Xander Schauffele predicts ‘nasty’ US Open after record-breaking first day

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Joint leader expects tougher times ahead as greens firm up after equalling lowest round in major history.
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Xander Schauffele predicted the US Open could turn “nasty” after an historic day of scoring on the opening day at Los Angeles Country Club.

Schauffele matched Ryder Cup team-mate Rickie Fowler’s eight-under-par 62 to record the lowest score in US Open history and equal the lowest in any men’s major championship, set by Branden Grace in the 2017 Open.

The duo led by five shots after the morning wave was completed on Thursday, but by the end of the day were only two in front of Dustin Johnson and Wyndham Clark, with Rory McIlroy and Brian Harman another stroke back.

US Open Golf
Rickie Fowler watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the US Open (Lindsey Wasson/AP)

“It’s not really what you expect playing a US Open, but monkey see, monkey do,” Olympic champion Schauffele said.

“I was just chasing Rickie up the leaderboard. Glad he was just in front of me. [But] it’s just Thursday. It’s literally just the first day of a tournament. It’s a good start. You just wait until this place firms up. It’s going to be nasty.”

World number one Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau were five shots off the pace after rounds of 67, while a frustrated Jon Rahm threatened to break a club over his knee as he struggled off the tee, but still managed to post a 69.

Playing alongside McIlroy, US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka carded a 71 which was matched by defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

Quote of the day

Former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn reacts to the amazing scoring from Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele on day one.

Shot of the day

Sam Burns also recorded a hole-in-one on the 15th, but Pavon got there first.

Round of the day

Rounds of the day in this case as Fowler and Schauffele posted matching 62s.

Statistic of the day

While Fowler and Schauffele understandably grabbed the headlines with their 62s, world number one Scottie Scheffler continued to post some impressive numbers of his own.

Easiest hole

The par-five eighth hole gave up three eagles and 77 birdies, leading to an average of 4.610, although there were still three double bogeys.

Hardest hole

One of a trio of tough closing holes, the 17th played to average of 4.530 with just nine players making birdie and the same number making a double bogey.

Weather forecast

Friday is expected to have more sunshine and warmth than Thursday, which should dry the course out and lead to tougher scoring conditions. Winds remain light with a maximum strength of 15mph possible in late afternoon.

Key tee times (all BST)

1602 Dustin Johnson, Sam Burns, Keith Mitchell
1624 Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama
2132 Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day
2154 Xander Schaufferle, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland

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