first round of the US Open.

More than an inch of rain fell overnight to soften the course and slow Oakmont's severely sloping greens, which were described as "legendarily fast" by USGA chief executive Mike Davis on Wednesday.

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That looked to have played into the hands of McIlroy, who won his first major title in the 2011 US Open with a record 16 under par total in wet conditions at Congressional.

However, the four-time major winner missed the fairway on each of the first three holes, despite taking an iron off the tee, and bogeyed the second and third after being forced to play out sideways from deep fairway bunkers.

At two over par the 27-year-old was already four shots off the early pace being set by Americans Kevin Streelman and Andrew Landry, who had started from the 10th and were two under par for seven and nine holes respectively.

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Open champion Zach Johnson, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Shane Lowry and Bubba Watson were all one under par, with defending champion Jordan Spieth level par after two holes.

Masters champion Danny Willett, who is looking to match Spieth's achievement last year of winning the first two majors of the season, was also level par after following a birdie on the second with a bogey on the third.

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Topics:
Golf
Rory McIlroy

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