Maverick McNealy stumbled but held on for a share of the lead alongside Jim Knous after the third day at the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort in California on Saturday.

Knous, playing on his second-to-last start of a medical extension, stormed into the joint lead with a seven-under 65 highlighted by five consecutive birdies on his front nine. It is the first time Knous has held a lead in his PGA Tour career.

The 31-year-old American was 30 at the turn, before birdieing two of the final three holes, including sinking a 17-foot putt. He hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation.

Knous joined McNealy at the top of the leaderboard at 14 under, after the 25-year-old Californian had held a two-stroke lead at the halfway point.

McNealy endured a dramatic day, bogeying four holes on the front nine, but steadied with four birdies on the final six holes to finish two-under 70 and retain a share of the lead.

The pair are two shots ahead of Max Homa, Scott Stallings, Mito Pereira, Troy Merritt and Beau Hossler.

Homa also shot a seven-under 65 to move up the leaderboard, with nine birdies and two bogeys for the day, carding 30 on the back nine.

Talor Gooch is alone at 11 under, ahead of 2021 PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson who is one of 10 players with 10 under after three rounds.

After a bogey on the 12th hole, 51-year-old Mickelson rallied by birdieing five straight holes to stay in the hunt. The veteran finished the day with seven birdies for a five-under 67.

Maverick McNealy soared to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Fortinet Championship, but John Rahm's PGA Tour season debut ended in the world number one missing the cut.

McNealy earned a two-stroke lead following the second round of the 2021-22 season opener at Silverado Country Club, where the 25-year-old American carded an eight-under-par 64.

It is McNealy's lowest opening 36-hole score (68-64) on the PGA Tour.

However, Spanish star Rahm failed to qualify for the weekend after back-to-back rounds in the 70s in Napa, California.

Tuning up for the Ryder Cup, Rahm – who missed Wednesday's pro-am due to a stomach ailment, having placed second in the FedEx Cup play-offs – never got going, an opening-round 72 followed by a 71 as he finished one under, below the three-under cut line.

"I get to rest a couple extra days and be able to figure out what's going on with my swing, which technically is not really anything bad," said Rahm, who recorded his 13th missed cut in his 113th PGA Tour start, with his last missed cut at this year's Wells Fargo Championship.

"It's just I think a lot of those swings were made to look worse because of how tough it is out there."

Beau Hossler (64) and Mito Pereira (67) are tied for second and two shots adrift of McNealy heading into Saturday's third round, while Troy Merritt (68), Will Zalatoris (67) and Bronson Burgoon (67) are a stroke further back at nine under.

Rookie David Lipsky's second-round 64 was a nine-stroke improvement on his first round and a career-low round that included nine birdies, the most he has managed in a single round on Tour.

Lipsky is seven under through 36 holes, alongside the likes of Tom Hoge (66) and Peter Malnati (66), while Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is a shot back following his three-under-par 69.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson posted a 69 to be tied for 24th and seven shots off the pace.

Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples have been named vice-captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup by United States captain Steve Stricker. 

Stricker's other vice-captains are Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Love, meaning there is no place in the leadership team for Tiger Woods. 

Mickelson will not be a playing member of the team for the first time after 12 consecutive appearances – a record for Team USA – dating back to 1995. He also holds the national record for four-ball points won (nine) and matches played (47). 

Although the 51-year-old became the oldest player in history to win a major at the US PGA Championship back in May, it was his only top-10 finish this year. 

Couples served as a vice-captain to Davis Love III in 2012 and made five appearances as a player, the last of which came in 1997. 

"I've been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now," Stricker said in a statement. 

"They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup. I'm honoured that they were willing to join our team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits."

The tournament, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is due to be played at Whistling Straits from September 24-26. 

"I'm humbled and honoured to be a part of this year's Ryder Cup as an assistant captain," Mickelson wrote on Twitter. 

"Thank you captain Stricker for including me and I hope to help in any way possible."

Bryson DeChambeau turned in a spectacular second round at the BWM Championship, shooting a career-best 60 Friday to rocket to the top of the leaderboard. 

DeChambeau carded a pair of eagles and eight birdies in a flawless round at Caves Valley Golf Club near Baltimore, Maryland, leaving him 16 under par for the tournament. 

