Justin Thomas: It’s sad LIV Golf is overshadowing US Open
Follow live scores and updates from the US Open at Brookline as the third major of the season gets underway amid the “black cloud” of the LIV Golf series. It’s already been a momentous week for the sport, as the inaugural event of the Saudi-backed competition began at Centurion Club, while the loyal supporters of the PGA Tour Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas put on a show at the Canadian Open. It sets up what should be a thrilling week, as the two opposing sides of golf’s civil war come head to head at The Country Club.
McIlroy, who held off the challenge of the PGA Championship winner Thomas to win the title in Ontario last week, is the favorite ahead of the US Open as he looks to end his major drought. The 33-year-old has played some sparkling golf at the previous two majors this season and is feeling confident he has the game to string together a consistent four rounds. The four-time major winner is also set to be challenged by defending champion Jon Rahm, who is among the early starters, as well as the Masters champion Scottie Scheffler.
Elsewhere, there will be plenty of interest in the LIV Golf contingent, particularly Phil Mickelson, just days after the rebel players were banned by the PGA Tour. Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed are among those to sign up to the controversial event and the reception they receive will be another talking point on what is set to be an eventful week. Follow live scores and updates from the US Open, below:
McIlroy catches the rough with his drive at the par-4 15th, and then walks away from his ball after his approach to the green lands short and into the long stuff about 25 yards away. Another tricky up and down to eat.
It’s a decent but not great effort from McIlroy. He wanted it to run on and is left with 12 feet for par.
Straight in the middle! Brilliant putt from McIlroy to save his par from him. Now, he needs to start turning these par putts into birdie putts.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 14:16
At 624 yards, the par-5 14th is an extraordinary hole and features a blind approach to the green over a bank. McIlroy’s drive finds the rough, not a great start, and has to hack out to set him up for an approach with his third of it. After checking out the view of the enormous green, McIlroy runs back down the hill to hit his shot from him. It’s on the green but a long way off. It’s a decent effort from McIlroy and he taps in for his par.
So after five holes McIlroy is even, but he’s safely negotiated one of the trickier stretches of the course. Schauffele, meanwhile, gets his birdie with a confident 10-footer.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 14:01
Oh hello there Jon Rahm. He sinks a lovely birdie putt from 12 feet at the par-3 6th, reminiscent of the putts he was nailing on his way to winning the US Open last season. It gets him into the red for the first time today.
Morikaway replies with a scrambling pair. The Open champion keeps finding the long rough and the bunkers but keeps getting himself out of trouble with lovely touches around the green. He saves his pair with six feet.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:54
McIlroy is eventually faced with another test par putt, this time from around eight feet, but makes an important four after initially getting into trouble off the tee.
Meanwhile, Morikawa has his second birdie of the round at the short par-4 5th. After driving into the green-side bunker he gets out and leaves a short putt for his three of him.
Rahm also birdies the 314-yard par-4 to get back to even.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:44
Remove the swing from McIlroy at 13, who sent his drive wide to the right and among the spectators. He was able to carry his approach over the creek guarding the green and has put it to about 20 feet.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:36
A few early red scores on the board, and plenty of American flags at the US Open as well. Joining Morikawa at -1 is Hayden Buckley, Matthew NeSmith, Travis Smith and the Australian Adam Scott.
Russell Henley has just gone one better after moving to -2 through three.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:30
Another short miss for Rahm! A wonderful approach onto the slope at the fourth trickles back down to inside five feet of the hole. The birdie putt was tentative, Rahm barely moving the putter back, and it dribbles wide.
Morikawa knocks one down from a similar distance to save par after scrambling from the bunker.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:27
A beauty from McIlroy at 12. His approach was softened by a bounce on the rough, which came right up to the edge of the green, and it hopped on to the fringes leading about 10 feet for birdie.
Another chance coming up.
The fine margins are shown by Schauffele’s approach – which landed maybe just a step behind McIlroy’s, but got stuck in the rough. The American almost chipped in though! Half a turn away from birdie.
And so was McIlroy! The line looked good but it faded to the right.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:18
Oof – an ugly one from Rahm at the third as a short par putt does a U-turn around the lip of the hole. He drops to +1.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:13
McIlroy plans a lovely iron into the small green on the par-3 11th, with the pin tucked towards the front. McIlroy lands it and pulls his ball back towards the cup, leaving about 15 feet or so.
The birdie putt pulls up about half a foot short, as McIlroy takes a lingering look back at the hole after tapping in. All three players in McIlroy’s group found the green and Hideki Matsuyama is able to make a two from 10 feet.
Jamie Braidwood16 June 2022 13:04