Rickie Fowler posted a seven-under 65 to get within a shot of the early lead at The American Express in California.
Fowler mixed seven birdies with a sole blemish at La Quinta Country Club, one of three courses being used at the event, to stay in touch with early leaders Grayson Murray and Zac Blair.
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Blair finished with four consecutive birdies to post an opening-round 64 at the same venue, while Murray tied his career-best round on the Stadium Course to also get to eight under.
“This is my fourth time being out here I’m pretty comfortable with these courses,” Murray said. “You know where the trouble is and where you can miss it. That’s what I was doing the last four, five holes.”
Starting on the back nine, Murray rolled in from eight feet at the 11th and holed a 25-footer from the fringe at the 13th before posting four straight birdies from the 15th to reach the turn in 30.
Murray followed birdies at the second and third with a 10-foot gain at the eight to temporarily grab the solo lead, only to three-putt the ninth – his final hole – from 60 feet for a closing bogey.
Fowler’s fast start included five straight birdies from the fifth, leaving him in tied-third alongside Scottie Scheffler and Hank Labioda, while Russell Knox is in the group two off the pace after a six-under 66 on the Tournament Course.