Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs, lows

Fowler, the world number nine from California, revelled in benign conditions at Erin Hills Golf Course to notch seven birdies and 11 pars.

KEY STATISTIC: Fowler matched the first-round record in relation to par, joining Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot 7-under 63 in 1980 at Baltusrol.

Now, he enters the second round of the U.S. Open tied for seventh place after a stunning four-under 68 at Erin Hills on Thursday.

But a week of rain which has softened greens and made fairways more forgiving created an inviting start to the second major of the season.

"He said 'The blimp is not looking good.' I guess it was nose down".

"My short game was great at Wentworth (in the BMW PGA Championship) but my ball-striking is really coming back to its best now and if I keep going then there's no reason I can't be in contention on Sunday".

Graeme McDowell is four over with Shane Lowry one under.

Lurking at five under was a pack including young South Korean Kim Si-woo, who recovered from an early bogey by stringing together three straight birdies through the turn on the way to a two-under 70. "I knew I needed to drive it well and from there was just able to manage hitting and continuing to swing well and hitting good shots and rolling a couple in". "But I think definitely getting a lot speedier, a lot faster". "That was the big key for me". After round one, the cut-mark sits at even par with McIlroy well back on six over par and tied for 143rd.

"I've said from day one, it's my favorite hole", said Fry, the co-designer.

"I definitely hit it better off the tee and gave myself a lot more looks at birdie but at the end of the day I need competitive rounds with a card in my hand and I've been light on those this year".

Day meanwhile was left sliding towards an early exit after a calamitous seven-over-par 79.

"I just played bad golf", said Day.

Paul Casey, Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka are tied for the lead at 7 under.

Playing the back nine first at the links-style Erin Hills layout, Hadwin was sputtering along at two-over par through eight holes when he suddenly clicked into gear with a birdie at the par-five 18th. So it only makes sense that winning the U.S. Open is high on Patrick Reed's bucket list.

The 47-year-old South African posted a two-under-par 71.

"I just stuck to the game plan", Casey said, "and the game plan was very, very good".

The Warriors are headed to San Francisco, where they broke ground this year on a new arena slated to open in 2019.

Several big names struggled after finding the fescue too many times in the opening round. The pilot, the only one aboard the blimp operated by Florida-based AirSign, was being treated for injuries.

There are many golf fans who likely have only been paying attention to Hadwin during his 2017 hot streak.

"I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach", Jamie Lovemark said.

I have always felt his personality is the type to rise to the occasion in his national championship and can now put himself in position for a push towards the title over the weekend. "Just excited to get on a run of golf and get going". It was a terrible sight.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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