Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf each shot 7-under 63s at Baltusrol in 1980.

"I just played bad golf, man", Day told reporters. "But I hit it good enough to shoot a good score". "I just kept making putts when it mattered". An advertising blimp not associated with the United States Golf Association or the U.S. Openbroadcast crashed and burst into flames during Thursday morning's first round. It just looked like I was putting at half a cup.

Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood of England and Brooks Koepka are all two shots off the lead on a day when birdies were there for the taking.

It was a very different story for defending champion and World Number One Dustin Johnson, he was ten shots back from Fowler after shooting a 75. "If we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home". I just really bad tee shots which led to obviously not being able to give myself many looks for birdies.

The 2011 U.S. Open champion didn't hit another fairway after No. 10.

With the picturesque par-72 course set up at a monstrous 7,845 yards, Erin Hills had been expected to live up to the US Open s billing of being the toughest test in golf.

"But early in the week I said to my caddie (Matt Kelly), any time we hit it in here (the deep fescue grass), we need to make sure we putt for par".

Canada's Adam Hadwin put himself in the U.S. Open record books by becoming only the third player to card six consecutive birdies.

Day had two triple bogeys in the same round for the first time in his career and needed birdie on the par-5 18th to break 80. According to a report by ESPN.com, AirSign pilot Trevor Thompson suffered serious injuries in the crash, including burns on his back, head and neck. He chopped that one out above the ridge of the green and three-putted for double bogey.

But they also know that Erin Hills could strike back if the wind kicks up and the course dries out a little or if the U.S. Golf Association toughens up the setup a little, although it would be hard to lengthen the course from the 7,845 yards it played on Thursday.

For years, Fowler has enjoyed the near-unanimous respect of his peers, but three years ago he took it to a new level on the course by finishing in the top five at all four majors. "So I did a really good job of staying present, staying focused on the next shot".

The highlight of his round came on the par-four fourth, where he lofted an approach into the middle of the green, before the ball bounced again and turned to land in the hole for a birdie. His withdrawal marked the end of a golfing era with the 117th U.S. Open becoming the first major to not include Mickelson and/or Tiger Woods since the 1994 Masters. On that Sunday, he shot 76, finished 11th and made one of the world's all-time understatements: "Bogeying the last three holes didn't help".

Still to be determined is what kind of test Erin Hills can present the rest of the week, especially with more rain on the way Friday and Saturday afternoon.

  • Julie Sanders