Play was suspended due to darkness with 15 players still on the course, including first-round leader Jon Rahm. The second round of the FedEx Cup play-off event will conclude Saturday morning before the third round begins. 

Through the 15 holes he completed Friday, Rahm was one stroke back of DeChambeau at 15 under. Earlier in the day, Patrick Cantlay finished his round at 15 under after shooting 63. 

Sergio Garcia (67) and Im Sung-jae (65) were four back of DeChambeau at 12 under, while Hudson Swafford (66) was in at 11 under along with Sam Burns, who had one hole left to play. 

Rory McIlroy (70) was at 10 under with Abraham Ancer, who was four under for the round through 16 holes. 

The story of the day, though, was DeChambeau's run at a 59, which he said entered his mind after his eagle at 16.

He had putts for birdie at 17 and 18 but could not convert, saying his simply misread the six-foot putt on the last. 

Despite coming so close to the magic number, the American did not lament the final miss. 

"It's just one shot," he said. "There's plenty of holes where I could have made a birdie somewhere else not making it, I still executed a good putt, just didn't break the way I wanted it to. That's all I could ask for."

DeChambeau's previous low round was 62 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last October and he was pleased to play as well as he did Friday. 

“It was an awesome opportunity," he said. "I had a couple birdie opportunities at 17 and 18, and it didn't happen but I’m still really proud of the way I handled myself, and it's great to feel some pressure again which is awesome.

“A lot of putts went in. A lot of things went right. We got a lot of great numbers out of the rough today, and I played my butt off and never thought too much about anything until the last few holes."

Elsewhere in the 69-man field, Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele (68) was at nine under, one shot better than Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (69). 

Three-time tournament winner Dustin Johnson (70) was at seven under along with Brooks Koepka (67). 

Among those well back of the lead were Jordan Spieth (70) and Lee Westwood (70) at three under. Phil Mickelson was there, too, after completing just 13 holes Friday. 

Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa brought up the rear at three over for the tournament following a 75 that saw him card three bogeys and no birdies. 

Jon Rahm credited "Ted Lasso" for his magnificent display in the opening round of the BMW Championship as the world number one and defending tournament champion earned a share of the three-way lead.

Rahm carded a flawless eight-under-par 64 to top the leaderboard by one shot alongside fellow star Rory McIlroy and Sam Burns in the second PGA Tour FedEx Cup play-off event in Maryland, Baltimore on Thursday.

At The Northern Trust, Rahm appeared on track to claim the opening FedEx Cup tournament before fizzling out as the Spaniard fell short of a play-off in Monday's finish at Liberty National.

Rahm, however, bounced back at Caves Valley Golf Club, where he invoked the "Ted Lasso" mentality – the star character of the popular television show featuring Jason Sudeikis.

"I must say, for all those 'Ted Lasso' fans out there, be a goldfish," Rahm – second in the FedEx Cup rankings – said post-round after holing eight birdies without dropping a shot. "If you haven't seen the show, you've just got to check it out.

"Played great golf last week, just a couple bad swings down the stretch, and that's the most important thing to remember."

Former world number one McIlroy, who lamented fatigue prior to Thursday's first round, opened his BMW Championship campaign with an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey.

The 2016 and 2019 FedEx Cup champion enjoyed a bogey-free front nine, highlighted by the Northern Irishman's four birdies.

Burns, like Rahm, made it through 18 holes without dropping a shot as the American tallied eight birdies, including four in a row from the 11th to the 14th.

In a 70-man field, reduced from the top 125 points leaders at The Northern Trust, Sergio Garcia is one stroke adrift of the trio, while Abraham Ancer and Patrick Cantlay – fourth in the rankings – are six under.

FedEx Cup champion and three-time tournament winner Dustin Johnson ended the day five under following his first-round 67, alongside the likes of points leader Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele and Masters holder Hideki Matsuyama.

Cameron Smith, who lost to Finau in Monday's Northern Trust play-off, is four shots behind the leaders and he is joined by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and 2017 FedEx Cup winner Justin Thomas.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka posted a two-under-par 70, while Jordan Spieth shot a 71.

Jon Rahm claimed the outright lead following the second round of The Northern Trust, but the world number one was not completely happy as he voiced his frustration with the FedEx Cup play-offs format.

