U.S. Open: Rickie Fowler among those who held early lead

Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

U.S. Open: Rickie Fowler among those who held early lead

USGA

U.S. Open: Rickie Fowler among those who held early lead

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Seeking his first major championship, Rickie Fowler shot a 5-under-par 66 in the opening round of the U.S. Open to take a share of the early lead at Pebble Beach.

Louis Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele matched Fowler with rounds of 66.

The three were one shot shy of tying the lowest U.S. Open opening round at Pebble Beach, which was set by Tiger Woods in 2000. Fowler finished about an hour after Scott Piercy, the early clubhouse leader who shot a 67. Piercy had three birdies and an eagle in his first six holes.

Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland were among a group of players who shot 68 in the morning wave.

Piercy, who has four PGA Tour victories, got off to a hot start at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where the greens were soft and conditions ripe for scoring early in the day. Piercy was in the third group teeing off from the first tee at 6:56 a.m. local time Thursday. He made birdies on holes 2, 4 and 5 before his eagle on the par-5 sixth.

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He double bogeyed the eighth and made the turn at 3 under.

It’s the eighth U.S. Open start for Piercy, who tied for second in the 2016  Open won by Dustin Johnson. Piercy finished three back at Oakmont.

The 40-year-old from Las Vegas has six top-10 finishes this season, with his best result a tied for second at the Byron Nelson in May. He also tied for third at the RBC Heritage and is ranked No. 59 in the world. He missed the cut at last week’s RBC Canadian Open.

His most recent Tour victory came last year when he teamed with Billy Horschel to win the Zurich Classic.

Schauffele joined the leaders at 5-under when he rolled in a 10-footer for eagle on the 18th hole.

Oosthuizen finished his round with a birdie from the bunker on the 9th hole. Earlier in the day, from 96 yards away on the 11th hole, he used some backspin to back in an eagle 2 on the par-4 hole.

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