“It looked good though”: Rory McIlroy shares why he ‘walked’ before his final birdie in Round 1 of the US Open

U.S. Open - Round One
Rory McIlroy, US Open 2024 (Image via Getty).

Rory McIlroy finished the first round of the 2024 US Open tied for first place with Patrick Cantlay. The Northern Irishman finished his round with a birdie on the 18th hole with a curious detail, as he walked away before the ball entered the hole.

This detail took up space in Rory McIlroy's press conference after finishing his round. A reported asked him why he had walked away from the putt he had just made, and McIlroy confessed that he initially thought he had missed it.

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This was what Rory McIlroy had to say about it:

"I thought I'd left it, short that's why I walked after it so... full disclosure! It look good though [laughs]... I was just on this run of hitting it into 20 feet and two-putting - actually had a good two-putt on 15th."

He added:

"I just felt like my patience... I could have got a little impatient, but I felt like my patience was rewarded there with birdies in two of the last three holes.. It was really nice to finish like that." [5:17 - 5:22, 5:40 - 6:00]

According to golf statistician Justin Ray, this is the fourth time that Rory McIlroy has played the first round of a major championship without bogeys. On the three previous instances, he ended up winning those tournaments (2011 US Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship).

How did Rory Mcilroy play the first round of the 2024 US Open?

Pinehurst No. 2 proved to be a big challenge for the US Open players, as only 15 players managed scores under par during the first round. Bryson DeChambeau even rated it the first round as follows (via TenGolf):

"This is probably the most difficult [round] that I've had in a long, long, long time. I can't remember the last time I mentally exerted myself that hard."

Rory Mcllroy was one of the best when it came to dealing with the course and put in a performance that took him to first place (tied with Patrick Cantlay) after 18 holes.

McIlroy started his round with a par on the first three holes, after which he made consecutive birdies on the 4th and 5th. He then closed the front nine with par on the last four holes.

The back nine started well for McIlroy, with a birdie on the 10th. The Northern Irishman managed to make par on the next five holes to finish with birdie - par - birdie on the final three holes.

The Northern Irishman started the second round at 7:29 am (Eastern Time). Through 17th, his score for the round is 1 over.

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Edited by Krishna Venki
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