McIlroy defiant after US Open slump

 Rory McIlroy (AFP)
Rory McIlroy (AFP)

Oakmont - Rory McIlroy's hopes of winning a second US Open were sent reeling at rain-hit Oakmont on Friday when a disastrous three-bogey finish to his first round saw him limp off the course with a seven-over 77.

That left him 11 shots off the early pace and in a battle just to make the cut.

The four-time major winner from Northern Ireland had ended the day Thursday at four-over after 13 holes as the players were called off the course due to dangerous weather conditions.

He had hoped for a run of birdies in the morning to claw his way back up the leaderboard, but he got bogeys instead as his waywardness off the tee was punished by the unforgiving western Pennsylvania layout.

"I felt like it was hard getting into any kind of rhythm," he said.

"I am missing shots left, I am missing shots right. I need to go to the range this afternoon and work on a few things if I'm going to be here for the weekend.

"I am just not in a good place with my swing."

The last time McIlroy missed the cut in a major was at the 2013 British Open held at Muirfield.

The former world number one is known to prefer playing in good weather conditions and he has acknowledged that he needs to be able to rein in his aggressive instincts when the weather poses problems.

That was clearly the case on Thursday as the players were ordered on and off the course at regular intervals.

"It's been tough. It's a long first round, it's taken us over 24 hours to complete it," he said.

Still, McIlroy said that with the rest of the day on Friday at his disposal as he is not due back out for his second round until Saturday morning, there was still time for him to put things right and make it through to the weekend.

"I've got a lot of time now between now and going back out there so I will rest up a bit. There have been a few early mornings in a row so I will rest up, come back out here this evening and hit a few balls and try to figure out what the problem is with my swing," he said.

"I have a good idea, but it is just matter of hitting enough balls and get a feeling or swing thought to take on the course.

"(The stop start nature) has definitely complicated matters a little bit, but when you shoot 77 everything is a bit complicated."

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