Golf

Why Rory McIlroy's first round at U.S. Open is good sign for title hopes

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Why Rory McIlroy's first round at U.S. Open is good sign for title hopes

PEBBLE BEACH, CA. -- On Wednesday, Rory McIlroy diagnosed something that's plagued him during the first two majors of the year -- the first round. 

At Augusta National, McIlroy posted an opening-round 1-over- 73. A month later at Bethpage, the four-time major champion opened with a 2-over-par 72, placing him nine shots behind eventual champion Brooks Koepka after the first round. 

McIlroy made it a point prior to the start of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach that he needs to not put himself behind the eight-ball after Day 1 of a major championship.

Thursday's opening round got off to an ominous start for McIlroy. Starting on the Par-4 10th, he tugged his second shot into the greenside bunker. His third shot was a good effort, but the ball raced past the hole giving him 23 feet left for par. McIlroy couldn't drain his par putt and immediately found himself over par while others in the early wave were attacking a gettable course. 

But, McIlroy steadied himself with pars at 11 and 12 before drilling a 14-foot birdie putt on 13 to get back to even par. From there, he survived a shaky ball-striking day (9-of-14 fairways, 12-of-18 greens in regulation) to get into the clubhouse at 3-under par, three strokes off the pace set by Justin Rose. 

It's been almost five years since McIlroy tasted major championship glory, but the last three times he opened a major by shooting in the 60s he went on to win the tournament (2012 PGA, 2014 British Open and 2014 PGA).

A Thursday-68 has to have McIlroy, who ripped apart the Canadian Open last week, feeling good about his chances. 

[RELATED: 'Stress-free' first-round has Fowler in mix at Pebble Beach]

It's been a long major drought for the former world No. 1, but that's not something that's weighing on his mind at Pebble Beach. 

"Not really, no," McIlroy said. "Yeah, I'm eager to get back into that position, but at the same time I'm still going to go home and my wife is still going to hopefully love me and my parents are going to love me. And I'll be the same person. Whether I have four majors or 12 majors, I'll still be the same person."

Tom Brady silences Charles Barkley with insane birdie in 'The Match'

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Tom Brady silences Charles Barkley with insane birdie in 'The Match'

Tom Brady's start in "The Match" with former NFL star Peyton Manning and PGA Tour legends Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods wasn't great, leading to an endless parade of criticism on social media.

The six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback found a way to silence the haters with this remarkable shot for birdie on the seventh hole at Medalist Golf Club.

[RELATED: Warriors' Steph Curry wants in on next iteration of 'The Match' event]

Charles Barkley is part of TNT's telecast, and was in Brady's ear all the way up until he hit the shot.

Unfortunately for Brady, his pants didn't survive the hole.

Warriors star Steph Curry and former Warrior Andre Iguodala both are avid golf fans, and were just like the rest of us after seeing Brady's shot.

The San Mateo native got his mojo back, but he and his partner Mickelson have some catching up to do with Manning and Woods in control.

How to watch The Match: Tiger vs. Phil charity golf streaming, on TV

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How to watch The Match: Tiger vs. Phil charity golf streaming, on TV

The golf event we've all been waiting for is nearly upon us.

Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson, Part 2 ... with a twist.

On Sunday, Tiger will team up with NFL legend Peyton Manning to take on Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady in The Match: Champions for Charity at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Get ready for some epic trash talk.

Tiger and Phil squared off in the first edition of The Match back on Nov. 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, with Mickelson winning on the fourth extra hole.

Now the two championship golfers will be joined by two champion quarterbacks.

[RELATED: Manning takes perfect shot at Brady]

The stakes will be high, and the side bets should be incredible.

Here's how to watch The Match: Champions for Charity on TV and streaming online:

When: Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT
TV: TNT
Stream: TNTdrama.com