Rory McIlroy's US Open chances look to be over already
An implosion on the front nine, but after the turn.
Rory McIlroy has one US Open to his name but he does not look to be adding to that in 2018.
Ahead of teeing off in his first round, McIlroy told reporters:
"So would love to do that again this week. It feels like it's been a while since I've been in the mix at this championship. With how my game feels, hopefully I can do the right things over the first few days and put myself in a position to win another one."
Bluntly put, Shinnecock Hills is an aul' bollocks of a course and anything under par in the opening round, when the greens are like polished silver, would be good going.
Charley Hoffman made the early running, to go -2, and McIlroy was not far off. That was, for the first hole.
Starting off on the 10th hole, the Holywood native got a par before dropping his first shot on the par three 11th hole. It got worse from there, then worse again.
There was another bogey on the 462-yard par five 12th hole and then two double bogeys on the 13th and 14th. After five holes of his opening round, McIlroy was +6. The start was not too hot for McIlroy's playing partners Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson...
Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are a combined +15 in the first round of the #USOpen
— Scott Forester (@scott4ester) June 14, 2018
There was a chink of light, though, on the next hole as McIlroy picked up his first birdie of the day to get back to +5.
It got worse from there as McIlroy sank to +10 after 11. He made two birdies in a row to briefly rally but another bogey followed and he slipped to +9 after 16.
Ian Poulter, meanwhile, was tipping along nicely at -1 (after 17) while Scott Piercey was alongside him atop the early leaderboard.