Even without Phil Mickelson in the field on Thursday, the first round of the U.S. Open featured a number of golfers with San Diego ties that fared extremely well.
Former San Diego State golfer Xander Schauffele was the surprise of the day.
The 23-year-old turned pro in 2015 but looked as comfortable as a long-time PGA veteran on the Erin Hills course.
Schauffele became the first golfer in three decades to shoot a bogey-free 66 or better in his U.S. Open debut.
He ended the first round tied for second place with Paul Casey at (-6) and just one shot off the pace.
Schauffele had two chances to tie Murrieta’s Rickie Fowler atop the leaderboard during his last two holes, but settled for par on both occasions.
Meanwhile, Fowler turned in an impressive bogey-free round of 65.
He collected seven birdies and 11 pars as he positioned himself extremely well out the gate.
The 65 he carded is the lowest opening score for par in the first round of the tournament's history.
Fowler owns 4 PGA Tour wins but is still chasing his first major victory.
The Murrieta Valley high school graduate came very close in 2014 with a top five showing in all four major events that season.
Fowler settled for a second place finish at both the U.S. Open and British Open that year.
Poway’s Charley Hoffman started the first round strong. Hoffman birdied the second hole and finished Thursday with a 70 (-2).
Jamie Lovemark is three-under-par after one round while fellow Torrey Pines high school grad Pat Perez struggled all day and settled for plus-four.
Former SDSU Scott Piercy is in the middle of the pack and was even par.
Mickelson withdrew from the U.S. Open once he realized there was no way he could be two places at once.
Mickelson attended his daughter’s high school graduation Thursday in Carlsbad and would have needed approximately a four-hour weather delay in Wisconsin to quickly fly across the country to make his tee time.
Once Lefty realized that was impossible and officially notified officials of his decision, Roberto Diaz of Mexico took his place as the first alternate.