Why Tiger Woods isn’t playing in the US Open as Rory McIlroy makes early charge at Brookline

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Rory McIlroy has made a strong start to a US Open which is missing three-time winner Tiger Woods, with the Northern Irish star one shot off the lead after the first round at Brookline.

Tiger Woods Rory Mcllroy

McIlroy, who won the US Open in 2011, would be level with first-round leader Adam Hadwin had he not bogeyed the 18th.

But it was nevertheless an impressive start to his US Open bid as he carded a three-under-par 65 to sit joint-second with England’s world number 445 Callum Tarren, Sweden’s David Lingmerth, American Joel Dahmen and South African MJ Daffue.

Canadian Hadwin remains out in front after making six birdies in a four-under-par 66.

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, finished second at the Masters earlier in the year and looked in good form on day one at Brookline.

But the 33-year-old admitted he found it ‘hard not to get frustrated’ during the round as he twice threw one of his clubs in anger.

‘You’re going to encounter things at a US Open that you just don’t really encounter any other week,’ McIlroy said.

‘It’s hard not to get frustrated because I’m walking up there going like, “just come back into the bunker”.

‘The thickest rough on the course is around the edges of the bunkers. So I was sort of cursing the USGA whenever I was going up to the ball, but it’s one of those things.

‘It happens here, it doesn’t really happen anywhere else. You just have to accept it.

‘I gave the sand a couple of whacks because I’d already messed it up, so it wasn’t like it was much more work for Harry (Diamond, his caddie), and then I just reset and played a decent bunker shot, and then it was really nice to hole that par putt.’

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