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McDowell in second place as Kaymer's late charge helps him to US Open lead

You forgot there was a Major going on, didn’t you.

GRAEME MCDOWELL IS the best of the Irish after day one of the US Open in Pinehurst.

The Northern Irishman ended the day on two under par, tied for second place behind Martin Kaymer.

The German, coming off a victory in last month’s Players Championship, carded four birdies in his back nine to seize a three-stroke lead as one of the last groups on the course.

Kaymer birdied the 16th hole from 12 feet and the 17th from eight feet to stand on five-under par with one hole remaining, putting him three shots in front co-leaders Kevin Na McDowell in the clubhouse with 68.

Also at two-under was Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, who has only one top-10 showing in 20 US PGA starts this season, and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who sank a 40-foot birdie putt at 16.

US Open Golf Rory gets himself out of a hole. Source: Eric Gay

Kaymer, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, opened with a birdie, added another at the par-5 fifth, took a bogey at seven and then struck on the back nine with birdies at the par-5 10th and then 14 and 16.

Rory McIlroy ended the day one over par after birdying only the ninth and the 18th holes. Shane Lowry was two strokes further back after hitting the turn and three over par before carding seven pars, a birdie and a bogey.

Darren Clarke had a torrid opening day, with three bogeys either side of the turn before a birdie on 17 left him on +5 going into day two.

- © AFP, 2014

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