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US Open: Darlington’s Callum Tarren steps into the limelight as he shares lead with Rory Mcilroy

Callum Tarren is the unknown leading English light introducing itself to a new audience with a sensational first round at the US Open

  • Callum Tarren’s first round score of 67 gave him a joint lead with Rory McIlroy
  • This is only the second time the 31-year-old has qualified for the event
  • Tarren introduced himself to a new audience with his brilliant first day

Nobody ever got anywhere in professional golf without a good dose of perseverance and the Englishman Callum Tarren has amply proved that.

Now he has introduced himself to a whole new audience after a first round of 67 at the US Open, finishing second to Rory McIlroy and nearly losing for words.

“I’m pinching myself a little,” noted the 31-year-old from Darlington.

Callum Tarren is second to Rory McIlroy at the US Open and almost lost for words

Callum Tarren is second to Rory McIlroy at the US Open and almost lost for words

He was definitely too late for anything good to happen at America’s National Championship.

The only other time Tarren qualified for the US Open was in 2019, when his clubs only arrived at Pebble Beach on the eve of the event.

This time they were also lost in Canada for a while and he had to settle for nine holes for his first look at Brookline on Sunday.

It was just another adventure for Tarren, remember, on a long and decidedly twisty road to the majors.

Tarren took his score towards the end of his round with a remarkable burst of scoring

Tarren took his score towards the end of his round with a remarkable burst of scoring

After graduating from college in America, he returned to the Northeast and a variety of mundane jobs to try to fund his professional career.

Failing to get his European Tour card in 2018, he went to China to play on a PGA Tour subsidiary circuit set up there.

Tarren earned promotion to the Korn Ferry Tour – a sport among the main circuit – and then to the PGA Tour itself for the start of this season.

Thrilled at the realization of his American dream, he promptly bounced back to Earth with seven missed cuts and a disqualification from his first eight events.

This is only the second time he has qualified for the US Open after making it in 2019

This is only the second time he has qualified for the US Open after making it in 2019

Time to show perseverance again. Since that horrific start, Tarren has started to find his niche.

He has played all four rounds in six of his last nine events, finishing in the top five, earning more than $250,000.

He showed his colors towards the end of his round on Thursday in a remarkable burst of scoring, taking four shots on four holes from fifth, having started on the 10th.

That included an eagle on the eighth par five, where he got two nice shots at 20 feet.

“I didn’t realize I was level for the lead until I reached the ninth green,” he said, feeling it might not be a bad thing. “It feels crazy.”

Whatever happens from now on, he always has Thursday, and a round that sums up the romance of an event that’s really open.

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