Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Jason Day of Australia, and Justin Rose of England putt during the first round of the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills on June 15, 2017 in Hartford, Wisconsin. AFP Photo

ERIN: World number three Jason Day insisted he can still recover his US Open campaign after a catastrophic opening round 79 on Thursday.

The Australian star’s seven-over-par effort included two triple-bogeys – the first time he has ever recorded a pair of trebles in a single round.

Day was at a loss to explain his performance, putting it down to a bad day at the office, and adamant that he had not thrown in the towel.

“I just played bad golf, man,” Day said. “I can’t put it any other way other than that – just there was some good stuff mixed in with a lot of poor stuff. Two triples.

“It’s weird. You sit there and it’s not like I gave up. I actually gave it 100% all the way through the end and I shot 79.

“It’s kind of tough because out of every major championship I’ve played, this is probably – this has been the best preparation going into an event.”

A solid start saw Day open with a birdie on the first, making the green in two and then two-putting.

But a calamitous fourth hole saw him suffer the first of his two triple-bogeys, with the Aussie dropping three shots after twice failing to chip out of the rough behind the green.

A birdie at seven renewed hope of a turnaround but the revival was short-lived. Back-to-back bogeys at eight and nine left him struggling at three over at the turn.

More disasters struck on the 10th, when his second triple bogey left him at six over. A further bogey piled on Day’s misery in the 11th.

Two more bogeys followed, with only the consolation of a birdie on 18 to soften the disappointment.

Day however has not given up hope.

“I think if the wind dies down a little bit tomorrow, I get out with some fresh greens, I might be able to get back in this championship with a solid round,” he said.

“But, obviously didn’t get off to a great start.” -- AFP

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