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US Open: Jon Rahm relishes ‘great start’ to his title defence, while Collin Morikawa bemoans bogey finish

Jon Rahm claimed his maiden major title with victory in the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines; he and two-time major winner Collin Morikawa sit at one under par after opening rounds of 69 – watch the US Open live this week on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 16/06/22 8:49pm



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Jon Rahm was happy with his one under par opening round at the US Open which included a huge birdie on the 18th

Jon Rahm was happy with his one under par opening round at the US Open which included a huge birdie on the 18th

US Open defending champion Jon Rahm said he was very happy with his opening-round 69 at The Country Club in Brookline, with a birdie finish placing him two shots off the lead at one under par.

Rahm, who claimed his first major title with victory at Torrey Pines last year, called it “a big deal” to break par as he twice recovered from wayward tee shots on the final two holes of his round, holing a 20-foot putt for birdie on the last to see him into the red.

Watch the best of the action from Rory McIlroy's impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open

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Watch the best of the action from Rory McIlroy’s impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open

Watch the best of the action from Rory McIlroy’s impressive opening round which gave him an early share of the lead at the US Open

Asked how happy he was with the start to his US Open defence, Rahm told Sky Sports: “Very. Especially seeing that birdie on 18. That’s always going to change a bit of the energy after the round.

“I played a really good first eight holes, besides the bogey on three, and then after that the wind picked up and it was a bit of a struggle. So to finish with that birdie, it’s really confidence building.”

Defending US Open champion Jon Rahm said he anticipated scores being lower in the opening round at Brookline

Defending US Open champion Jon Rahm said he anticipated scores being lower in the opening round at Brookline

Rahm, who was two under through eight holes, having birdied three of his previous four, elaborated further that at that stage he anticipated lower scores being shot in the opening round.

Rahm told reporters: “Honestly, the first five holes when we had no wind, I was thinking we’re going to blow the roof off this place. Somebody is going to shoot six under, seven under if the wind doesn’t pick up, right?

“When the crosswinds started coming, it was tough. Obviously, a well-designed golf course is always difficult.”

Morikawa: I got a little greedy

Rahm went round the course with US amateur champion James Piot, as well as two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, with all three finishing one under for the round.

Morikawa, however, had a bogey finish at 18. Having at one stage held the lead at three under, the world No 7 said he “got a little greedy” at the last.

Collin Morikawa was satisfied with his one under par opening round 69 at the US Open at Brookline

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Collin Morikawa was satisfied with his one under par opening round 69 at the US Open at Brookline

Collin Morikawa was satisfied with his one under par opening round 69 at the US Open at Brookline

“Through nine holes I thought I was going to go a lot deeper than three under,” Morikawa said. “I would have expected someone to shoot four or five. Maybe we’ll see it in the afternoon, someone playing really well.

“One under was a pretty mediocre round. I’m happy with it based on how I’ve been playing, so to use that for the next few days is going to be key.”

He added: “I got off to a great start, but on the last hole I just got a little greedy. I need to get that out of the way, because I’m not going to win a major if I play the way I did on 18.”

Watch the 122nd US Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday on 1pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.



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