Rickie Fowler leads US Open on day of highs and lows

Fowler birdied three of his first five holes and kept rolling en route to a bogey-free 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead following Thursday's opening round at Erin Hills Golf Club.

Jordan Niebrugge, one of two Wisconsin players in the field at Erin Hills, hit the opening tee shot in Wisconsin's first U.S. Open.

KEY STATISTIC: Fowler matched the first-round record in relation to par, joining Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, who each shot 7-under 63 in 1980 at Baltusrol.

"I just played bad golf, man", Day told reporters. "I missed a lot of really good opportunities".

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", he said.

"I have to be a little bit more aggressive and try shoot a low score", Day said.

Chasing his maiden major title, the 28-year-old leads two shots ahead of England's Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka, all at five-under after the trio shot 67.

Among the notable players who had early tee times, defending champion Dustin Johnson struggled to a 3-over-par 75. "You've got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home".

On a day where flawless conditions triggered a feast of low-scoring, Johnson finished a disappointing round at Erin Hills with a three-over-par 75, 10 adrift of early leader Rickie Fowler.

In 2011, Rory McIlroy destroyed the notion that a U.S. Open could be won by shooting only a stroke or 2 over par when he went 16-under at Congressional but the historic truth does not lie with that remarkable performance.

Among other notables, Masters champion Sergio Garcia posted four birdies and an eagle on his way to a 2-under 70 while Davis Love IV, son of Ryder Cup Captain Love III, signed for a 1-under 71 in his first start as a professional.

On the golf course, there was only a barrage of birdies.

"I'm very happy with one under, even though the scoring is quite good out there. I like the way this golf course suits me and we're off to a good start, but there's definitely a lot of golf to be played". What makes our country great is our diversity and that is what should make the U.S. Open great, too. "First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is now being treated for unknown injuries", it reads.

"I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach". That's a wonderful and remarkable contrast to his previous four rounds at the U.S. Open, which were a combined 25-over-par. In its place came red, up and down the leader board, as players found the gaping 7,741 yards thoroughly manageable, with some playing on through even as some spotted the smoke from the nearby crash of an advertising blimp. On that Sunday, he shot 76, finished 11th and made one of the world's all-time understatements: "Bogeying the last three holes didn't help". One example of that was Fowler hitting 3-wood into the green on the 632-yard 18th hole, with a breeze at his back. There was the helpless sight of Jason Day pitching toward the flagstick on No. 4, only to see the ball roll back to his feet twice in a row. On typical U.S. Open greens, that would have run all the way off the back of the green.