Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows


Jordan Niebrugge, one of two Wisconsin players in the field at Erin Hills, hit the opening tee shot in Wisconsin's first U.S. Open.

By finishing on seven under, the world number nine matched Tom Weiskopf and Jack Nicklaus' record for the lowest score to par on the opening day of the tournament.

"I just didn t putt very well", Johnson said.

"I had two triples out there, that obviously doesn't help, " Day told reporters.

Early Thursday afternoon, a blimp floating over the U.S. Open at Erin Hills caught fire and crashed to the ground.

McIlroy has played just six tournaments this year after battling through a rib injury but said pain was not to blame for his performance on Thursday.

McIlroy, the 2011 champion, was returning after a month out with a rib injury and his round started in ideal fashion with an eagle-two on the par-four second after driving the green.

Paul Casey and Xander Schauffele were one shot back, with Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka another shot behind at 5 under.

It was McIlroy's highest score in 27 rounds of a U.S. Open, a shot more than a 77 he shot on day two in 2010 and also on day one in 2012.

Rory McIlroy, who said players might as well "pack your bags and go home", if they could not hit the wide fairways, saw those words come back to haunt him as he tangled several times with the thick rough and struggled to one over par after 11 holes. Schauffele had a chance at birdie and a share of the lead with Fowler on his final hole, but pushed his putt just wide to lock him into a second-place tie with Casey. Seven players were at 69, including Lee Westwood, who has always been in the conversation of best player never to win a major. "I've don't think I've ever started a US Open with a birdie let alone an eagle", Casey said.

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Rickie Fowler during 2017 U.S. Open.

"I was 2 over through eight holes, and my mindset didn't change, and I made six birdies".

"I was hacking around in the rough out there and didn't feel it one bit. I felt bad for people inside", Lovemark said.

She said he had just taken off on his second flight of the day when he decided it was too windy and attempted to return to an airstrip.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson probably didn't feel so badly by the end of a most peculiar day. A bit of rust, timing as my timing was a little off.

This is the first time Mickelson has missed the U.S. Open since he failed to qualify in 1993.

The best birdie barrage was delivered by Adam Hadwin, who shot 59 in the CareerBuilder Challenge.

This is the same daughter who almost caused Mickelson to withdraw from the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Prior to that, there was numerous birdies throughout the morning's play - and the USGA was kind enough to put them in to little highlight videos for us below. On typical U.S. Open greens, that would have run all the way off the back of the green.

Lurking at four under are Patrick Reed, who's seeking his first win since the 2016 Barclays, and Australian Marc Leishman, who finished 18th at Oakmont a year ago. There was the helpless sight of Jason Day pitching toward the flagstick on No. 4, only to see the ball roll back to his feet twice in a row.

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