US Open: Adam Hadwin holds early lead in Brookline as Rory McIlroy, Callum Tarren start strongly
Defending champion Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa are all three behind, with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler four back - watch the second round of the US Open live on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event
By Ali Stafford in Brookline
Last Updated: 17/06/22 10:16am
Adam Hadwin produced a brilliant birdie run to move into a one-shot lead at the 122nd US Open, where Rory McIlroy is part of the chasing pack.
Hadwin posted five birdies in a six-hole stretch on his way to an opening-round 66 at The Country Club in Brookline, giving the world No 105 a narrow advantage over a five-strong contingent on three under.
McIlroy, chasing a second win in as many starts after his Canadian Open victory on Sunday, is among those in tied-second after a final-hole bogey saw him narrowly miss out on holding a first-round lead for the second successive major.
The former world No 1 - chasing a fifth major title and first since 2014 - is joined a shot off the pace by David Lingmerth, MJ Daffue, Joel Dahmen and England's Callum Tarren, while former winners Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose are in the group two off the lead alongside Matt Fitzpatrick.
How Hadwin moved ahead
Hadwin opened with back-to-back pars and dropped a shot at the third after missing from six feet, only to respond by firing a superb approach into the fourth to set up a close-range birdie and start a charge up the leaderboard.
The Canadian got up and down from a greenside bunker to take advantage of the driveable par-four fifth and posted three consecutive birdies from the seventh to reach the turn in 31, before cancelling out a bogey at the 12th by holing a 35-footer at the par-four next.
Hadwin was unable to convert birdie opportunities over his final two holes to further extend his advantage, although an opening 66 is the lowest total of his major career and sees him lead a major for the first time.
"Surprisingly pretty comfortable," Hadwin said. "I was at ease which was a nice feeling at a US Open and doesn't happen very often. I had a nice little run there at the end of my front nine and knew there were a lot of good strong holes coming in so just kind of kept plugging away.
"I've done such a good job of that over the last month or two, just really having no expectations, taking every shot for what it is, trying to do my best on that individual shot and then moving on.
"I can certainly get ahead of them [shots] like a lot of guys do, especially at a big event like this. It's a little bit easy to get your mind racing once you see your name at the top of the leaderboard, but I did a great job of focusing on each individual shot and taking what it was and just trying to do my best on every shot."
McIlroy - among the early starters - holed important par-saves at the 13th and 15th before making a 20-foot birdie at the par-three next, with the 21-time PGA Tour winner cancelling out a missed birdie chance at the 17th by picking up a shot at the next to turn in 33.
The 33-year-old gouged out of thick grass and made a 15-foot par-save at the second but took angry swipes at a bunker after going from sand to sand at the fifth, only to make another clutch save, before cancelling out a birdie at the seventh by carding his only bogey on his final hole of the day.
Tarren posted an eagle and two birdies over his final four holes to get to three under and Lingmerth made a bogey-free start, with Joel Dahmen birdieing three of his last five holes and Daffue mixing six birdies with three bogeys to also move within one of the lead.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, last month's PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and two-time major winner Collin Morikawa are all three behind after opening-round 69s, with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler four back after birdieing his final two holes to salvage a level-par 70.
Ryder Cup team-mates Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood stuttered to two-over 72s, joining Jordan Spieth and Cameron Smith six back, with two-time US Open champion Brooks Koepka a further stroke back on three over.
LIV Golf Invitational Series players Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen struggled to rounds of 76 and 77 respectively, while six-time US Open runner-up Phil Mickelson marked his 52nd birthday by posting an eight-over that included a four-putt double-bogey from 12 feet.
Watch the US Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.
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