Rickie Fowler was back to his very best as he opened up with a record-breaking 62 at the US Open, a score later matched minutes later by Xander Schauffle

US OPEN: Fowler and Schauffele star in La La Land after sweet 62s

Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele joined Branden Grace as the only players to break 63 in major championship history when the American pair both shot eight-under 62s to share the lead after the opening round of the US Open at a very gettable Los Angeles Country Club.

They lead the field by two shots, with former champions Dustin Johnson and McIlroy in the chasing pack, but both bogeyed their last holes to end six and five under respectively on a day of unusually low scoring at the ultra-exclusive Californian club.

On a day of high drama and low scoring, Frenchman Mathieu Pavon and American Sam Burns both aced the par-3 15th hole, while there were plenty of eagles flying about on day when the pins were surely at their most accessible for the tournament.

American Wyndham Clark birdied the last to post a 64 and join Johnson at six under while Brian Harman is level with McIlroy after a 65. Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau add more star power to a stacked leaderboard, both five shots adrift, while Jon Rahm shot a 69.

Xander Schauffele shares the join lead on -8 with Ricke Fowler after a first round 62

Fowler, who went from a career-high fourth in the world ranking in 2016 all the way down to 173rd just a year ago, failed to qualify for the past two US Opens but marked his return in some style.

“It has been long and tough. It’s a lot longer than you ever want it to be,” Fowler said after his record round. “It’s been so worth it and now being back.”

While Fowler tied the US Open record with 10 birdies in his round to counter two bogeys, Schauffele had eight birdies in a bogey-free round.

“It’s a great start. I hit a lot of really good shots,” said Schauffele, who like Fowler is yet to win a major. “Rickie was just right in front of me and I was playing really good golf so thought I may as well just chase him down. You have to play hard here, dig your way around.”

McIlroy’s 65 on the par-70 layout represented his best ever start in a major as he looks to end his nine-year wait for a fifth Major title. He made five front-nine birdies on the back of some explosive driving, including a 385-yard effort at the first, which got the birdie train rolling He played solid golf on the back nine, adding one more birdie before making his only mistake at the 18th – playing an air shot from the greenside rough before making an 11-foot putt to drop just one shot.

Johnson came home with five birdies on his back nine, but he too made a mistake on the 18th. He missed the par-three ninth green by 20 yards and his ball plunged into a bunker by the 18th green. He took three from there to drop his only shot of the day and finish two off the lead.

“The golf course is in perfect condition,” said Johnson, who didn’t miss a fairway all day. “I really like it. You just have to drive it well or you have no chance. The course was set up really nicely. I would imagine the next few days you’re going to see the golf course set up as hard as they want to.”

World number one Scottie Scheffler bookended his round with a bogey on the first and last, but found five birdies in eight holes to card a creditable 67.

That score was matched by 2020 US Open champion DeChambeau, who had an eventful round with six birdies and three bogeys. Local favourite Max Homa, who was born in Los Angeles and holds the course record of 61, is just a shot further back on two under, while Viktor Hovland is one under after a round that included a hole-out eagle from 175 yards and a double-bogey seven.

Jordan Smith is the leading Englishman after shooting a level-par 70 that featured five bogeys and five birdies, while defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick headed to the practice range after signing for a 71.

Those to struggle included Tyrrell Hatton, who is four over. Justin Rose, who would ordinarily relish a US Open test, is plus six, while Tommy Fleetwood dropped shots on the last two holes when en route to a 73. With 82 of the 156 players currently on +1 or better, all three will need go low in their second round to have a chance of making the cut.

For all the scores, click here.