Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

  • Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

Rickie Fowler's historic start to the 117th U.S. Open has the young pro on track to earn his first major title.

The last thing the USGA wants is to trick up the golf course, because the U.S. Open has had too many bumps (conditions at Chambers Bay, the rules mess at Oakmont) to risk anything but a smooth week.

McIlroy however, who is returning from a hip and back injury, put a fearless face on his second consecutive missed cut at a US Open following his exit at the halfway stage in 2016.

Everyone expects the U.S. Open to get harder as the week goes on because it usually does.

"You could see the black smoke and then there were three big fireballs as it exploded", she said.

Jason Day, with two triple bogeys, shot a 79.

Paul Casey routinely hangs around the top of the major leaderboards.

Just like that, Casey is 4 over for the day and now five shots out of the lead. The lead is seven-under 65 (Rickie Fowler) but forget about that for now.

"Every time I stepped on the tee, I tried to play aggressive", he said. "Yeah, it was a bit of a roller coaster".

"It was nice. You don't get many rounds at the US Open that are stress-free".

The tournament, one of golf's four majors, began Thursday morning. When it was clear he had nothing going in the second round, he was simply trying to stay out of the way.

"I asked him if he could move and he said he couldn't get up and walk".

Playing just his seventh tournament of the year due to a rib injury, McIlroy bounced back with a birdie from 12 feet on the 13th, but carded a hat-trick of birdies from the first before his encouraging late rally. Casey eagled the Par-5, 608-yard first hole and tallied six birdies. That still didn't appear to be almost enough. On typical U.S. Open greens, that would have run all the way off the back of the green.

Xander Schauffele had never made a bogey in the U.S. Open until the par-3 ninth hole at Erin Hills.

His 79 leaves Day, who began the day as one of the favourites, in a share of 151st out of 156 competitors in what was an nearly inexplicable display by the World Number Three, especially on a golf course which saw a record 44 players under par on day one.

He has posted a nice season so far, winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finishing second by one stroke to Dustin Johnson at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Casey did his part to set the pace, even after his triple bogey.

Casey laid up in the rough on the par-5 14th hole. His ball landed on the green and only rolled out about 10 feet. I'm swinging good, everything feels good. Just making the cut - now at a very-early even par - might be a miracle.

Mickelson, who has six U.S. Open runner-up finishes, had appeared in 23 straight U.S. Opens dating back to 1994. Even as the course slowly recovered from rain early in the week, reasonable scores were available. It clearly unsettled him and, unable to find any rhythm, he had dropped three more shots by the 8th and at that point was 4 over. If the sun shines and the wind blows, it's going to dry out.

But there was no hope for Day and McIlroy.

They both know that anyone in a rush to just win majors is probably focusing on the endgame more than the process. "Just hitting the fairways has made it a little easier and that's definitely something that makes a difference out here".