Sport Golf

Friday 23 August 2019

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell off to strong start at US Open - but a tough day for Shane Lowry at Pebble Beach

Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, poses for a picture on the 18th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, poses for a picture on the 18th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Rory McIlroy is firmly in contention after his opening round at the US Open, carding a three-under-par 68 at Pebble Beach.

McIlroy ends day one just two strokes behind current clubhouse leaders Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele, who all finished with on -5.

The Northern Irishman, who is looking for a first Major win since 2014, began his round at the 10th hole with a bogey. However, he bounced back shortly afterwards with a birdie at the 13th and another at the 17th before the turn.

McIlroy then picked up shots with back-to-back birdies at the second and third in a blemish-free second nine, although he did miss some further opportunities to better his score.

2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell also made a strong start in his attempt to win another Major at Pebble Beach with a two-under-par round of 69. McDowell made 16 pars and two birdies, at the fourth and sixth holes, to keep himself in contention on a tough opening day.

Shane Lowry didn't fare as well as McDowell and McIlroy, and is now in a struggle to make the cut after finishing on +4.

Lowry made two birdies on the front nine at four and seven but was inconsistent in his play, also bogeying the second and making double bogey at six and nine. His play was more solid on the back nine, but he carded one more bogey at 11 to finish with a round of 75.

US Open day two tee times (Irish time)

Rory McIlroy 21.36

Shane Lowry 21.58

Graeme McDowell 21.58

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