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Rickie Fowler’s record-tying round highlights first round of U.S. Open

By in Press Enterprise on June 16, 2017

By The Associated Press

ERIN, Wis. — Erin Hills played like a pushover for a U.S. Open.

Check out the score of Rickie Fowler, who matched the U.S. Open scoring record to par for the opening round with a 7-under 65. Right behind him were 43 other players who broke par, breaking a championship record that had stood for 27 years. Adam Hadwin tied a U.S. Open record with six straight birdies.

Erin Hills also played like a beast.

Look no further than Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the world, who didn’t hit a fairway after the 10th hole, shot 42 on the back nine and posted a 78, his worst score in 27 rounds at the U.S. Open. Jason Day made two triple bogeys and closed with a birdie to avoid the indignity of shooting 80. He still had his worst score in a U.S. Open.

There were as many amateurs who broke par as players in the top 10 in the world — two each.

On a wild day of highs and lows — and even a commercial blimp that crashed and caught fire outside the golf course during the round — Fowler emerged with a one-shot lead over Paul Casey and U.S. Open rookie Xander Schauffele in a most peculiar debut for the 11-year-old golf course.

“Definitely not U.S. Open-like,” Marc Leishman said.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson made only one birdie in his round of 75. Taking the long walk to sign his card, he looked back at the rain-softened course and mild breeze and said wistfully, “You won’t get a better day for scoring.”

No one took advantage like Fowler.

Fowler, who shared the 36-hole lead at the Masters in April, never came seriously close to bogey because he was never in trouble. He kept it in the short grass, the secret to Erin Hills that wouldn’t […]    

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