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Rory defiant despite early exit

 

By Phil Casey

Former champion Rory McIlroy found form too late to avoid a second consecutive missed cut in the US Open, but was able to take some positives from his display at Erin Hills.

Playing just his seventh tournament of the year due to a rib injury, McIlroy left himself a mountain to climb following a first round of 78 on Thursday, when a record 44 players broke par.

McIlroy said: "I definitely hit it better off the tee. I think I hit 11 fairways other than the five I did (on Thursday).

"But I think at the end of the day it's competitive rounds with a card in my hand that I need and I've been very light on them this year.

"I saw some positives there on the back nine coming in and hopefully I can take them to the Travelers Championship next week. I'm excited to get on a run of golf and get going."

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