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US Open 2023: Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele set new record scores of 62

Rickie Fowler at the US Open
Rickie Fowler had failed to qualify for the past two US Opens and now holds the tournament record

Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele both managed to break the record for the lowest score in US Open history within the space of 30 minutes to share the early lead in Los Angeles.

The Californian duo shot eight-under-par 62s, matching the lowest round in a major, shot by South Africa’s Branden Grace at the 2017 Open Championship.

Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler lead the chase five shots behind.

A frustrated Jon Rahm shot a 69, while Rory McIlroy is in the late starters.

Frenchman Mathieu Pavon struck the 49th hole-in-one in US Open history – at the par-three 15th – on a lively opening morning at Los Angeles Country Club.

California kids set new US Open record

It’s been quite a journey for Fowler, one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour, who went from a career-high fourth in the world ranking in 2016 all the way down to 173rd just a year ago.

The 34-year-old, one of just four players in history with top five finishes in all four majors in one season, failed to even qualify for the past two US Opens, but marked his return in some style.

“It has been long and tough. it’s a lot longer that you ever want it to be,” Fowler said after his record round. “It’s been so worth it and now being back.”

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele chased Rickie Fowler all the way to a record US Open round

While Fowler tied the US Open record with 10 birdies in his round to counter two bogeys, current Olympic champion Schauffele had eight birdies in a bogey-free round.

“It’s a great start. I hit a lot of really good shots,” said Schauffele, who used chasing Fowler as motivation. “Rickie was just right in front of me and I was playing really good golf so thought I may as well just chase him down.

“You have to play hard here, dig your way around.”

Scheffler and DeChambeau lead the chase

World number one Scheffler bookended his round with a bogey on the first and last, but found a spark around the turn with five birdies in eight holes to card a creditable 67.

That scored was matched by 2020 US Open champion DeChambeau, who had an eventful round with six birdies and three bogeys.

Local favourite Max Homa, who was born in Los Angeles and holds the course record of 61, is just a shot further back on two under while Viktor Hovland is one under after a round of highs and lows that included a double bogey and hole-out eagle from 175 yards.

Norwegian Hovland, 25, has come close in the past three majors, playing in the final groups in both last year’s Open Championship and last month’s US PGA Championship.

Reigning Masters champion Rahm looked largely frustrated with just the three birdies and two bogeys in his one-under 69, which usually would be a decent start but this year sees him seven behind.

The Spaniard has a great record in California with five of his PGA Tour wins coming in the state – including his 2019 US Open victory at Torrey Pines in nearby San Diego.

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