US Open: Rich Beem and Brad Faxon reflect on Rory McIlroy’s impressive start in Brookline | Golf News

McIlroy carded an opening-round 67 at The Country Club, seeing him share the early lead alongside Joel Dahmen, David Lingmerth and England’s Callum Tarren; Watch the US Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 16/06/22 9:35pm

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Rory McIlroy says he is in a ‘good spot mentally’ after carding an impressive three-under-par opening round 67 at the US Open.

Rory McIlroy says he is in a ‘good spot mentally’ after carding an impressive three-under-par opening round 67 at the US Open.

Brad Faxon and Rich Beem both paid tribute to Rory McIlroy after his impressive opening round at the US Open, where the former world No 1 made a strong start to his bid for a fifth major title and first major title since 2014.

The Northern Irishman followed Sunday’s RBC Canadian Open victory with a strong showing at The Country Club, carding four birdies and producing several impressive par-saves to grab a share of the early lead for the second successive major.

McIlroy’s only blemish came when he found thick rough with his approach to his final hole and then failed to get up and down, with Faxon – who is part of the former world No 1’s coaching team – believing the closing bogey may not be as much of a disappointment as it seemed.

The best of the action from Rory McIlroy's impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open.

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The best of the action from Rory McIlroy’s impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open.

The best of the action from Rory McIlroy’s impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open.

“He continued his great putting streak like he had last week in Canada, where he putted brilliantly,” Faxon told Sky Sports News. “I think he played with some fire and some inspiration. We saw some anger while he played and I really think the bogey on the last is probably going to help him.

“It will allow him to stay a little bit upset and maybe play with a little bit more passion. We know how much this means to him, especially being the figurehead that he is worldwide, so to add another national title to his resume would be pretty good!

Rory McIlroy's putting coach Brad Faxon believes his win in at the Canadian Open was the biggest of his career.

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Rory McIlroy’s putting coach Brad Faxon believes his win in at the Canadian Open was the biggest of his career.

Rory McIlroy’s putting coach Brad Faxon believes his win in at the Canadian Open was the biggest of his career.

“I’ve seen him get and we’ve seen a lot of golfers get angry when they’re not on, but McIlroy’s on right now. He has got everything going and I just think maybe he was disgusted with the break he got at the fifth, with the ball finishing where it did on the easiest par-four on the golf course.

“McIlroy said he had a little extra spring in his step after the win last week and it builds his confidence, but it’s always hard to defend a title and it’s hard to play another great round after a great round like he had on Sunday. I think this is a heck of a start for him. He is certainly in a position where he would have taken it at the beginning of the day.”

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No player has won a major the week after a PGA Tour victory since McIlroy achieved successive wins in 2014, with Beem impressed by how the world No 3 followed up his Canadian Open victory with another encouraging performance.

“I’ve got to say it was a class act from McIlroy, especially coming after the win in Canada last week,” Beem told Sky Sports. “Not perfect, not spectacular, but really really solid from tee to green.

“You never quite knew what to expect when you go out and play as wonderfully as you do last week, how do you keep that momentum? He came out and did exactly what he needed to do, made a couple of really nice par saves early but kept momentum with a couple of birdies on the front nine and just really played a solid round.

Rory McIlroy took out his frustration on the sand after chipping into the next bunker on the fifth hole at the US Open.

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Rory McIlroy took out his frustration on the sand after chipping into the next bunker on the fifth hole at the US Open.

Rory McIlroy took out his frustration on the sand after chipping into the next bunker on the fifth hole at the US Open.

“I’ve got to say watching him out there, it looked easy, it looked comfortable. But saying that, he also had a really good start at the PGA Championship, where he had the lead and he stumbled a little bit the next day. I don’t quite expect the same thing here at all.

“Today he backed off a little bit with the driver. I think that has to do with the fact he wants to make sure he goes out and gives himself the best opportunity to score, and if he has to lay back a little bit the first day then he’ll take advantage going in towards the weekend.”

Watch the US Open throughout the week on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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