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Not as easy as 1-2-3: Luke, Rory, Lee struggle

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SAN FRANCISCO – Golf’s current Big Three was a big disappointment Thursday during the first round of the U.S. Open.

Luke Donald, world No. 1, played the worst in the grouping with Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood and shot 9-over 79. The score was the same number shot by 14-year-old Andy Zhang, who was 8 over after five holes but played the remaining 13 in 1 over.

McIlroy, the defending U.S. Open champion, looked out of sorts from the beginning and shot 77. Westwood was the best of the bunch, but still shot 73.

The trio combined for only three birdies. Tournament leader Michael Thompson made seven birdies in recording his 66.

“It shows how tough it is,” Donald said. “There aren’t that many opportunities out there. Some hole locations with the firmness of the greens and the direction of the wind, the best case you’re going to do is 20 feet.”

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