Rory Mcllroy showed the world Thursday how he was becoming a master at these major championships.
The 22-year old Mcllroy had a collapse at the Masters Sunday but did not show any signs of it as he made golf’s toughest test at the Congressional look like child’s play by building the biggest 18-hole lead at the U.S. Open in 35 years with a 6-under 65.
Mcllroy, who was the only one of the 156 players in the filed who ended up without any bogey, wounded up on top of the opening round’s leaderboard for the third time during the last four majors.
“It felt like quite a simple 65,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t do much wrong.”
Mcllroy’s calamitous round in the major where his four-shot lead at the Augusta National went to waste with an 80 in the final round, got a lot of people curious as to how it would affect its play no matter how Mcllroy said he got over the meltdown.
“I don’t know if it says that I’ve got a short memory,” McIlroy said. “I took the experience from Augusta, and I learned a lot from it. But, yeah, I mean you’re going into the U.S. Open. You can’t be thinking about what’s happened before. You’ve got to be thinking about this week, and how you can best prepare, and how you can get yourself around the golf course.”
Mcllroy was three shots clear of Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel and PGA champion Y.E. Yang even if it was an overcast day with a few showers.
“It’s a long way to go, but it’s nice to get yourself in contention,” Schwartzel said. “If you start falling too far behind on a tough golf course, things can get a little bit too far in front of you.”
Phil Mickelson, who played alongside Mcllroy this time, played with Colin Montgomerie during the 1997 Congressional.
“The game’s easy when you hit it straight and make every putt,” Mickelson said, referring to McIlroy. “It’s a wonderful game.
“No course is too tough when you hit like that. He played terrific. It was fun to watch — although I didn’t see much of it.”
“It’s a major championship, and the toughest major of them all is the U.S. Open, and you can’t let any other thoughts get in your head,” McIlroy said. “You’re just trying to concentrate entirely on your game.”