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SBNation.com – All Posts: U.S. Open makes unbelievable history and not just Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele


PGA: 123rd U.S. Open Championship, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Country Club yielded plenty of birdies as it also produced some record-low scores at the U.S. Open.

The first round of the 2023 U.S. Open was a record-setting day. Not only was it a record-setting day for players, but also for the course itself.

The first-round scoring average at Los Angeles Country Club was 71.33, per Elias Sports Bureau. That mark shattered the previous record of 72.29, set at Baltusrol during the 1993 U.S. Open.

Thursday also marked the first time the entire U.S. Open field broke 80 during the opening round.

“I thought the course was incredibly set up,” Phil Mickelson said after his round.

“They moved some tees up, and they had some soft pins to let us get off to a good start, but it’ll play a lot harder as it goes on. But I think it’s such a great setup that, granted, the scores are a little bit lower with greens being receptive and so forth, but there are a lot more teeth in this course if they want to use it, and still, it’s fair.”

The USGA is hopeful the sun will break through the marine layer to dry out the course. Without the sun shining through, LACC will remain soft and gettable.

“The greens held a little bit more moisture than anticipated,” Xander Schauffele said Thursday.

“It made the greens a more holable speed, and then coming into the greens, you can pull some wedges back. And then the fairways are a bit softer, too, because, without the sun, it’s not drying out much. I think fairways are easier to hit, and greens are a little bit softer. I’m anticipating the sun to come out just as much as every West Coast person out here. I think the course is going to firm up a little bit.”

Rickie Fowler shot a 62, which set the record for the lowest score in championship history.

Schauffele incredibly matched that 8-under mark 15 minutes later.

These two Southern Californians sit atop the leaderboard heading into Friday’s second round.

The Los Angeles Country Club received some early morning rain on Thursday, and mist persisted throughout the day. The Southern California marine layer did not break either, so the course remained soft and gettable through the afternoon wave.

Fowler and Schauffele were not the only ones who took advantage of the benign conditions.

Six players shot rounds of 65 or lower, the first time that has happened in a U.S. Open.

In 2009, torrential rain saturated Bethpage Black during the second round. Those wet conditions produced a then-record of four players shooting 65 or better.

Dustin Johnson, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES — Dustin Johnson plays a second shot on the eighth hole during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023.

But LACC proved more gettable than the vaunted Black Course 14 years ago.

Dustin Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, shot a 6-under 64 Thursday. As did Wyndham Clark, who won the Wells Fargo Championship in early May.

Despite whiffing his third shot on the 18th hole Thursday, Rory McIlroy carded a 5-under 65. Brian Harman, the lefty, shot 65 too.

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