HomeSportsUS Open: McIlroy slams stick into sand after bunker-to-bunker nightmare, but miraculously...

US Open: McIlroy slams stick into sand after bunker-to-bunker nightmare, but miraculously saves par

Enjoying a fast start to US Open 122, hosted at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, disaster struck on his fourteenth hole, the fifth hole, when McIlroy hit his tee shot into a bunker on the right side of the hole. street.

Confronted with an awkward lie, the ball lying in the tall grass at the tip of the bunker, things went from bad to worse as the 33-year-old successfully escaped the bunker only to see his ball slide into the sand below. mere meters. In front.

McIlroy shot a desperate look at his feet before slamming his stick into the sand twice, a technique that mimics a bunker tee shot, albeit an aggressive one.

Fittingly, the world number three proceeded to show off his impeccable technique with his subsequent teeing effort from the middle of the next bunker, the ball hitting the green and narrowly missing the hole.

Sinking his par-saving putt, McIlroy’s great escape highlighted an impressive first round that left him tied for the lead at 3-under 67 when he returned to the clubhouse.

At 2-under through the back nine after starting on the 10th hole, he looked poised to finish his round as the outright leader with back-to-back birdies going into the final hole.

However, an awkward approach shot in the tall grass on the final par-four hole left McIlroy needing another miracle to make par. Throwing his club away in anger, the reaction mimicked that of his fourteenth hole, but the result did not, with McIlroy forced to end the day with his first bogey of the round.

‘Mentally I’m in a good place’

The Northern Irishman is seeking his 22nd PGA Tour victory and his fifth major win at the US Open, a tournament that gave him his first major win in 2011. McIlroy had won the British Open and the PGA Championship twice at the close of 2014, but has not. he won a major since then.

He came to Boston in good shape after winning the Canadian Open, defending his 2019 title, and believed the win gave him “consolation” heading into the week.
McIlroy plays his second shot on the 13th hole.

“Playing 72 holes at the US Open is like playing under pressure all the time, even though the tournament doesn’t really start until the weekend,” McIlroy told Sky Sports after his round.

“I think I’m in a good place mentally, which I showed today with some of the stops and trying to keep going.”

He shares the lead with Sweden’s David Lingmerth and England’s Callum Tarren, with several big names yet to play their first round in Boston.

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