Fowler hopes star-studded trio can push each other

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Rickie Fowler hopes he, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm can continue to feed off each other following the first round of the US PGA Championship.

Fowler mostly conquered Quail Hollow's new, difficult layout on Thursday, carding a two-under 69 in the opening round to trail co-leaders Thorbjorn Olesen and Kevin Kisner by just two shots.

"It's been a good year kind of all across the board," Fowler said after his round. 

"Kind of going through and keeping an eye on stats and making sure that everything is continuing to get better or kind of figure out what needs to be tightened up.

"I just need to continue to do what we've been doing. I feel like right now we've been making really good swings short, mid-iron. Just see if we can put ourselves in the short grass as much as possible so we can go ahead and do that."

Thursday's opening round was mostly a success for Fowler, as he recorded six birdies.

But a sloppy triple-bogey on the par-four fifth hole, which started when he hit the lip of a fairway bunker with his second shot, reminded him how penal this course can be.

"This golf course has a great look to me. It suits my eye," Fowler said. "I've made a lot of putts here. Obviously being on some different surfaces and some of the greens are different.

"I feel like we did a good job of that on the putting surfaces today. The big thing for me is continuing to drive it as good as I did today, if not better. That can be tightened up a little bit. If we do that, it will be a good week."

Fowler played alongside Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in a fan-friendly grouping.

He got the better of the group, but he hopes the trio can feed off each other even more in round two.

"It's a great pairing. I've gotten paired with Jon a few times, and Rory and I have played quite a bit of golf together over the years. So I was looking forward to getting out with those guys," Fowler said. "Yeah, hopefully we can push each other a little bit tomorrow morning and get moving in the right direction."