Three share lead at Phoenix Open


Rickie Fowler, Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama carry a slender one-shot lead over the chasing pack after the partially-completed first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

Play was suspended before the end of the round due to darkness, but not before the leading trio could finish their respective rounds and card six-under 65s on a strong first day.

Fowler started on the back nine and was in fine form early on, holing three birdies and an eagle on his first six holes.

Tougher times were ahead as he made bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes, with a birdie in between, but it was smooth sailing on the front nine as he went bogey-free with two more birdies on holes three and nine.

Overall, the American was pleased with how the day panned out.

"I'm enjoying it, I'm still working on tightening a few things up, making sure the body is healthy and getting stronger as I go," Fowler said.

"I couldn't get the thing in the hole last week [at the Farmers Insurance Open when he failed to make the cut], so it was nice to see it go in on the first hole today and it went on from there.

"I kept it on the fairway and managed to make my way around the course well.

"I missed a couple [of drives], so I'm still trying to tighten up the driver a bit ... but all-in-all, it's nice to get off to a good start."

Lowry found the front nine a bit tougher; carding his only two bogeys for the day in what was otherwise an impressive round which featured eight birdies.

Matsuyama produced eight birdies of his own in a strong round.

The chasing pack includes India's Anirban Lahiri and American Bryce Molder at five under, with defending champion Brooks Koepka among five one shot back at four under.

Three-time Phoenix Open winner Phil Mickelson carded a two-under 69 in his opening round and is joined by two-time runner-up Bubba Watson.