Mustache-wearing, hook-slinging, smooth-swinging Rickie Fowler got off to a fast start on Thursday at the 2023 U.S. Open in a stunning opening round that took the golf world by storm.
The former Cowboy, who opened the week as a 45-1 longshot to win at LACC, carded a first-round 8-under 62 to set the pace on the field, tying for the lowest round ever in a major championship with Branden Grace and setting a U.S. Open single-round record.
Fowler set a record in his historic pace with 11 (!!) birdies in Round 1 and got to 8-under on the round despite bogeys at Nos. 11 and 17. He finished as the solo leader in the clubhouse at the time his round was completed, though Xander Schauffele quickly knotted things up.
“Been awhile since I’ve made some mid-range putts,” said Fowler wearing a smile post-round on USA Today. “I was really just trying to keep moving forward. Made a lot of really good swings. Kept putting myself in great positions.”
“You have to be in the fairway,” added Fowler on the secret to his big day. “We did a good job of managing our way around and putting ourselves in some stress-free situations.”
Fowler, 34, has never won at a major championship but has finished as high as T2 at the U.S. Open, which he did in 2014. (He also finished T2 at The Open in 2014, T3 at the PGA in 2014 and solo 2nd in 2018.) He entered the week in decent form having turned in consecutive top 10s at the Charles Schwab and The Memorial in recent weeks but seemed to fly under the radar even among former Pokes after fellow Cowboy Viktor Hovland won the Memorial earlier this month.