Sport

Fowler assumes US Open lead with 7-under 65

Meanwhile, Day lamented his poor showing around Erin Hills, especially given his meticulous preparation.

Norman native and Oklahoma Sooner, Brad Dalke is participating in his first U.S. Open as an amateur.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson made only one birdie in his round of 75.

Jason Day has given himself the green light to go on a birdie blitz on day two of the US Open after his second-worst score at the majors.

And ask Edgerton native Steve Stricker, who cruised to a birdie-birdie start to energize a giant contingent of in-state fans only to scrap and claw his way to a first-round 73.

Rickie Fowler had a 7-under 65, and was one of 44 players to break par - a record for the first round of a U.S. Open.

At almost 7,800 yards, the course is the longest in U.S. Open history, and its rugged layout will definitely present a challenge to the world's best players. The previous record was 39.

Hadwin becomes just the third golfer to string together six birdies at a U.S. Open, joining George Burns (1982) and Andy Dillard (1992), who both accomplished the feat at Pebble Beach. "I feel like that's going to help me to get back into contention and hopefully try to win some of these things", said McIlroy, who has four career Major titles, the last of which came with his victory in the 2014 US PGA.

"Simple day when you look back on it".

"A lot of guys took my social media post kind of the wrong way", Na said. "The golf course is actually really attractive".

But the second-ranked player in the world still has a lot of ground to make up at Erin Hills.

Phil Mickelson officially withdrew from the U.S. Open field on Thursday to attend his daughter's high school graduation in California.

"I was a couple over early, but I hit some good shots, made a couple putts and next thing you know I got it back on par".

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

It was an impressive comeback to finish the day in 45th place, seven shots off leader Rickie Fowler, but Scott, who admitted nerves had got the better of him, refused to take any credit for the turnaround.

McIlroy is back to even-par for the round after bogeying the first three holes on the front nine.

On Thursday, Fowler was the wily veteran in his group playing with young guns Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama.

McIlroy, who hit just five fairways to tie for last in the 156-man field in that category, said: "I don't think I hit a fairway from the 10th and you can not play this golf course if you are not in position off the tee".

Masters champion Sergio Garcia meanwhile was lurking five off the lead after a two-under-par 70.

And then there was Stricker.

With the top 60 and ties qualifying for the final rounds at Erin Hills, the cut appeared set to fall at one or two over par as the afternoon wave started their second rounds. But his round was derailed by back-to-back double bogeys on Nos.

Erin Hills may have been easy-as-can-be Thursday.

With Johnson, McIlroy and Day misfiring, it was left to a clutch of unheralded players to dominate the upper reaches of the leaderboard.

They loved every up-and-down for par, and Stricker needed a bunch of them. The last major he played in was the 2015 PGA Championship.

Which is probably the way it should be. And the next few days could afford to be a little more stressful.



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