Rahm carded a four-under-par 67 for a one-stroke advantage at the halfway stage of the opening FedEx Cup play-offs tournament on Friday.

In a tie with Justin Thomas for the three-shot lead following Thursday's round, Spanish star Rahm ended day two alone atop the leaderboard at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, where the top 125 players are competing.

Rahm – fifth in the FedEx Cup rankings heading into the first of three play-off events – has his fifth career second-round lead/co-lead on the PGA Tour, and third of the season.

He is yet to make a bogey through two rounds – it is the first time in Rahm's PGA Tour career that he has played the first 36 holes without a bogey (110th start).

Rahm, though, was irked at the end of play as he discussed the FedEx Cup format, which sees only one winner of the season-ending Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, having previously seen the possibility of separate champions.

"I don't think it's fair," Rahm said post-round. "I don't like that at all. No. I think you have the play-offs itself, and if you win the first two and if you don't play good in the last one ... you can end up with a really bad finish.

"I don't like it. I understand the system. And the way I was told by one of the PGA Tour officials, [if] I'm a Patriots fans and the Patriots win everything to get to the Super Bowl and they don't win the Super Bowl, you don't win the Lombardi Trophy, right?

"My answer was, they still finished second. They have to understand that golf is different. You could win 15 events, including both play-offs events, and [under the current system implemented last year] you have a two-shot lead. I understand it's for TV purposes and excitement and just making it more of a winner-take-all, and they give you a two-shot advantage, but over four days that can be gone in two holes, right."

Tony Finau's second-round 64 earned second position at 11 under, a shot better off than 2017 FedEx Cup champion Thomas (69), Keith Mitchell (64) and Xander Schauffele (62).

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (64) and former world number one Jordan Spieth (62) – second in the rankings – are four strokes off the pace, while Bryson DeChambeau is two strokes further back following his 65.

Rory McIlroy – the 2019 FedEx Cup winner – narrowly avoided the cut at one under following his 70, but defending tournament champion and FedEx Cup holder Dustin Johnson (72) failed to qualify the weekend alongside Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson.

Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas fired eight-under-par 63s to share the three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Northern Trust.

The 2021 FedEx Cup play-offs got underway at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, with the top 125 players eligible to play the PGA Tour event on Thursday.

World number one Rahm (fifth) and 2017 FedEx Cup champion Thomas (ninth) – both in the regular-season top-10 rankings – set the early pace to end day one ahead of nearest rival Harold Varner III.

Rahm was flawless through 18 holes, recording eight birdies, including four of his last six, without dropping a shot, while Thomas birdied four of his last five holes to be level atop the standings.

It is the second time this season Rahm and Thomas have been tied for the lead following a round – both were T1 after day two of the 2020 Masters.

"It probably felt a lot tougher within us than it appeared outside, but at the end of the day, when you're striking it well, it's going to seem easier," Rahm said after enduring gusty conditions. "Scores are out there. We just showed it. That's mainly due to the fact of the softness of the greens."

Thomas holds his third 18-hole lead/co-lead of the season, tied with Sebastian Munoz for the most on Tour.

"It was nice to play well out there in those conditions," Thomas said. "It was very windy, which makes it tough to get the ball close to the hole.

"I had an eight to 10 inch [20-25 cm] putt I almost missed because of a wind gust. I stayed committed to every shot."

Adam Scott, Robert Streb, Mackenzie Hughes, Cameron Tringale, Tony Finau and Kevin Na are tied for fourth, four shots behind the leading duo, while Patrick Cantlay – third in the FedEx Cup standings – is a stroke further back.

Defending tournament and play-off champion Dustin Johnson ended the day seven shots off the pace after mixing four birdies with three bogeys.

Johnson played his round without a driver in his bag, having noticed a small crack in his club, though the American star did not have a backup.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka also shot a 70, while 2019 FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy settled for an even-par 71 alongside 2018 Northern Trust champion Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau became the fourth player on record (since 1983) to make two or fewer pars and record a score of even-par or better on the PGA TOUR – Jarrod Lyle was the most recent to do so via his two-under 69 (two pars) at the 2011 John Deere Classic.

Former world number one and 2015 FedEx Cup winner Jordan Spieth – second in the rankings – shot a 72 as six-time major champion Phil Mickelson ended the round two over.

