MAMARONECK, NEW YORK | If every journey begins with a step, Rory McIlroy’s encouraging first round in the U.S. Open at benevolent Winged Foot on Thursday was something like a hop, a skip and a jump.
On the scoreboard, McIlroy’s opening 3-under 67 put him near the top of a competition that didn’t look as much like a demolition derby as most expected, but it was only one soft day. With temperatures now set to turn chilly and the wind forecasted to blow enough to be bothersome, there was a sense Thursday that Winged Foot was merely clearing its throat.
For McIlroy – playing a good round that was two three-putt greens from being a special round – putting himself in position rather than out of position after the first round of a major championship was something of a plot twist.
Rory McIlroy shot a clean-looking 67 Thursday at Winged Foot. Photo: Jamie Squire, Getty Images
Now six years beyond the most recent of his four major championship victories, the narrative surrounding McIlroy has morphed from how many majors he might win...
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