McDowell fired an eagle, one birdie and one bogey to shoot an opening 68 at Pinehurst, joining American Kevin Na at the top of the leaderboard on two under par. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who can overtake Adam Scott as world number one by claiming his first major title on Sunday, was among a six-strong group in the clubhouse on one under as the early starters made the most of more receptive greens than had been expected. And six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson, looking to become only the sixth player to win all four major titles, was another shot back on level par alongside England’s Ian Poulter and Ryder Cup hopeful Joost Luiten. Sheffield amateur Matt Fitzpatrick briefly held a share of the lead after starting with two birdies in his first three holes, the 19-year-old eventually signing for a 71 despite a penalty shot on his penultimate hole when his ball moved as he prepared to play his third shot. That was still one better than playing partner and defending champion Justin Rose, who at least recovered from being four over par at the turn. Former champion Rory McIlroy was alongside Fitzpatrick on one over after struggling to get the pace of the greens. McDowell admitted the early starters had enjoyed the luck of the draw and benefitted from tournament officials deciding to water the course after the expected rain failed to materialise. “I spent the last few days just preparing myself mentally for the challenge, knowing that this golf course wasn’t going to give much and it was only going to take,” said 2010 champion McDowell, who holed from 10 feet for eagle on the fifth after a superb three-wood approach from 248 yards. “I really felt like I got my head in the right place the last few days. “It wasn’t my best ball-striking display this morning, but you don’t have to strike it amazing around here, you just have to position the ball correctly at all times, and with a tiny bit more moisture this morning we got lucky. “In practice yesterday the golf course seemed to be very firm, kind of a weekend set up. I guess the USGA were really relying on some rain last night, which didn’t come. “I’m assuming they put some water on this place this morning and we were able to take advantage of that a little bit early on, and actually think about getting at some of those flags.” Graeme McDowell celebrated confirmation of the Open Championship’s return to his home course of Portrush by claiming a share of the clubhouse lead in the US Open on Thursday. Press Association Speaking about the Open Championship returning to Portrush in 2019 – it was last staged there in 1951 – McDowell, whose brother Gary is on the greenkeeping staff at the club, added: “That’s extremely exciting. “I’ve been kind of hesitant to comment because I really didn’t want to take anything away from the official announcement (the R&A are holding a press conference in Portrush on Monday). “I’m very proud of where I grew up. I’m very proud of the tradition and history there and to bring an Open Championship back to Northern Ireland is very special. It speaks volumes about how far the country has come. “It’s going to be a very special thing for Northern Ireland and Ireland in general. I just hope I’m exempt and playing well. It’s been a dream of mine as a kid. I’ve spent many an hour out there as a kid and dreaming of playing major championships. To have a major championship come to Portrush, (especially) the Open Championship is special stuff. “It’s the result of a lot of gentle ribbing in the direction of Mr Dawson (R&A chief executive Peter Dawson) the last four or five years from myself and (Rory) McIlroy and (Darren) Clarke. Nice to see the fruits of our labour, I suppose.”
On Friday, nearly 200 people stood at the Von Kleinsmid Center in the pouring rain. They were there to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump, as they heard speeches from members of the Black Student Assembly, the Muslim Student Union, the Student Worker Action Group and the Price Student Organizations Coalition. Christina Gutierrez, a third-year graduate student majoring in public administration and urban planning, spoke about the importance of granting support to underrepresented communities, including black, Latino/a, LGBT and undocumented students.“It is students who have to fight for equity and justice,” Gutierrez said. “It’s appalling that [the University] doesn’t do so much to support undocumented students.”While both parties have support on campus, most of the protests and rallies have been visibly anti-Trump. From the night of the election to the days preceding Trump’s inauguration, members of the USC community have mirrored a series of protests occurring worldwide, making the campus a hub for student activism. This wave of resistance is relatively new for USC, which is not historically known for being politically active. The rallies and protests against Trump on campus have not only involved students and staff from USC, but also students from local high schools. Two days after the election, teens from South Los Angeles staged a walkout, joining some USC students who had organized a “human wall” along Trousdale Parkway.The protests have not solely concentrated on students’ dissatisfaction with the election results, but also on the inclusion of underrepresented students at USC.The proposal for USC to become a sanctuary campus, which would protect undocumented students, faculty members and their families from deportation under the new presidential administration, has ignited discussion on campus. The initiative was introduced by a faculty-driven petition, and supported by an Undergraduate Student Government resolution, that urged the USC administration to protect undocumented students.USG Director of Community Affairs Mai Mizuno said that after attending a talk by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti about Los Angeles’ status as a sanctuary city, she came to believe USC should declare itself a sanctuary as well as a symbolic gesture.“My hope moving forward is that USC adopts a similar tangible legal initiative [like Los Angeles] that really institutionalizes the idea of a sanctuary campus,” Mizuno said.Two days before Trump’s inauguration, faculty members organized the Rally for Inclusion and Tolerance, where professors shared speeches and book passages that encouraged those in attendance to know their rights and continue to be in solidarity with those who are underrepresented.Nadja Barlera, a senior majoring in English, attended the rally and said that it was a “good first step” for USC professors to creating a more inclusive campus.“It’s important for faculty to speak because they are part of our community too, and they are affected by policies,” Barlera said. “It’s also important for them to make these sorts of public statements so that students feel safe and supported.”While these rallies and protests have recently begun at USC after Trump’s election, in the past USC has not been known for political and social justice resistance. Campuses such as UC Berkeley, which saw the birth of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, are viewed as more politically active, according to some students. “USC is known as the campus that is mild when it comes to political activism,” Collins said. “[But] it is part of our democracy to speak [our] grievances when [we] have them.”Beyond college campuses, USC students participated in worldwide Women’s March as an act of protest against the rhetoric of Trump. Maddie Hengst, assistant director of Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment, was one of the many in attendance.“The Women’s March was an important step in invigorating activists across campus, and the country, by restoring hope and purpose,” Hengst said. “But that being said, it’s important that the folks involved take further action steps, such as contacting representatives in Washington and donating or volunteering with organizations. SAGE recently has been advocating on behalf of Planned Parenthood.”Despite this perceived historical apathy, members of the USC community such as Billy Vela, the director of El Centro Chicano, have highlighted the importance of having students speak out in this way.“These demonstrations are important because I see our students engaged in meaningful issues of our time,” Vela said. “These issues are real, they impact lives and families. They are at the core of what higher education is all about at a local, state, country and global level.”Muhammad Yusuf Tarr contributed to this article.