After 18 holes of play at TPC Twin Cities, superstar Rickie Fowler was among four players atop the leaderboard at the 2021 3M Open.
Fowler, who’s been in a protracted slump since 2019, opened with a bogey-free round of 64, which featured seven birdies, one on each of the par-5s.
“I’m happy about it. No, coming off Sunday at The Open, a lot of good stuff there, drove it a lot better,” said Fowler. “That was something that was kind of holding me back from making birdies, moving forward last week.
“I drove it very poorly Friday and Saturday. It was not my driver’s fault. (Fowler plays Cobra)
“Had to (mention that).
“So today, I mean, going off of what we did Sunday last week, just needed to tighten a few things up.
“This golf course is fairly generous off the tee. There’s a few lakes/ponds that you just need to avoid. Other than that, it’s go attack for the most part. So I think we did a good job of just managing our way around since I haven’t necessarily seen the golf course a whole lot before.”
Jhonny Vegas was also bogey free on the day and sat alongside Fowler atop the marquee in Minnesota.
“Obviously I had a great day. (Inaudible) all the way to the end,” said Vegas, who entered the 3M Open off a T11 at the Deere.
“Obviously, I mean, when I started, it didn’t look like a 7 under, I had to save par the first two holes, but I knew that I was playing good golf and I just have to be patient.
“The course was playing definitely hard. I wasn’t really going for a 7 under, but, you know, obviously got things rolling and so it was fun.”
Roger Sloan and Troy Merritt were the others tied for the lead.
Adam Schenk and Scott Stallings were tied for fifth on 6 under, one clear of Chez Reavie and Chris Baker, who were T7 on 5-under par.
A logjam of 11 more players were tied for ninth on 4 under par.
Tournament headliners Louis Oosthuizen (68) and Dustin Johnson (70) were 3- and 1-under par, respectively.
First-Round Leaderboard: Top-10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
1. Rickie Fowler -7 (64)
1. Jhonattan Vegas -7 (64)
1. Troy Merritt -7 (64)
1. Roger Sloan -7 (64)
5. Scott Stallings -6 (65)
5. Adam Schenk -6 (65)
7. Chris Baker -5 (66)
7. Chez Reavie -5 (66)
9. Eleven Players Tied -4 (67)
PGA Tour Media press releases, post-round notes, transcripts, and statistics were used to compile this report.