Thursday, June 15

Rickie Fowler Fires 'Stress-Free' 65 to Lead U.S. Open at Erin Hills

Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the 18th hole
during the first round of the U.S. Open.
(Copyright USGA/JD Cuban)

















IN SEARCH OF HIS FIRST MAJOR, Rickie Fowler took a big step on Thursday at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. Fowler fired a sizzling 65 that included no bogeys to grab the lead in the 2017 U.S. Open.

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free," Fowler said. "I've been swinging well all through the start of the week. It was nice getting off to a quick start."

As USA Today reported, Fowler birdied three of his first five holes and striped the ball all day long. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. It didn't hurt that he played in the morning when conditions were better. But it was a great round in every respect, tying him with guys named Nicklaus and Weiskopf who also opened the 1980 U.S. Open with 7-under rounds (in their case 63).

Three early players (Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka) were two shots back at 67. Australian Marc Leishman is also currently 5 under through 14 holes.

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