Hadwin runs hot to claim US Open lead

·3-min read

Running hot, Canadian Adam Hadwin has fired a four-under-par 66 late to snatch the US Open first-round lead at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Hadwin surged ahead of Northern Ireland's in-form former world No.1 Rory McIlroy, who shared the lead at the conclusion of his round before ending up in a five-way tie for second place at three-under 67.

McIlroy was tied with Joel Dahmen, England's Callum Tarren, David Lingmerth of Sweden and MJ Daffue of South Africa.

England's Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose, as well as Americans Dustin Johnson, Hayden Buckley, Matthew NeSmith, Brian Harman and Aaron Wise, were tied for seventh at two-under 68.

Hadwin compiled five birdies in a six-hole stretch to make the turn at four-under 31. That included three straight birdies from the seventh hole, with his second shot at the par-4 ninth rolling to inside 3 feet of the pin.

After a bogey at the par-4 12th, Hadwin recovered with a birdie at the par-4 13th to re-establish himself as the sole leader.

The 34-year-old earned his only PGA Tour victory to date in 2017. He has never finished inside the top 20 at a major.

McIlroy entered as the US Open favourite after winning the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday.

He stayed hot, starting his day on the back nine with two birdies before holing back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth holes to reach four under.

But a tough shot from off the ninth green left him a long par putt he couldn't convert, and his only bogey of the round left the four-time major winner out of the outright lead at the end of the day.

Dahmen, 34, started on the back nine and heated up late, with birdies on three of his final five holes to join McIlroy and the early co-leaders.

Tarren was even through 15 holes before going birdie-eagle at the par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth to shoot up the leaderboard.

His second shot at No.8 nestled inside five feet for an easy eagle. Ranked No.445 in the world, the 32-year-old has never won on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour.

Lingmerth is a PGA Tour veteran who won his only career title in 2015. He entered the week ranked even lower than Tarren - No. 592 in the world. He stayed bogey-free with three birdies.

Johnson, the 2016 US Open champ, played in the late wave in his first appearance since leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. He carded four birdies to counteract two bogeys.

Defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris, Max Homa and Australia's Adam Scott were part of a large group tied at one-under 69.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed, Norway's Viktor Hovland and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama all shot even-par 70.

Bryson DeChambeau posted a one-over 71, and Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Australian Cameron Smith opened with rounds of two-over 72.

Needing a US Open trophy to complete a career slam, six-times runner-up Phil Mickelson was tied for 144th after a shocking eight-over 78 on his 52nd birthday.

After taking a three-month pause from the game and eventually choosing to join LIV Golf, Mickelson was competing on American soil for the first time since January.

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