2023 US Open: Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele Shoot 62 to Break Scoring Record

2023 US Open: Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele Shoot 62 to Break Scoring Record article feature image

Via Richard Heathcote/Getty Images. Pictured: Rickie Fowler of the United States waits to putt on the sixth green during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

The first round of the 2023 U.S. Open is underway, and Thursday has already been a historic day before the afternoon wave tees off — thanks to Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele breaking the U.S. Open scoring record.

Entering the tournament, no player had ever played an 18-hole round at the U.S. Open in fewer than 63 strokes, but Fowler and Schauffele broke that 18-hole scoring record by carding first-round 62s (-8) at Los Angeles Country Club today.

1895-2022: No 62s at the U.S. Open
2023: Two 62s in the span of three groups@XSchauffele and @RickieFowler make history. pic.twitter.com/CfjQUQahPc

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 15, 2023

Six players, including Tommy Fleetwood most recently at the 2018 U.S. Open final round, had shot a 63 in a U.S. Open before Thursday.

Entering the first round, Fowler had the 20th-shortest odds to win the U.S. Open at +5000 while Schauffele had the seventh-shortest odds at +1900 at bet365. As of writing, Schauffele (-8) is the outright betting favorite at +300 with Scottie Scheffler (-3) +550 and Fowler (-8) +600. No other golfers are shorter than 9/1 to win outright.

Fowler was a few groups in front of Schauffele, and with two holes remaining in his round, he was -7 when he stepped onto the eighth tee. As of writing at 5 p.m. ET, the 537-yard par-5 eighth hole has played as the easiest hole in the first round at an average of 4.638 strokes (-0.362 to par).

Fowler, however, sprayed his tee shot right of the first fairway and into the native area.

The 62 is not looking great. pic.twitter.com/M3qHMuJsDh

— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) June 15, 2023

He got an extremely lucky break to find a decent lie in a barranca where he was able to advance his ball up the fairway 129 yards (despite some trees and a bridge flanking his shot window), leaving himself 104 yards to get up-and-down to reach 8-under. Fowler hit a solid approach shot to 13 feet and drained the putt to get to -8.

He would then par the ninth hole (a 184-yard par-3) after two-putting from 57 feet out to shoot 62.

Not only is shooting a 62 (-8) incredible, but considering Fowler’s recent history, it’s almost unfathomable. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy didn’t even qualify for this year’s Masters Tournament, and he hadn't played in a U.S. Open since 2020. Including this week, he has played in just five of the 11 major championships since the beginning of 2021.

A year ago, Rickie waited all day on the range hoping for someone to WD at Brookline. He ended up missing by one alternate spot.

Today, he shot a the lowest round in US Open history and is Co Leader after round 1.

What a wild journey it’s been. #RickieFowlerhttps://t.co/UgV2zzrq3o

— Rickie Fowler Tracker (@Rickie_Tracker) June 15, 2023

Fowler’s game has bounced back this season as a putter change and a coaching change (reconnecting with Butch Harmon) have ignited his game. After ranking 133rd (-0.162) last season and 98th (0.103) in 2021 in Strokes Gained: Total on the PGA Tour, Fowler has improved to 11th (+1.53) in SG: Total this season on Tour. He rode into Los Angeles with 10 top-20 finishes in his last 12 starts.

Fowler was strong all around, but he currently leads the field in SG: Putting by gaining 4.746 strokes and ranks second in SG: Approach by gaining 2.890 strokes.

Schauffele was also elite with the flatstick and on approach as he sits third in SG: Putting (3.200) and first in SG: Approach (3.801). Schauffele entered with momentum after eight consecutive top-24 finishes, but like Fowler, he also is seeking his first ever major victory and first win on Tour this season.

Here’s Rickie Fowler watching Xander Schauffele’s birdie putt on his final hole to break his new U.S. Open scoring record. pic.twitter.com/T0n1K5cXsB

— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) June 15, 2023

Schauffele sat at 6-under on the tee at the drivable par-4 sixth hole when he hit his ball 28 yards from the hole in a barranca. He drew a manageable lie and avoided disaster as he advanced the ball in the rough just off the green and under the hole location (and subsequently got up-and-down for par).

The San Diego State Aztec rode that momentum to back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes then sealed his historic round of 62 with a par on the ninth hole.

Despite their historic rounds at -8, Los Angeles Country Club is playing 1.634 strokes over par for the round as of 5 p.m. ET, and no golfers are within four strokes of their lead.

Schauffele and Fowler's 62s tied the lowest round ever in a major championship with Brendan Grace's third-round 62 at the 2017 Open Championship.

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