Cam Davis earned his first PGA Tour win, defeating Troy Merritt on the fifth play-off hole to clinch the Rocket Mortgage Classic trophy.

After going eagle-birdie on the final two holes of regulation to make the three-way playoff, 26-year-old Australian Davis triumphed over Merritt and Joaquin Niemann to reign supreme on Sunday.

It was the second consecutive week a marathon play-off was needed to determine a winner, after Harris English prevailed on the eighth extra hole to claim the Travelers Championship.

After the trio finished 72 holes at 18 under par, Chilean golfer Niemann went out on the first play-off hole, the par-four 18th, with a bogey his first of the week as he settled for his third runners-up performance this season.

Davis and Merritt duelled from there, matching scores on the 15th, 16th and 14th before returning to the par-three 15th hole again. 

There, Davis finally closed Merritt out, making par while the American bogeyed the hole. 

Davis became the seventh first-time winner on Tour this season. 

"It's been pretty hectic ever since the 17th hole for me, so I just tried to put as much out of my mind as I could and hit every shot for what it was worth," Davis told CBS after the round.

"As simple as that's said, it's so hard to do when the pressure's on like that, but I just kept on putting good swings on it. I didn't make any putts, but I kept on putting it in play, so it worked out all right."

Alex Noren (64) and Hank Lebioda (68) finished 17 under, while Bubba Watson (64) and Brandon Hagy (68) finished two back of the leaders at 16 under. 

Former world number one Jason Day had his best round of the week with a 66 but finished five strokes adrift of the play-off group, along with Keegan Bradley (68) and others. 

Among other notables, Patrick Reed (67) and Rickie Fowler (71) finished 10 under, while Phil Mickelson's third consecutive 72 left him at three under for the tournament. 

Troy Merritt joined Joaquin Niemann atop the leaderboard heading into the final round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic thanks in part to a remarkable hole-in-one. 

In search of his third PGA Tour title and first in nearly three years, Merritt was one stroke better than Niemann (68) in the third round and turned in the highlight of the day in Detroit. 

The American's tee shot on the 218-yard 11th bounced on the green and arced straight into the cup, setting off a celebration in the gallery. 

It was Merritt's first ace in PGA Tour play and momentarily gave him a three-shot lead, but he spent more time after the round stewing over his bogey on the following hole. 

"The big thing is, when you get out in front, don't go back to the guys behind you," he said. "Make them come and get you." 

Niemann enjoyed a steadier day, carding birdies on the first and last holes to book-end his third consecutive bogey-free round and sit at 14 under par for the tournament. 

The Chilean will try to run down his first win since the 2019 Greenbrier Classic on Sunday, but he and Merritt will have plenty of competition. 

Hank Leiboda (66) and Cam Davis (67) begin the final round one stroke back, with Brandon Hagy (68) two back at 12 under and six more golfers at 11 under. 

Among the notables down the leaderboard, Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley are at nine under after carding 68s, with Bubba Watson (67) one stroke behind them. 

Former world number one Jason Day (69) is at seven under, Patrick Reed (70) at five under and Phil Mickelson at three under after a second consecutive round of 72. 

Joaquin Niemann and Tom Lewis are tied for the one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where defending champion Bryson DeChambeau missed the cut.

Niemann and Lewis both carded three-under-par 69s in the second round of the PGA Tour tournament in Detroit on Friday.

Eyeing his second PGA Tour title and first since the 2019 Greenbrier Classic, Chilean golfer Niemann was bogey-free as he recorded three birdies to reach 10 under through 36 holes.

Englishman Lewis – a two-time European Tour champion but without success on the PGA circuit – was also flawless following three birdies without a dropped shot on day two.

Lewis is making his 45th career PGA Tour start. In his first 43 starts, he played the opening 36 holes in 134 or better once (134/2020 Shriners Hospital for Children Open). The 30-year-old has now done it in each of his last two starts – 134 at Travelers Championship and this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Troy Merritt (68), Chris Kirk (68) and Max Homa (65) are a shot off the pace heading into the weekend, while overnight leader Davis Thompson (73) is among a group of players tied for sixth at eight under.

Former world number one Jason Day could only manage a second-round 73 as he fell to four under, six shots behind the leading pair – a stroke better off than Patrick Reed (72) and six-time major champion Phil Mickelson (72).

