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With 65, Rose leads US Open scoring onslaught on benign Pebble Beach

Tod Leonard, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- There would be no debacle, nothing to distract golf lovers from fully enjoying the visual bounty that is the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The U.S. Golf Association took extensive measures to ensure that for the first round of the 119th U.S. Open on Thursday.

It showered the course with abundant water, and the weather did its part on a day when the golfers might only complain about barking sea lions.

Only a hint of breeze in comfortable, shirt-sleeve temperatures made Pebble Beach vulnerable for the world's best.

With a late-afternoon birdie on the 18th hole, Justin Rose took sole possession of the lead by firing a 6-under-par 65. That matched Tiger Woods' opening round in his runaway victory in 2000 as the lowest U.S. Open score ever at Pebble.

Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise each shot 66 in a scoring onslaught that was reminiscent of the PGA Tour's February tournament here.

 

Thirty-nine players scored in red figures, and there were 17 eagles made -- the most in the U.S. Open in 50 years.

It didn't hurt the appeal of the leaderboard.

Beyond Rose, a former U.S. Open champion currently ranked fourth in the world, there were four other major winners among the top 15: Oosthuizen, and with 68s, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari.

Among another dozen at 69 was the man who will not go away in majors -- Brooks Koepka.

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