McIlroy finding form again

With the US Open just a week away, defending champion Rory McIlroy (12/1 to retain his US Open title) found a welcome return to form with a two-under-par round of 68 at the St Jude Classic in Memphis.

The Northern Irishman had added this event to his itinerary after missing three straight cuts and it appears to have paid dividends as he ended the first day just two shots off the lead.

The 23-year-old made a positive start to move to three-under after 10 holes but did struggle with his long game by only hitting nine greens in regulation and missing more than half of his fairways.

However, he was in excellent touch with his putter and he was delighted to have rediscovered some semblance of form.

“I felt like that was about the best round of golf I played in a while, though it could have been a lot better,” McIlroy said.

“The scoring doesn’t look too good, so I am off to a decent start. There are a lot of good signs out there.”

McIlroy was playing alongside Padraig Harrington, who matched his 68, and Graeme McDowell, who struggled to an opening 75, and the Holywood-born star is in contention going into the second round just two shots behind Jeff Maggert and John Merrick at -4.

Tiger Woods has opted to rest this week ahead of the year’s second Major and he is now the strong 6/1 favourite to triumph at The Olympic Club next weekend, with Lee Westwood next best at 11/1.

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