'Big Three' struggle at US Open

Jordan Spieth (Getty)
Jordan Spieth (Getty)

Oakmont - The new "Big Three" of golf lost some of their sheen in the first round of the US Open which straddled two days at Oakmont before concluding Friday afternoon.

Thursday thunderstorms compounded the toughness of the famed par-70 course and by the time the dust had settled Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy were a combined 15 over par.

World number one Day, seeking a second major title after winning the PGA Championship last year, had a 76 which included a double-bogey six at the seventh where he needed three greenside bunker shots.

Day's preparations for the second of the year's majors were disrupted by a bad cold, but he said on Tuesday that he did not expect that to effect his game.

But he did admit that his stress levels were high as he felt he needed to produce the level of golf expected of a world number one.

"US Opens are always stressful," he said. "You just get out there and it's like okay, I've just got to somehow survive this week and hopefully it works out."

The way the Australian played on Friday morning he may not be able to survive, but at least he had an immediate chance to put it right as he embarked on his second round right away.

Day opened well with a birdie at the 10th, but that was cancelled out by a bogey at 18. Further birdies at the second and fourth saw him heading in the right direction, but he bunkered his tee-shot to the par-three sixth and took another bogey to stand five-over with three holes to play when darkness intervened.

McIlroy cut a disconsolate figure after his opening 77, which saw him bogey the last three holes on the resumption on Friday morning.

He admitted to having had recent problems with his swing and said that his mindset was not where he wanted it to be.

"I think for me the toughest thing is just trying to stay positive and not get too down on myself and try to go out there, whether it be tonight for a couple of shots or get out there tomorrow morning and try to play well and make it into the weekend," he said.

"Yeah, I think right now I'm just trying to stay as positive as I can."

Defending champion Spieth was in a much better frame of mind and in truth his two-over total left him handily placed just six shots off the lead shared by world number 624 Andrew Landry and sixth-ranked Dustin Johnson.

All to play for, the 22-year-old Texan believes.

"I know that at the end of the day, the USGA is going to try to have even par win the golf tournament, and I know that I can shoot two-under in the remaining 54 holes no matter how the course plays. I know I'm capable of it."

Both Spieth and McIlroy will tackle their second rounds on Saturday morning before those that make the cut play the third round in the afternoon.

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