Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

People could only watch as a blimp that was circling the U.S. Open first started to go down and explode.

Poor is not a word you would use to describe Fowler's golf on Thursday, though. All seven of his birdies came from inside 15 feet.

The Canadian finished second at the CareerBuilder Challenge thanks in part to a sensational 59 in the third round.

England's Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka (67) are a further stroke back.

South African Ernie Els' caddie Cayce Kerr talking about the Big Easy's opening round of two-under 70.

Justin Maynard, a sales manager for AirSign, said the company's operations team on the ground in Erin had no more definitive information on pilot's condition, other than the pilot was expected to be OK. With his famous father on the bag, Love IV made his pro debut, shooting a 1-under 71 at the U.S. Open to kick off his pro career. Then, he broke through with a PGA Tour victory in March. First responders used utility vehicles to reach the crash site, which was an open field about a half mile from the Erin Hills golf course.

After all, at the end of the day we're still talking about the U.S. Open.

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", he said. Like I said, two triples, I don't know. The problem however was that it only lasted two holes. "I didn't hit it great, but I hit it good enough to shoot a good score". On typical U.S. Open greens, that would have run all the way off the back of the green. En route to a 68 Thursday, he joined George Burns (1982 at Pebble Beach) and Andy Dillard (1992 at Pebble Beach) as the only players in tournament history to make six consecutive birdies.

Rickie Fowler leads the tournament at 7-under, with perennial contender Leishman the best of the Australians at 4-under the card. After finding the green at the par-five first he then three-putted, missing the second from less than 18 inches. He just missed an eagle at the par-5 seventh after a long putt rolled just wide of the cup. But this is one of those moments where you look back on life and you just don't want to miss it. The 65 from Fowler tied the lowest round ever shot during an opening round at the U.S. Open. This one he'd rather forget. He almost made a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th. Later, a long put for bogey rolled just right of the hole before he tapped in.

But for all the day's struggles, there were plenty of triumphs, led by Fowler, whom Casey credited for giving the competitors who followed his round a roadmap of how to attack Erin Hills' lengthy track. Fowler tees off in the afternoon. Along with Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Andrew Johnston and Matthew Fitzpatrick, he stands among a large group of Englishmen who will compete for a win this weekend.

Erin, Wis. - Erin Hills played like a pushover for a U.S. Open. McIlroy made a 30-foot putt for eagle on the short par-4 second hole and was even par at the turn. He tapped in for par.

Someone forgot to tell Rickie Fowler how challenging this was supposed to be.

The OU junior, fresh off leading the Sooners to the NCAA men's golf championship, shot an opening-round 78 and is tied for 144th place. He was 1 over on the front nine, bogeyed Nos.

The performance of the 23-year-old from San Diego has been no less remarkable.

For years, Fowler has enjoyed the near-unanimous respect of his peers, but three years ago he took it to a new level on the course by finishing in the top five at all four majors.

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