McIlroy lauds 'great start' after opening-round 67

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Rory McIlroy made back-to-back birdies late on his final nine holes to grab a share of the early clubhouse lead at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

The 33-year-old's round of 3-under 67 was good enough to match David Lingmerth and Callum Tarren at The Country Club as the morning wave of players finished their day.

While Adam Hadwin would edge McIlroy's number by one to hold the overnight lead at 4-under, the four-time major winner remains in great shape heading to Friday.

McIlroy's showing comes on the heels of winning his 21st PGA TOUR event in Canada last weekend.

"Overall, a really good day," McIlroy told USA Network in a post-round interview, per Golf Channel. "Had some really good par savers, hit the ball pretty well. It's a great start to the tournament."

McIlroy said that his goal heading into the round was to play bogey-free. He was nearly successful until a disappointing bogey on his last hole.

"I'm playing good golf, I'm in a good headspace mentally, I'm where I need to be," said McIlroy. "U.S. Open is about just staying patient and not letting the course or the conditions get to you and I need to do that. That's at the top of the list over the next three days."

McIlroy, who's playing in a group alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele, will tee off at 1:25 p.m. ET on Friday for the second round.

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McIlroy lauds 'great start' after opening-round 67
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