Open 3M: Rickie Fowler shares the lead after opening 64, Dustin Johnson forced to change caddy late | Golf news

Improved driving performance at the Open inspired Rickie Fowler to take the lead in the first lap at the 3M Open, where Dustin Johnson rushed into 70 with his brother and younger son, Austin, returning home after have tested positive for Covid-19

Last update: 07/22/21 11:59 PM

Rickie Fowler shares lead after a 64

Rickie Fowler continued his recent resurgence by shooting a bogeyless 64 to claim a share of the first-round lead at the 3M Open in Minnesota.

Encouraged by his closing 65 at the 149th Open on Sunday, Fowler managed seven birdies to earn first place at the clubhouse until his score was tied when Troy Merritt only needed 30 strokes to cover the nine last at TPC Twin Cities.

England’s Tom Lewis is four off the pace after a 68, while world number 2 Dustin Johnson opened with a 70 with a replacement employed for the week after his brother, Austin, tested positive for Covid-19.

Fowler slipped out of the world's top 100 after the Open

Fowler slipped out of the world’s top 100 after the Open

Fowler’s entire game was in good shape as he got off to a good start in his attempt to move up the world rankings after falling to 128th after his failed cut to AT&T Byron Nelson in May – his lowest ranking since early 2010.

And the 32-year-old was even in the mood to aim for a light dig at Bryson DeChambeau as he explained how his bad conduct in the second and third rounds at Royal St George’s kept him from fighting for the title.

“Coming out to the Open on Sunday there was a lot of good stuff out there and I rode it a lot better,” he said. “It was something that kept me from birdies, from advancing last week.

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“I drove it very badly on Friday and Saturday, but it wasn’t my driver’s fault,” he added in a clear reference to DeChambeau’s infamous comment “my driver sucks” after his first one. round last week, remarks that put him in hot water with his club sponsors which, coincidentally, are the same as Fowler’s.

“Starting from what we did on Sunday last week, I just needed to tighten up a few points. This golf course is pretty generous to start with. There are a few lakes and ponds you just need to avoid. Other than that. , it’s going to attack for the most part.

“So I think we did a good job just managing our path as I haven’t necessarily seen the golf course much before. I played 18 Tuesday and nine yesterday, but yeah, I felt great, I keep it simple.

Dustin Johnson's brother and youngest tested positive for Covid-19

Dustin Johnson’s brother and youngest tested positive for Covid-19

“It was nice to see a few more putts because that’s another part of the game that really hasn’t helped me much the past two years.”

Johnson turned to Keith Sbarbaro, TaylorMade’s vice president of Tour operations, to carry his bag this week and birdieed his last two holes to scramble an Under-70, and he confirmed his brother would be back on the bag for the WGC-FedEx. Invitational in Memphis in two weeks.

“Keith has been caddy for me a couple of times so he did really well,” Johnson said. “AJ is fine, so he will be fine for Memphis, which is my next tournament.

“Keith has actually worked for me a couple of times; Presidents Cup, US Open, a few events here and there. Yeah, we’ve done really well. Maybe he hit the wrong club on a few holes, but other than that, it was my fault though, I guess. “

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