BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Only a few months removed from his Masters meltdown, Rory McIlroy made six birdies and not a single bogey in the first round of the U.S. Open to open a three-shot lead on Y.E. Yang.
McIlroy shot 6-under-par 65 on Thursday to open a wide gap on Yang, the 2009 PGA winner, who had shot 3-under 68 several hours earlier. Sergio Garcia and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel were also at 3 under with one hole left to play at Congressional.
Another shot back was a group of five, including British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and American Ryan Palmer.
With only a handful of players left on the course, McIlroy, who let a four-shot lead slip away on the last day of the Masters in April, was all but assured of holding the lead after the first round -- this would be three of the last four majors. He also led after Day 1 at the British last year.