Rory McIlroy makes steady start at US Open; night of high emotion in Copenhagen

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Rory McIlroy putts on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2021 US Open. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA

Rory McIlroy putts on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2021 US Open. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA

After a fog delay yesterday morning caused a delay to tee times in the first round of the US Open the light was quickly fading as Rory McIlroy finished on the 18th but the four-time Major winner managed to ensure that his chances of ending a seven-year winless drought in the biggest events of them all are still very much alive. Almost in total darkness by the time his group reached the 18th hole, McIlroy hammered home a birdie putt for a one under par round of 70 which leaves him three shots behind leaders Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen. Among the earlier starters Shane Lowry battled back from a triple bogey for a one over par round of 72 while Brooks Koepka once again showed his prowess at golf’s toughest test by opening with a round of 69 to sit ominously alongside a host of other big names at two under.

At Euro 2020 all eyes yesterday were on the meeting between Denmark and Belgium as the Danish team took to the pitch for the first time since Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest. In the end Kevin De Bruyne ensured that the points went the way of Belgium but a night of high emotion was captured in a 10th minute moment of applause for Eriksen who remains in hospital. Writing in her column this morning, Mary Hannigan says that, on RTÉ, Ronnie Whelan very much misjudged the mood by questioning the tribute while, on ITV, Clive Tyldesley went to the other extreme. However, the question does still remain - now that their tournament is potentially over after two losses - should Denmark ever have been faced with the question of resuming their opening match against Finland. In his column this morning, Johnny Watterson writes that an extra 48 hours would have done a world of good if Uefa had opted to be so accommodating. In last night’s late match, the Netherlands took control of Group C with a game to spare thanks to a 2-0 win over Austria while, this evening, England and Scotland insist that their highly-anticipated Wembley meeting will remain all business rather than personal. Don’t forget you can keep up to date with all that’s going on at Euro 2020 via our dedicated site.

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