Tiger Woods reflects on his win at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Woods destroyed the competition winning by a record-setting 15 shots. Golfweek, USA TODAY NETWORK
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, 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.
He double bogeyed the eighth and made the turn at 3 under. He birdied the 14th to get to 5 under but three-putted the 18th to finish with a bogey.
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.
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Piercy got in the field this week by being in the top 60 in the world, despite missing the cut at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He needed his ranking (currently No. 59) to get him in as he failed to advance out of sectional qualifying in Columbus.
Piercy, 40, from Las Vegas, has six top-10 finishes this season, with his best result a tie for second at the Byron Nelson in May. He also tied for third at the RBC Heritage.
His most recent Tour victory came last year when he teamed with Billy Horschel to win the Zurich Classic.