Rory McIlroy shares the lead
Rory McIlroy shares the lead

Rory McIlroy shares the lead after round one of the US Open following opening 65

History was on Rory McIlroy’s side as he attempted to follow a brilliant start with another step towards a first major title since 2014 in the 124th US Open.

McIlroy carded a superb, bogey-free 65 to share the overnight lead with American Patrick Cantlay at Pinehurst, both players matching the first-round score of Martin Kaymer on his way to a runaway victory at the same venue in 2014.

Another good omen for McIlroy was that the last three times he has started a major with a bogey-free round – in the 2011 US Open, 2012 US PGA and 2014 Open – he went on to win all three.

Two days after reconciling with his wife Erica and dismissing the divorcecone petition he filed last month, McIlroy holed from seven feet for a birdie on the fourth, chipped in for another on the next and birdied the 10th, 16th and 18th to equal his lowest opening score in the US Open.

Playing partners Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele, who won the year’s first two majors, shot 71 and 70, respectively.

“I went through a run there for a while where my starts at major championships weren’t very good. Probably got myself a little too worked up at the start of the week,” McIlroy said.

“Certainly the major championships that I’ve won or the ones that I’ve played well at, I’ve always seemed to get off to a good start, and it’s nice to get off to another one.

“My short game was good early on. I chipped in at five and had a really good up and down on six and on eight. But apart from that, I think I hit every other green. It was a really controlled round of golf.”

McIlroy, Scheffler, and Schauffele were among the early starters on Friday, hoping to exploit what they expected to be ideal conditions.

“Selfishly for me, getting back out there in the morning, it’s going to be nice,” McIlroy said.

“Hopefully, the clouds clear away, and it’s a nice clear day for the guys in the afternoon.”

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