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Irish amateur Kevin Phelan 4 shots off Mickelson and US Open lead

The Waterford golfer has kept his wits about him on a stormy day in Philadelphia.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Updated at 11:50pm

WATERFORD GOLFER KEVIN PHELAN is just four shots off the US Open lead on day one of the Major championship in at Merion Golf Course in Philadelphia. Rory McIlroy made a solid start and was on -1 after four holes when heavy rains once again held up play.

The 22-year-old, from Waterford Castle GC but based in Florida, finished on +1 after a round of 71. He is four shots back from Phil Mickelson, who leads the way on -3 midway after an opening round of 67.

Phelan, who qualified for the 2010 US Open but failed to make the cut, started his round on the 10th and was level after four holes. He drained a birdie putt on five but handed it back before the turn.

The young amateur did not let the bogey on 18 deflate his early charge and a birdie on the first hole, his tenth of the day, put him back in the red. Phelan was faced with tricky putting conditions as the greens, damp following morning storms, began to dry out. He bogeyed the fifth and 9th hole – part of his closing stretch – to drop into the black but is is well placed to make the cut.

Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington slumped to +4 but sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the seventh, his 15th. He finished on +3. The Northern Irish golfers, Graeme McDowell, McIlroy and Darren Clarke, started off late. The latter two were steady but McDowell was a disappointing +3 after five holes.

Tiger Woods (+1) and Adam Scott (-1) joined McIlroy in the marquee grouping that were held up due to the stormy conditions.

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Leaderboard (11:50pm)

-3: Phil Mickelson, Peter Hedblom *After 7

-2: Estanliao Goya, Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson

-1: 19 players including Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Adam Scott

More to follow…

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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