The USGA put the world’s top three players _ Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer _ in the same group. Donald briefly shared the lead at 2 under but made five bogeys to fall to 3 over after his first nine holes.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
The Swede made three over his first six holes to take the early lead Thursday at the season’s second major.
He was one shot ahead of a pack of 10 players, including defending champion Graeme McDowell, former PGA champion Y.E. Yang, British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and Ernie Els, who won the U.S. Open the last time it was played at Congressional, in 1997.
On a calm day that started with a green-softening hour or so of light rain, birdies were available around a course that was expected to yield very few. That was especially true on the par-3 10th. The 218-yard downhill hole over water was supposed to be one of the toughest tests, especially as a starting point for half the players. But the tee box was moved up 19 yards, and it yielded five birdies over the first 90 minutes of play.
Johnson and McIlroy are both trying to overcome major collapses. At last year’s U.S. Open, Johnson took a three-shot lead into the final round but blew it by the fourth hole. McIlroy held onto his four-shot lead at the Masters for a little longer but he, too, imploded.
Both handled their collapses gracefully and said they used it as a learning experience.
The U.S. Open is almost always the most unpredictable of the majors, made more so this year by the absence of Tiger Woods. Woods is rehabbing knee and Achilles injuries and is missing the U.S. Open for the first time since he turned pro in 1997.View Entire Story
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