Johnny Miller set a U.S. Open record fifty years ago when he shot a 63 in the final round at Oakmont. Five times, the record was tied, but never broken.
That Thursday at The Los Angeles Country Club, two young people from California had their hair cut.
Rickie Fowler shot 8-under 62 in the morning wave at LACC. He had 10 birdies and two bogeys in his signature round as he chases his first major championship title.
After two groups, Xander Schauffele shot 62 with eight birdies and no bogeys. To hopscotch the record, Schauffele hit a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth hole and a 28-foot birdie putt on the par-3 ninth hole. In order to get a piece of new history, he two-putted.
Fowler found trouble off the tee at the par-5 eighth hole, but he punched out safely, wedged to 13 feet, and drained the putt, leaving him 7 under with two holes remaining. He secured his first U.S. Open 62 by two-putting from long range on the final hole. After about twenty minutes, Schauffele didn’t even blink.
Five individuals have shot 63 at the U.S. Open since Miller’s effort to win at Oakmont: Tom Weiskopf (1980), Vijay Singh (2003), Tommy Fleetwood (2017), Jack Nicklaus (1980), and Justin Thomas
Before Thursday, Branden Grace shot the only 62 at a major championship in the third round of The 2019 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Hollywood doubled that production on Thursday.
Both Fowler and Schauffele are considered to be among the best players of this era who have not won a major championship. Fowler has failed to win any of his ten major top-10 finishes; Without a victory, Schauffele has won 12 major top-10s. Fowler won the PLAYERS Championship in 2015, and Schauffele won the gold medal at the 2021 Olympic Men’s Golf Competition. Both hold non-major titles of distinction.
Fowler has won the TOUR five times; Schauffele has won the TOUR seven times. Each is off to a good start, to put it mildly, and they hope to add to that total this weekend in their home state.
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