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Lowry and McIlroy stay in touch after disrupted first day of US Open

Play was suspended late on Thursday evening after the opening round was marred by a 90-minute fog delay.

Shane Lowry hits from a bunker on the first fairway.
Shane Lowry hits from a bunker on the first fairway.
Image: Jae C. Hong

Updated Jun 18th 2021, 8:10 AM

SHANE LOWRY AND Rory McIlroy are in the mix at the US Open. 

Lowry began with a triple bogey early in his first round but he recovered to shoot a 72 and lies five shots off the lead at Torrey Pines.

The 2019 Open champion was one of the early starters at the third Major of the year at the course in San Diego and is one-over after his opening round.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy closed with an eight-foot birdie putt to open on 70, bouncing back after bogeys at the 12th and par-5 13th holes.

“The birdie is awesome. That putt was pretty. It was nice to get in, get an extra hour of sleep,” McIlroy said after a delay. He’s in a tie for 23rd at level par. 

“You can get away with some wayward shots off the tee, and I did, but I was able to recover well and hit greens.”

Louis Oosthuizen had the chance to claim the lead when the weather-affected US Open resumed.

Oosthuizen faced a birdie putt on his penultimate hole when play was suspended late on Thursday evening, a legacy of a 90-minute fog delay earlier in the day.

The South African was the only late starter able to catch clubhouse leader Russell Henley, whose opening four-under-par 67 gave him a one-shot lead over Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Two-time winner Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama were among those on two under, but US PGA winner Phil Mickelson struggled to a 75.

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Lowry’s round was marred by what unfolded on the 4th hole. His drive on the par-four went left and cost him a penalty stroke but there was still a chance to lessen the damage until his putting let him down. Lowry ended up three putting from close range and walked off with that triple bogey.

That was the major blemish in an otherwise solid round with a birdie on the 2nd having got him off to a strong start while he picked up another shot on the 6th for a timely boost.

He was out in 36 before his back nine saw him drop a shot on the par-three 11th and then he dragged that back with a birdie on the par-four 14th, finishing with 13 pars in total.

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