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Top-ranked Johnson grabs share of US Open lead

England’s Ian Poulter and American Scott Piercy were in the clubhouse on one-under 69.

Dustin Johnson tees off the second hole during the first round of the US Open golf tournament at Shinnecock Hills.
Dustin Johnson tees off the second hole during the first round of the US Open golf tournament at Shinnecock Hills.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

WORLD NUMBER ONE Dustin Johnson seized a share of the lead with nine holes remaining in his opening round at the US Open golf championship.

On a day when strong winds blowing off Long Island Sound made Shinnecock Hills a test of survival, Johnson was two-under through nine holes, tied with fellow American Russell Henley, who was two-under through 12.

England’s Ian Poulter and American Scott Piercy were in the clubhouse on one-under 69 on a day that saw a bevy of stars struggle and few players drop below par even briefly.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy matched his highest major round score with a 10-over 80. Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth signed for a 78 and five-time major winner Phil Mickelson posted a 77.

Tiger Woods, playing the US Open for the first time since 2015, got off to a disastrous start with a triple-bogey at the par-four first.

Woods’s approach from the fairway rolled through the green and down into a collection area. His chip was short and rolled back down, his next attempt also failing to stay on the putting surface.

The 14-time major champion, playing just his 10th event in his comeback after spinal fusion surgery, used his putter to get the ball on the green, then two-putted for a seven.

Woods promptly bogeyed the next, but pulled a stroke back at the par-five fifth to make the turn at three-over.

© – AFP 2018

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