Fowler joint leader with Merritt and Vegas at 3M Open

By Sports Desk July 22, 2021

Former Masters runner-up Rickie Fowler is a joint leader alongside Troy Merritt and Jhonattan Vegas after the opening day at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota on Thursday.

Fowler had a bogey-free round to card a seven-under 64, which included holing a 29-foot putt for birdie on the first hole.

Merritt stormed home with six birdies for 30 on his back nine after bogeying the ninth hole to share the lead, along with Venezuelan Vegas who shot seven birdies in his round.

"I'm happy about it," Fowler said about his round of 64, which was his best score of the year. "Coming off Sunday at The Open [where he shot 65], a lot of good stuff there, but I drove it a lot better."

Scott Stallings, Adam Schenk and Roger Sloan – who got through 16 before play was suspended due to darkness – are all tied one stroke back after rounds of six under.

Stallings may have held the outright lead but double bogeyed the 18th hole to cap an up-and-down round for the American which included nine birdies, one bogey and the double bogey.

Chez Reavie hit an eagle on the 18th set up by a nice fairway wood, finishing up with a five-under 66 to be joint seventh among a host of players.

After his dramatic top-four finish at The Open, Louis Oosthuizen carded a three-under 68, while Royal St George's fifth-place getter Dylan Frittelli started with a two-under 69.

Former major winners Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia are both a stroke back at one under. Johnson hit four birdies and three bogeys, while Garcia landed three birdies in four holes but struggled to find the consistency.

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