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McIlroy, Day try to make up ground, make cut at US Open

McIlroy and Day spent so much time in the fescue on Thursday they probably had to check for ticks afterwards, the Northern Irishman running up a 78, Day a 79.”It was all my own fault, but it was a good display of what can happen if you get out of position on this golf course, which is what I did on 14″. “Just did a good job, knew I needed to drive it well, and from there just able to manage hitting and continuing to swing well”.McIlroy’s pre-tournament comments proved disappointingly accurate after he had predicted that anyone who could not hit the wide fairways “might as well pack your bags and go home”. “It was odd. I was confident the last few days and before teeing-off today”.”Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an eight on the card, but I’m a pretty happy man”, said Casey.Rickie Fowler did what he had to do to take the lead in the first round of the U.S. Open. He kept it in the short grass, the secret to Erin Hills that wouldn’t appear to be that hard with some of the widest fairways for this major.Rickie Fowler opened with a 7-under 65.His 7-under par tied the record to par for the first round of a U.S. Open held by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot 7-under 63 at Baltusrol in 1980.”I just remember on 17 he was at 2 under and I made a putt (to get to 2 under)”, Thomas recalled.Playing in the same group as Day, second-ranked Rory McIlroy had almost as much trouble as he shot a 6-over 78.On a day in which 105 players hit 10 or more fairways, McIlroy only hit five.Only a birdie at the last hole prevented the 29-year-old Day from equalling his worst score in golf’s four big dances – a second-round 80 at the 2012 US PGA Championship.World number four Hideki Matsuyama (74), number five Jordan Spieth (73) and number Henrik Stenson (74) will all have work to do if they hope to see the weekend at season’s second major. For most others, like Henrik Stenson, it was being careless off the tee and facing the rigorous test of recovering.That was three shots behind Fowler and fellow American Xander Schauffele, the 23-year-old having birdied the fifth to claim a share of the lead on his major championship debut. I was just trying to show what we have in some spots.”Early in the week I said to my caddie, anytime we hit it in here (fescue), we need to make sure we putt for par”, added Leishman.Shane Lowry is the only Irish golfer now inside the projected cut mark of 1-over at the US Open as Day 2 unfolds.NOTEWORTHY: Phil Mickelson withdrew, as expected, to attend his daughter’s graduation in California.”Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot at this time”, the USGA said in a statement.”I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach”, Jamie Lovemark said. “The golf course is actually really attractive”.England’s Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka (67) are a further stroke back. Fowler took advantage of Erin Hills’ four par 5s – all of which Fowler birdied – including two which came back-to-back as Fowler registered three straight birdies making the turn. With about two hours left in the second round, the cut was looking to be 1-over par, which would tie a U.S. Open record.Meanwhile, top-ranked Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott had sluggish starts on the longest course in major championship history. Length wasn’t the issue.Playing with a Green Bay Packers-inspired green-and-gold bag, Fowler got the crowd on his side early and never made a single bogey all day long.Day’s meltdown began when not one, but two chips from the first cut of rough behind the fourth green hit the top of the hill, then trundled back down to nearly where Day was standing.