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2024 U.S. Open leaderboard: Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay share first-round lead at Pinehurst No. 2

2024 U.S. Open leaderboard: Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay share first-round lead at Pinehurst No. 2

Read more: 2024 U.S. Open Round 2 Tee times Announced


Pinehurst, North Carolina - Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay both carded bogey-free 5-under 65s to share the first-round lead after the opening day of the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.


The low scores from McIlroy and Cantlay tied the lowest round ever shot at a U.S. Open hosted at Pinehurst, matching Martin Kaymer's 65s from the first and second rounds in 2014.


McIlroy, seeking his second U.S. Open title and sixth career major, looked calm and in control throughout his round. The 35-year-old ranked in the top five in strokes gained approach and strokes gained around the green as he cruised around the famed Pinehurst layout.


"There was a little stretch there on the beginning of the back nine where I kept hitting it to 20 feet and missing putts. I could have got frustrated, but I feel like my patience was rewarded with birdies on two of the last three holes." McIlroy said after his round.


Cantlay also made virtually no mistakes, picking up shots sporadically along the way. It marked just the second time the 32-year-old has ever held a share of the first-round lead in a major championship.


"I've been working really hard on my game, and usually, when you make just a couple changes and you're working really hard, it's just a matter of time," Cantlay said. 


Swede Ludvig Åberg carded a 4-under 66 in his U.S. Open debut to sit alone in third place. The impressive opening from the 21-year-old showed no signs of a lack of experience at the highest level.


"I think staying very disciplined is important," Åberg said. "There's a lot of pins where you don't really think about going for. So, me and Joe, my caddie, we have a lot of good conversations about certain areas that you try to hit it on. It's difficult to be very, very precise with the numbers and those things. But try to get a gauge on where to hit it, where to miss it, make sure that we stay disciplined towards things."


Bryson DeChambeau shots a 3-under 67 to join fellow American Matthieu Pavon in a tie for fourth. DeChambeau leaned heavily on his power off the tee while taking a strategically conservative approach into the greens.


"I would say from a mental exhaustion perspective, this was probably the most difficult that I've had in a long, long, long time," DeChambeau said. "I can't remember the last time I mentally exerted myself that hard to focus on hitting fatter parts of the green instead of going for flags. I did that quite nicely until the last few holes."


World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler scraped his way to a 1-over 71 and finds himself tied for 34th along with several others. Tiger Woods shot 4-over 74 in his first U.S. Open round since 2020 and is tied for 86th.


McIlroy and Cantlay will spearhead the chasing pack when the second round begins Friday morning with the pair setting the early target at 5-under.


2024 U.S. Open leaderboard, Round 1


T1. Rory McIlroy (-5): Displayed impressive patience in his bogey-free round. Ranked 6th in approach and 3rd in scrambling. Birdies on 17-18 rewarded his steadiness. Coming off 5 straight top 10s, looks poised for his best U.S. Open.


T1. Patrick Cantlay (-5): A consistent day with no weaknesses saw him gain shots on the closing holes. Still seeking his first major title.


T3. Ludvig Åberg (-4): Looked remarkably composed as a U.S. Open debutant. Hit 14/14 fairways and had Joe LaCava on the bag. Looks capable of contending after nearly winning the Masters.


T4. Bryson DeChambeau, Matthieu Pavon (-3): DeChambeau bombed it 326 yards but played smart golf into the greens. Said focus took a "mental exhaustion" toll but kept scores low.


T6. Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton, Akshay Bhatia (-2): Finau balanced birdies and bogeys well. Sees himself in contention if maintaining position after Round 1.


T9. Sergio Garcia et al (-1): At 44, veteran Garcia showed poise by navigating Pinehurst bogey-free like McIlroy.


T15. Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele (+0): Koepka let a chance slip but Morikawa made a gritty recovery from double bogeys.


T34. Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Rickie Fowler (+1): World No.1 Scheffler struggled rarely hitting fairways but stayed in touch.


T88. Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley (+4): Big names need strong Round 2 to avoid the cut line pressure. Tiger seeks to make the weekend.


2024 U.S. Open First Round Recap


Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay shared the first round lead after carding matching bogey-free 5-under 65s. McIlroy sealed his score with a huge walk-in birdie at the final hole.



Ludvig Åberg carded a 4-under 67 to finish alone in third place. He hit all 14 fairways and connected on 16 greens in regulation.


Bryson DeChambeau shot 3-under 67, leaving him two shots back of the leaders in a tie for fourth.



Tony Finau and Tyrrell Hatton both finished at 2-under 68, tied for sixth place.


World number one Scottie Scheffler struggled to a 1-over 71, six shots off the pace.


Tiger Woods will need a strong second round after an opening 4-over 74.


Patrick Cantlay said his recent hard work is starting to pay off on the course.



McIlroy felt rewarded for his patience down the stretch on Thursday.


DeChambeau said he was mentally exhausted focusing on precision rather than aggression.


The projected cut is +1, which would leave 80 players for the weekend.


Pinehurst No. 2 is expected to provide an increasing challenge over the final two rounds.


Multiple contenders like Finau, Garcia, Morikawa and Scheffler are within striking distance.







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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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