U.S. Open 2011: McIlroy Takes 1st Round Lead

U.S.-Open-2011Rory McIlroy is in familiar territory. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland tamed the Congressional Country Club on Thursday with a 6-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round at the U.S. Open 2011, the second major championship of the year.

McIlroy was in control from the beginning, missing only a single green en route to the bogey-free round that gave him the day-one lead for the second-straight major championship. McIlroy infamously collapsed at the Masters in April, when the rising golf star threw away a four-stroke lead going into the final round to end up 10 strokes behind eventual winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa.

Schwartzel appears ready to pull the rug from under McIlroy again, as the 26-year-old South African is one of two players who share second place. Schwartzel shot four birdies on the front nine for a 68 that tied him with South Korean Y.E. Yang. Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland had a bogey against two birdies for a 71 that landed him five strokes behind his countryman in a tie for tenth spot.