IRVINE, Scotland (AP) — Rickie Fowler picked up where he left off at the Scottish Open, shooting a 5-under 67 to leave the 2015 champion tied for the lead midway through the first round at Dundonald Links on Thursday.
The American, who didn’t defend his title last year because of scheduling issues arising from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, showed great links course management in making five birdies and not dropping any shots.
Unlike playing partners Rory McIlroy (74) and Henrik Stenson (72), whose play was erratic in a light breeze off Scotland’s west coast, Fowler only found trouble once in his round when he drove right on the par-5 3rd hole and into a burn. He chipped out from an awkward stance and managed to make the first of three straight birdies.
The highlight was a left-to-right birdie putt at No. 4 that curled into the cup from 20 feet.
“We just tried to…