On the opening round of the U.S. Open Championship’s 117th edition amid many assumptions, Rickie Fowler took one-shot lead at Erin Hills with 65. Fowler’s 7-under 65 was his lowest score in his 30 major-championship starts. It was his best first round at the U.S. Open in his career, and it came on a day when a whole host of golfers passed the ultimate test of golf amidst winds and relaxed conditions at Erin Hills.
Rickie Fowler (-7) joined Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf with the lowest 18-hole score in U.S. Open history, in relation to par. Fowler sits atop the leaderboard followed by Paul Casey and Xander Schauffele, both at 6-under. Casey’s 66 matched his lowest U.S. Open round (2007 at Oakmont) and Schauffele is playing in his first major.
Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka are two strokes behind, while the group at par 68 includes USA Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman, Kevin Na and Adam Hadwin. The latter tied a championship record with six consecutive birdies, starting on No. 18 and continuing over his second nine until the string ended with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 sixth.
Lee Westwood, 44, and two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, 47, turned back the clock to shoot 69 and 70, respectively. Westwood is considered one of the best players to have never won a major and Els is making his 25th consecutive – and possibly last – start in the U.S. Open. His five-year exemption for winning the 2012 Open Championship concludes this year, and his Official World Golf Ranking has slipped to 401.
Eventually, the world’s top 3 players struggled in scoring at Erin Hills. Jason Day, who won the 2015 PGA Championship up the road at Whistling Straits, made two triple bogeys for the first time in his professional career, and needed a birdie on 18 to break 80. Defending champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson saw his round derailed by a double-bogey 7 on the 14th hole after he found the knee-high grass and three-putted. His poor putting led Johnson to card a disappointing 75.
World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, competing for the first time since The Players Championship in mid-May, shot a 78. Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, also couldn’t get his flat stick going, compiling 32 putts in his round of 73, eight strokes behind Fowler with a plethora of others in between.
Round 2 of the 2017 U.S. Open golf tournament begins at 10:30PM ISTon DSPORT on Friday.
Source: U.S. Open