Major relief as Rory McIlroy gets off to a flyer at last


That set the stage for his hole-in-one off the seventh tee, which put Reed on 1-under for the tournament, two off the early lead held by United States amateur Davis Thompson.

"I also felt the greens have got maybe a smidge quicker and a bit firmer", said Cabrera Bello, who made five birdies and five bogeys. It's very hard. So I still have to work on hitting it straight while hitting it far.

On a day of record-low scoring at Winged Foot, Dustin Johnson could only manage a 3-over 73. "I feel like most aspects of my game are a little more under control now than they were say a month ago".

Tough enough that the US Golf Association, which prides itself on a national championship that is a "searching test" of every facet of a player's game, will leave it up to the course to determine the champion, with no gimmicky set-up strategies.

"Just seeing a couple putts go in would be nice", he said.

"It definitely was a scramble out there", Reed said.

There were no spectators to applaud either of their incredible shots as a coronavirus pandemic precaution, the deadly virus having delayed the event from its usual June date.

"I got this", he said as he began to walk down the fairway toward his ball.

Luck and momentum appeared to be on his side when he rolled in a 31foot birdie putt over one of the many severe slopes on Winged Foots tricky greens at No 9 That kicked off a stretch of three straight birdies putting Woods at 1under and in good position at a course where hes historically struggled.

Mickelson famously started the 18th hole at Winged Foot in 2006 with a one stroke lead but chose to use a driver off the tee and promptly hit a hospitality tent.

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The US Open is the only Major he has not won - he has five others, including three Masters, one Open, and one PGA. He has finished first or second in each of his past four starts.

Despite relatively low scores no player carded a bogey-free round on day one, and hard pin positions during a windy second round kept scoring at a premium. "I sort of walked off the green a little disappointed but if someone had given me a 67 at the start of the day I'd have taken it".

But when the R&A chose to postpone the 149th edition of golf's oldest championship until 2021, it freed up a space for Winged Foot to keep the US Open.

"It was a tough lie, going back into the grain ... and I hit it, and it came out left, went down the hill - almost holed the fourth [shot], but that's the way it is". Oosthuizen holed out from 148 yards in the second fairway for an eagle and closed with a birdie at the ninth from inside four feet.

Woods, like Johnson, will have work to do after an opening round 73, while Northern Irishman McIlroy will look to build on his first round 67.

"We didn't practice them as well as I should have leading up to this tournament, but we made that adjustment, and it worked out beautifully for me today".

A bogey on 17 and double bogey on 18, after he duffed a chip, saw Woods (pictured) fall down the leaderboard. He birdied three in a row from the ninth through 11th holes only to close with three bogeys and a double in the last six holes.

The good news? It never got any worse. Starting his round on No. 10, the South African shot 37 on the back nine to turn in 2 over. "It's a disappointing day", Mickelson told reporters.

"For the most part I did drive it well".