PEBBLE BEACH – Justin Rose birdied the last three holes to seize a one-shot lead in the first round of the US Open, where he matched the lowest round ever shot in the championship at Pebble Beach with a six-under 65.
Rose, whose round included an eagle at the par-five sixth, vaulted past a quartet of players on five-under par as Pebble Beach showed its soft side in the opening round.
Americans Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele and South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise were all in the clubhouse on five-under 66 as Rose stormed home.
The 2013 US Open winner rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 16th and drained a 26-footer for birdie at the par-three 17th and finally grabbed a birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-five finishing hole.
Tiger Woods is the only other player to post a 65 in the US Open in five prior editions at Pebble Beach - in the first round of his stunning 15-stroke victory in 2000.
A monumental putting display from Woods saw the 15-time major champion sign for a one-under par 70 on Thursday. One-under through seven after three birdies and a double-bogey, Woods parred his last 11 holes.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka headed a group on two-under 69 after a round that included five birdies and three bogeys.
Koepka trying to become just the second golfer to win three straight US Open titles and the first in more than a century, was four-under through six holes. He followed a bogey at eight with a birdie at 12, but faded with bogeys at 13 and 17 before saving par from a cart path at 18.
Scott Piercy and Nate Lashley were tied for sixth on four-under 67 and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy headed a group of eight players on three-under 68.
That group also included reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy and Sweden's Henrik Stenson - who birdied four of his last five holes.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)