US PGA Championship winner Mickelson played the final two holes in one-under to finish three under, just a shot above the cut line.

"I am tired of trying to fight to make cuts. I want to get in contention, because that's what's so much fun, like it was at the PGA, just being in contention and having a chance," Mickelson said.

DeChambeau (71) was not so fortunate as the big-hitting American's title defence came to an end after just two rounds at one under.

Meanwhile, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was forced to withdraw before his second round after testing positive for coronavirus.

Davis Thompson tied the 18-hole scoring record at the Rocket Mortgage Classic after earning the opening-round lead.

Thompson – in his third PGA Tour tournament as a professional – carded a nine-under-par 63 to claim a two-stroke lead in Detroit, where play was suspended due to darkness on Thursday.

The 22-year-old surprisingly leads at Detroit Golf Club following a flawless first round which featured nine birdies to match the 18-hole scoring record at the event, joining Nate Lashley and J.T. Poston (both in 2019).

"Sounds good on Sunday," Thompson said afterwards, having been a collective six-over par in his six previous starts on tour (four as an amateur). "It's only Thursday. I know I've got a long way to go."

"I’ve played in a few pro events now, so you've just got to keep your emotions in check," Thompson said. "Anything can happen. I know I'm playing well, so I'm just going to have some confidence going into [Friday] and hopefully I can play another good round."

Brandon Hagy, Tom Lewis and Joaquin Niemann are two shots off the pace heading into Friday's second round, while Seamus Power and J.J. Spain are a stroke further back.

Former world number one Jason Day ended the opening day five under following his 67 as six-time major champion and US PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson posted a 69 to be level with the likes of Patrick Reed.

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama opened his tournament with a two-under-par 70.

As for defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, the big-hitting American shot an even-par 72.

Trying to successfully defend a PGA Tour title for the first time, world number six DeChambeau mixed three birdies with three bogeys.

It comes as DeChambeau and caddie Tim Tucker take some time apart.

"They have gone their separate ways for now," DeChambeau's agent Brett Falkoff told ESPN. "That doesn't mean forever, but it means they are not working together now. They met last night and decided to move on.

"It's just an accumulation of things, and it's never easy when a player and caddie split up. They just decided the best situation for now was essentially to not be together anymore."

Former world number one Jason Day leads the Travelers Championship heading into the weekend after surging to the top of the leaderboard following two rounds.

Day went low in the second round on Friday, carding a bogey-free and Travelers Championship career-best eight-under-par 62 to claim a one-stroke lead at TPC River Highlands.

Winner of the 2015 US PGA Championship and a 12-time PGA Tour champion, Day's career has been hampered by lingering back problems.

Day withdrew from the Memorial Tournament due to a back injury and did not qualify for the U.S. Open, having missed three consecutive cuts before tying for 44th at the PGA Championship.

But Day enjoyed a return to form as the Australian star earned his first lead/co-lead at a non-major tournament since 2017 thanks to a flawless round, which included eight birdies.

"Sometimes when you do have sort of an injury or stiffness, even if you're sick, sometimes you can come out and play some good golf," he said. "I was fortunate enough to not really get in my own way today."

Three-time Travelers Championship winner Bubba Watson (66) and co-overnight leader Kramer Hickok (69) are tied for second at eight under through 36 holes.

Hickok was 10 under before crumbling at the par-three 16th hole, where he three-putted from 18 feet for a double-bogey to end the day alongside Watson.

Russell Henley (66), Kevin Kisner (63), Seamus Power (67), Justin Rose (63), K.H. Lee (64), Brice Garnett (68) and Troy Merritt (65) are all seven under heading into Saturday's third round.

Big-hitting American star Bryson DeChambeau followed up his first-round 69 with a four-under-par 66 to be four strokes off the pace, alongside the likes of 2012 champion Marc Leishman (66) and Patrick Reed (66).

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka also recorded another round in the 60s – a second-round 67 – to be a shot further back.

PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson (69) and defending champion Dustin Johnson (68) finished just a shot above the cut line at two under to qualify for the weekend.

Kramer Hickok and Satoshi Kodaira share the one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Travelers Championship, where stars Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were forced to take a backseat.

Unheralded duo Hickok and Kodaira upstaged the star-studded field following their seven-under-par 63s at TPC River Highlands on Thursday.

