McIlroy, Spieth and Mickleson struggle in US Open first round


It was a tough day for all three members of the Spieth, Mickelson and McIlroy feature group as the trio littered their scorecards with bogeys during round 1 of the US Open.

Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy set the clubhouse target of the morning starters during round one of the US Open with a pair of one-under 69s, finishing as the only two to have managed anything under par.

But for the feature group of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson, it was a completely different story. 

With easier conditions forecasted at Shinnecock Hills on Thursday morning, there were big things expected from the trio. McIlroy and Spieth are two former champions who both have a chance to regain the World No.1 spot this week, while six-time US Open runner-up Mickelson has the opportunity to complete the grand-slam.

Instead, the stiff breeze and set-up proved a tough examination for all three players as they struggled to a combined 25-over-par on the first day in Long Island. 

Between them, the group had 20 bogeys, five doubles and six birdies on a day where Mickelson led the way on seven-over-par. Jordan Spieth finished a shot further back on eight-over while McIlroy posted a 10-over-par 80, his worst ever opening round in a major championship. 

Starting their round from the 10th tee, it was Jordan Spieth who got off to the worst start of the group, three-putting for bogey on the opening hole and following it with a triple-bogey on the par-three 11th

Meanwhile, McIlroy got off to a solid start, just lipping out for birdie on his first hole and carding an opening par - but it was mostly downhill from there. That par was just one of two on a front nine that included four bogeys, back-to-back doubles and a solitary birdie on the par-four 15th (his sixth hole). 

He did manage back-to-back birdies on the 5th and 6th holes to get back to eight-over, but bogeys on the 7th and 9th hole saw him post an inward nine of 38 to tie his worst ever score (80) as a professional. 

Mickelson, who finished a shot better than Spieth in their group, hit 13 out of 14 fairways but struggled with his approach shots that saw him card eight birdies and one birdie.

And they weren't the only ones to find it difficult at Shinnecock Hills during the opening round. Jason Day finished at nine-over-par, while 2017 US Open champion Brooks Koepka shot a five-over 75. 

However, it was a better day for Justin Rose, who currently sits two shots adrift of the leaders on +1. 

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