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Cantlay fires scorching 65 to grab early U.S. Open lead

Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Patrick Cantlay tamed the challenging Pinehurst No. 2 layout Thursday morning to grab the early clubhouse lead at the U.S. Open with a 5-under 65.

The 32-year-old carded six birdies - including three over his final five holes - against one bogey to hold a one-stoke edge on Ludvig Aberg as the afternoon wave of players hit the golf course. Cantlay's 65 matches Martin Kaymer's record for the lowest score shot at Pinehurst during a U.S. Open.

Cantlay shone in all aspects but was particularly sharp with his irons and play around the greens. He finished the morning wave second in approach and first in strokes gained: short game.

After finishing runner-up in his first-ever major at Augusta in April, Aberg put on a ball-striking exhibition Thursday en route to a 4-under 66 in his U.S. Open debut. The Swede peppered the flag stick all day with his approach game and capped his round with a 187-yard dart to five feet for a birdie.

Matthieu Pavon sits three back at 2-under with a number of players at 1-under.

Other notable rounds from the morning wave include Brooks Koepka's and Collin Morikawa's even-par 70s, Cam Smith's 1-over 71, Tiger Woods' and Dustin Johnson's 4-over 74s, and Justin Thomas' 7-over 77.

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