McIlroy in battle as three set clubhouse lead

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Rory McIlroy has won four majors, including the 2011 US OpenUS Open, early first-round leaderboard-5 R Fowler (US), X Schauffele (US); -4 S Piercy (USA); -3 R McILroy (NI) *, S Straka (US) *, E Grillo (Arg); Other selected: -2 J Rahm (Spa) *, G McDowell (NI); -1 T Hatton (Eng); Level D Johnson (USA), D Willett (Eng) *; + 1 L Donald (Eng) *,

Rory McIlroy is two shots from the early lead of the clubhouse at the US Open on a good day a situation on Pebble Beach.

The Northern Irish, winner in 2011, recovered from a bogey on his opening hole to end with a three-under-68.

American Xander Schauffele was the last to have an eagle with fellow countryman Rickie Fowler and South Africa & Louis Oostuizen led by five under.

Brooks Koepka, who is chasing a third consecutive US Open title, is one of the later starters with Tiger Woods.

World number one Koepka comes out at 9:47 PM BST, with 2019 Masters winner Woods out alongside his former former champions Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose in England at 10:09 PM

Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland, who won the US Open at Pebble in 2010, was the only one of the early starters to place a bogey-free round and at two o'clock he was one blow ahead

Englishman Hatton, who scored his best finish at a US Open when he finished sixth last year, climbed to four under par without throwing a shot in his first 15 holes, but finished with three consecutive

McIlroy starts fast

McIlroy was one of the early starters and he took full advantage of the benevolent conditions in California when he started his round from the 10th part alongside Jon Rahm and Australian Marc of Spain Leishman.

The number three in the world in the 60s played card heads in all four of his big wins, winning the 2011 US Open with eight hits in Congress, but the last of those wins came five years

He wiped down a shot in his first hole to birdie the 13th and par-three 17th, and also clambered for par at 18 when he made the turn at one bottom.

McIlroy then walked from 12 feet on for his third bird of the day to the second and immediately backed up with another to move to three under par.

It could be three in a row if the 30-year-old birdie-putt had not stayed up after cutting the cup at the fourth, before McIlroy rescued another par in the par-three fifth from the rolling in the edges of the green with the flag still in after a duffed chip from the rough.

McIlroy, who started his victories at the 2011 US Open, 2012 US PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship and 2014 US PGA with rounds of 65, 67, 66 and 66, respectively, said he was "very satisfied" with open with a 68.

"It's hard from that 10th in the morning," he told Sky Sports. "I came back well and didn't make a bogey.

" These are benign circumstances, very soft for a US Open, so you had to leave there and shoot something in the 60s. I am happy with my work day. "

Play partner Rahm opened his US Open campaign with three consecutive birdies but eventually ended up with two next to Leishman.

American Scott Piercy set the pace with a four-under-par 67 with five birdies, an eagle, a double bogey and even more bogey to post on the 18th.

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