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June 16 2011

7:59 PM

Sabbatini grabs tie for lead

BETHESDA, Md. -- The first round of the U.S. Open continues Thursday afternoon as rain skirts either side of Congressional Country Club but spares the golfers.

Rory Sabbatini, sporting a beard under his white Stetson, just rolled in a 15-footer at the 15th hole -- his sixth of the day -- to tie Y.E. Yang for the lead at 3 under.

Francesco Molinari had been tied at the top, as well, after birdies on his three of his first four holes. But consecutive bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 have dropped him back to 1 under.

Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Dickerson are also making afternoon moves and stand 2 under. Dickerson is through 11 holes and Garcia through eight, both having started on the front.

McIlroy, meanwhile, is the only one in the Featured Group with Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson who is prospering on the back, their first nine of the day. McIlroy has played eight holes and has yet to make a bogey.

Mickelson is struggling to hit fairways -- finding just one of his first eight -- and is 2 over. He put his tee shot at the 10th in the water and made double bogey, birdied the 12th and bogeyed No. 14.

Johnson, who led entering the final round of last year's U.S. Open, is 4 over. He did most of his damage on the 11th hole, hitting into the water, and also bogeyed the par-3 13th.

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