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Rory McIlroy needed a prayer to save par on the fifth hole of the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, in the first round on Thursday.
It was answered.
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McIlroy hit one of his shots on the par-4 fifth hole into the rough and it didn’t look like it was going to end well for the Northern Irishman. He hit his shot from the rough into a bunker and then somehow got his bunker shot onto the green.
To save par, McIlroy needed to nail a long putt. He did just that.
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It was his 11th par up to that point as the two-time defending RBC Canadian Open champion was contending for the U.S. Open lead as he finished up the first round of the tournament.
McIlroy is looking for his first major championship win since 2014 when he won the PGA Championship and The Open Championship in the same year. He hasn’t won the U.S. Open since 2011.
But he had a ton of momentum going into this year’s U.S. Open. He finished second at the Masters, fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship, eighth at the PGA Championship and tied for 18th at Memorial before winning the RBC Canadian Open. He appears due for a major win.
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He was chasing Callum Tarren, who ended his first-round 3-under par and in the lead. Tarren missed the cut in his first U.S. Open appearance and is in good shape to make the cut so far in this year’s event.