Friday 18 August 2017

McIlroy paired with Day and Rose for US Open return

Rory McIlroy has announced he will be fit for next week's US Open after overcoming a rib injury
Rory McIlroy has announced he will be fit for next week's US Open after overcoming a rib injury

William S Callahan

Rory McIlroy has been grouped alongside another former world number one in Jason Day and Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose for the first two rounds of next week's US Open.

McIlroy earlier this week confirmed his participation at Erin Hills after recovering from a stress fracture to a rib which forced him to withdraw from last month's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. The trio will tee off on Thursday at 7.09pm Irish time.

Rose's conqueror at the Masters, Sergio Garcia, will tee off with Bubba Watson, the 2012 and 2014 champion at Augusta, and Adam Scott, who walked away with the green jacket four years ago, at 6.36pm.

The pick of the morning groupings sees Dustin Johnson begin the defence of his title alongside his two predecessors, Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer.

The trio will commence their first round at 1.35pm. English duo Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell go off at 1.02pm while Paul Dunne will be in the fourth group out on Thursday at 12.18 pm alongside David Lingmerth and Haotong Li of Chinese Taipei.

Shane Lowry goes out at 6.58 Irish time on Thursday evening alongside American duo Scott Piercy and Jim Furyk.

Contingent

McDowell was the only member of the Irish contingent heading for the US Open next week to play in the $6.4 million FedEx St Jude Classic which started at TPC Southwind in Memphis yesterday.

In an eventful round, G-Mac birdied three and bogeyed one of the last four holes for a one-under par total of 69, despite a double bogey on the ninth.

Power, meanwhile, was two-under par after nine holes, with three birdies and a bogey in his outward 33. He got home in 36 with eight pars and one bogey, for a 69. Birdies are hard-earned on this par-70 course which demands care and precision with water a factor on 11 holes.

The clubhouse lead was set at six-under par by journeymen Matt Every and Scott Brown along with Stewart Cink, all on 64. They were a shot ahead of former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel who closed on 65 while Phil Mickelson was alongside Power and McDowell on one under par.

Elsewhere, Ireland's Gavin Moynihan and former League of Ireland soccer player Stephen Grant each signed for 67, five-under par, in the Challenge Tour's KPMG Open at Royal Waterloo GC in Belgium. Cormac Sharvin finished on 68. Joachim B Hansen of Denmark set the pace with a nine-under par 63 after round one.

Gary Hurley, the only Irish player in the Lyonness Open on the European Tour, carded 75, three over par. Felipe Aguilar of Chile produced 65 to lead the field.

FedEx St Jude Classic, Live, SS 4, 9.0pm

Lyonness Open, Live, SS 4, 10.0am

Irish Independent

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