Rory McIlroy starts well in US Open, Zlatan ensures there’s no Tallaght fairytale

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

Aaron Green’s son, Jack, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s jersey after AC Milan’s win over Shamrock Rovers. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Aaron Green’s son, Jack, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s jersey after AC Milan’s win over Shamrock Rovers. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Rory McIlroy’s bid to secure a fifth Major title - six years after his last - got off to a fine start yesterday, as he shot an opening round of 67 on the first day of the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot. McIlroy’s three under par round leaves him in a share of fifth place,two strokes behind leader Justin Thomas, who took advantage of surprisingly favourable scoring conditions and opened with an eye-catching 65. Matthew Wolff, Thomas Pieters and Patrick Reed - who enjoyed a hole-in-one on the seventh - are a shot off the lead. The rest of the Irish contingent in New York struggled however, with Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell both shooting 76s and amateur James Sugrue a 78 - all three will have work to do to make the cut. Lowry’s second round gets underway at 12.45pm today, while McIlroy’s group and Thomas’s group - which also contains Tiger Woods - tee off simultaneously on the first and 10th at 6.27pm. You can follow all of the second day’s action via the Irish Times liveblog today, with John O’Sullivan starting at around 1pm before Ruaidhrí Croke guides you deep into the night.

There was to be no fairytale in Tallaght last night, as Shamrock Rovers were beaten 2-0 by AC Milan in the Europa League qualifiers. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for the visitors after 23 minutes, with Hakan Canhanoglu’s second half strike putting the game to bed. Afterwards, boss Stephen Bradley paid tribute to his side’s efforts: “We have created three really, really good chances against a top team and when you consider the quality of the players and the intensity they play at, I thought we were outstanding.” Elsewhere Dundalk progressed thanks to a 1-0 win over Inter Club d’Escalades in Andorra, while Tottenham scraped past Lokomotiv Plovdiv - Jose Mourinho’s side 2-1 winners in Bulgaria.

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