Rory McIlroy off to a hot start at US Open; Jackie Tyrrell on the cauldron of Wexford Park

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

Tiger Woods putts on the 10th green during the first round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Tiger Woods putts on the 10th green during the first round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It may have happened in the early hours of this morning but it’s been a scintillating start to the US Open at Pebble Beach with virtually all of the biggest names in golf moving themselves into position after day one. Rory McIlroy was among the early starters on the California coastline and he fired a three under par 68 – his first round in the 60s at a US Open since 2015 – to sit inside the top-10 heading into Friday. However, the man to catch is Justin Rose. The 2013 champion put together a round which included five birdies and an eagle on the way to a six under par 65 to lead by one from Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise. Back at two under is Brooks Koepka who, after six holes, looked like he was going to run away with yet another Major before faltering while Tiger Woods also shot under par with a round of 70. For Graeme McDowell it was a brilliant return to the scene of his US Open triumph nine years ago as he opened with a bogey-free 69 but it was a day to forget for Shane Lowry. Rose, Woods and Koepka are among the early starters today and you can follow all of the action on our liveblog from 3.30pm.

Moving on to GAA and Jackie Tyrrell writes in his column this morning that this weekend’s round-robin hurling fixtures have a bit of a World War II feel to them with battle being waged on two fronts – Eastern (Leinster) and Southern (Munster). Wexford v Kilkenny is perhaps the pick of the bunch this weekend and Tyrrell writes that “anytime I went there, I always felt like a young lad robbing an orchard, looking over your shoulder waiting for a farmer to chase you out the gate with a pocketful of apples. You never felt comfortable, you were always on edge.”

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