Reed sets early pace with four birdies at US Open

Reed sets early pace with four birdies at US Open
American Patrick Reed had four birdies through his first nine holes in Thursday's opening round at Chambers Bay to seize the early lead at the US Open.

The 24-year-old Reed posted back-to-back birdies on number seven and eight after beginning his round by making birdie on the par-four, 436-yard first hole. He made the turn at four-under 31.

Reed was just ahead of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who is seeking his first US Open title after a record six-runner up finishes.

Mickelson, who turned 45 on Tuesday, had three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at three-under 32.

Johnson birdied two of his first three holes on a bogey-free front nine to make the turn at two under. Masters champion Jordan Spieth and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods both had mid-afternoon tea times. 

Rory struggles

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy got his first taste of what Chambers Bay golf course has to offer, getting off to a solid start through the first four holes of the 115th US Open.

The four-time major champion started on the 10th tee and was one under through the first four holes after making birdie on No. 11 but it wasn't all smooth sailing as he found the rough and had to scramble to make par on the treacherous 12th hole.

Conditions were overcast with little or no breeze as McIlroy, who is chasing his second US Open title, teed off to start his round in a threesome with defending champion Martin Kaymer and Gunn Yang, who is last year's US Amateur winner.

The crowds for the most part were being kept well away from the players behind ropes far from the fairways and greens and in purpose-built grandstands on the quirky links-style 7,526 foot Chambers Bay course, 50 kilometres (31 miles) southwest of Seattle.

The stands at the par-four 304 yard No. 12 were jammed packed as a loud cheer went up when Kaymer birdied the hole.

It was on the elevated tee at the scenic No. 12 where McIlroy also took time out to take in the breathtaking view of the waters of the Puget Sound.

McIlroy's opening tee shot Thursday sailed straight down the middle of the fairway and his approach was just as impressive as he landed it on the green about 20 feet uphill from the pin.

He then got his first indication of just how much trouble Chambers Bay can present with a wicked downhill putt to the hole.

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