McIlroy ties his major-worst score as his featured group with Spieth, Mickelson falters at U.S. Open

June 14, 2018

Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday he’s anxious to get this 118th U.S. Open started, but 24 hours later he might want a mulligan.

McIlroy struggled through a rough opening round at Shinnecock Hills on Thursday, shooting a 10-over 80. When he finished, with just less than half the field still yet to tee off, he was tied for 98th place and ahead of just five players.

It’s tied for the highest major round of his career. He also shot 80 in the second round of the 2010 British Open and infamously in the final round of the 2011 Masters when he held the lead on the back nine.

But McIlroy wasn’t alone Thursday. Playing in a high-powered featured group alongside Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson, the threesome finished a combined 25 over. Besides McIlroy’s 80, Mickelson shot 77 and Spieth shot 78 as the wind wreaked havoc on the field.

McIlroy made back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12 — the group started on the back nine — and then consecutive doubles on 13 and 14. A birdie on 15 was erased with another bogey on 16, and after he made bogey on the par-4 18th he made the turn in seven-over 42.

The 29-year-old’s fortunes didn’t change on the front nine. He doubled the 1st hole and bogeyed the second before making back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6. He closed his round with bogeys on 7 and 9.

Spieth bogeyed the 10th to start his day and then found green-side trouble on 11 and made triple. He also made back-to-back bogeys on 1 and 2 and a bogey and double bogey on 6 and 7 to close his second nine. Mickelson, despite hitting 13 of 14 fairways, make eight bogeys and just one birdie Thursday.

The threesome’s second round begins at 1:47 p.m. on Friday.