Hickok – searching for his maiden PGA Tour title – offset a bogey at this first hole with eight birdies as the American golfer posted a career-low round in Cromwell, Connecticut.

"I really only hit one bad putt — on the par-five 13th. Other than that, I just felt like the holes looked awfully big today," the 29-year-old said. "I made a lot of good putts today, and the greens says are rolling so good that just the holes look big."

Japan's Kodaira matched his best score on the PGA Tour, from the second round of the 2018 RBC Heritage – his only victory.

Kodaira holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the 348-yard par-four second hole.

"I knew it was on target but didn't see it go in," he said. "I heard the applause, so I knew it went in."

Talor Gooch is a shot behind Hickok and Kodaira, while Maverick McNealy, Brice Garnett, Beau Hossler, Henrik Norlander and Patrick Rodgers are a stroke further back heading into the second round.

There is a 31-player logjam tied for 45th position at one under, headlined by DeChambeau, Koepka and Mickelson.

DeChambeau, who was dethroned by Jon Rahm at last week's U.S. Open, mixed three birdies with two bogeys to start his Travelers Championship campaign.

Four-time major champion Koepka also shared an identical round, while US PGA Championship winner Mickelson had four birdies and two bogeys.

"I'm awful the week after a major, especially U.S. Open, because it takes so much out of you," said Koepka, who was tied for fourth behind Rahm at Torrey Pines. "But still should have played better. No excuse. I mean, I'm kind of tired. I am going to enjoy getting to bed tonight."

The likes of Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler also shot 69s in round one.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson – who slipped to second in the golf rankings following Rahm's U.S. Open triumph – started his bid for back-to-back titles with an even-par 70.

Brooks Koepka was pleased with his first round at the U.S. Open, while in-form Phil Mickelson was in an optimistic frame of mind despite struggling in San Diego.

On an interrupted opening day due to fog and weather at Torrey Pines, two-time U.S. Open champion Koepka finished two strokes behind co-leaders Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen (through 16) as play was suspended because of darkness on Thursday.

American star Koepka – chasing his fifth major title – set the standard with four birdies in his first 11 holes taking him into a solo lead.

However, two bogeys meant he had to scramble to recover as Koepka ended the day alongside Xander Schauffele, Hayden Buckley, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, John Rahm (through 17) and Sebastian Munoz (through 14).

Koepka, who has gone on to win or finish second in six of the last 10 majors which he opened with a score in the 60s, said: "You can't win it today but you can definitely lose it. It was nice to get off to a good start, putted well, drove it well on the back nine, my front, but missed a couple fairways there.

"I missed them on the correct side, which is what you've got to do, depending on where the pin location is and get lucky enough where you've got a decent lie and get it there.

"Pretty pleased. Not the best, but I'll definitely take it."

US PGA Championship winner Mickelson is already facing an uphill task following his four-over-par 75.

Mickelson, who became the oldest major winner when he clinched the PGA Championship ahead of Koepka last month, finished with five bogeys, including back-to-back on the front nine.

"It was a great set up and I had some chances to get the round a little bit better," Mickelson said. "Fought hard, made a lot of short putts to kind of keep myself in it and then I ended up bogeying six and seven.

"Two over would have been a pretty good round and I ended up at four, so I'm a little disappointed about that. I feel like I'm close to putting together a good round."

South African veteran Oosthuizen – through 16 holes – moved into a tie at four under after birdieing the 14th.

Winner of the 2010 Open Championship, Oosthuizen is one of three players to finish in the top 10 at each of the last two U.S Opens.

"I just enjoy playing really tough golf courses. I think somehow I focus a little bit better when I play those courses, knowing that the margin for error is really small," said Oosthuizen.

"Especially around this place, you've got to drive it well, you've got to start it in the fairway, and you're going to have trouble if you're missing fairways around this golf course and I've really been driving it good lately."

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy birdied his final hole to move within three shots of the lead heading into the second round.

"It was really nice. The birdie is awesome," McIlroy – who posted a 70 – said. "I mean, that putt was pretty, I was sort of like, I think it's straight, I'll hit it straight and we'll see. But it was nice to get in, get an extra hour of sleep tonight and it was a bonus to birdie in as well."

Page 1 of 4
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.