US Open at Shinnecock Hills; Jason Day struggles; Jordan Spieth shoots 78, Rory McIlroy shoots 80

JASON Day has posted his equal worst round at the US Open to join a list of victims taken by a brutally difficult Shinnecock Hills on day one in New York.

World No.8 Day struggled through 30km/h winds and tough pin locations to shoot nine-over-par 79, matching his score from round one at last year’s US Open when he missed the cut.

Tipped as a pre-tournament favourite, Day sits 10 shots back of clubhouse leaders Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, who each carded 69 to climb to one-under the card.

“It’s really difficult out there,” Day said.

On the par-4 eighth hole, Day hit his birdie putt so hard it rolled back off the front of the green en route to a bogey.

media_cameraRory McIlroy couldn’t get his round going and shot a disappointing 80.

He mixed five front-nine bogeys with three on the back, as well as a double- bogey and a birdie.

“The wind was strong, the ball is getting blown around so much and with the locations of the pins you can’t get it close and on top of that it’s hard to putt,” he said.

But former world No.1 Day wasn’t the only casualty on a disastrous first round for many of golf’s big names, with play expected to worsen as the afternoon groups face even stronger winds.

Three-time winner Tiger Woods racked up a triple-bogey seven on his first hole after hitting his approach over the back of the green and twice letting his recovery shot fall back down towards his feet.

Woods then bogeyed the par-3 second.

Multiple major winners Phil Mickelson (77) and Jordan Spieth (78) had nightmare rounds, while former champion Rory McIlroy carded a 10-over-par 80. However, worst round of the day so far goes to former British Amateur champion Scott Gregory, who suffered through a 22-over 92.

media_cameraJordan Spieth has plenty of work to do if he is to feature on the final day.

Gregory, a second-year pro from England, had two triple-bogeys, three double bogeys, 10 bogeys and three pars.

The 23-year-old became the first player in 16 years to shoot 90 or worse at the US Open.

“It would have had to have been eight years ago or more,’‘ Gregory said of the last time he didn’t break 90 for 18 holes.

“It’s been a long time and this is not really the week I wanted to revisit that score.”

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