Joint-leader Fowler encouraged by U.S. Open start

Rickie Fowler was more than happy with his start to the U.S. Open after taking a share of the lead at Pebble Beach.

Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen shot five-under opening rounds of 66 to set the pace after Scott Piercy had taken the clubhouse lead with a 67 on Thursday.

World number 11 Fowler felt there were opportunities that passed him by, but does not feel his first round could have gone much better.

“I definitely would have been happy [with a 66 at the start of the day],” said the Californian.

“Thursday is just about getting off to a good start. You can’t go win the golf tournament today, but you can take yourself out of it or put yourself in position where you’re just trying to fight your way back.

“If I would have known I was going to hit it that well, I would have wanted to go out and see – put me in all the spots and give me a chance to putt and see if I could better it.

“We made some good putts out there but also missed a lot of good looks. It’s nice when you shoot 66, and that’s about as high as it was going to be. So I’m really happy with where we’re at and looking forward to see if we can keep it going.”

Fowler is hoping the wind picks up as he eyes a first major title in his home state.

“This golf course is a bit more fun and shows its teeth with wind,” he said.

“Today was a very scorable day. [The wind] really didn’t get much more than five to seven miles an hour. The set-up is good. The fairways, you get some tighter ones, you get some that are fairly generous.

“Hopefully it will pick up from 10 to 15 [mph] at some point and start to show some teeth in the next few days.”

Rory McIlroy, Sepp Straka, Emiliano Grillo and Gary Woodland were just two shots off the pace after their first rounds.