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Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas play round at Shinnecock Hills

Golfer Rickie Fowler gestures on the 9th green

Golfer Rickie Fowler gestures on the 9th green during the Pro-Am Day at The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Golf Club on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas arrived on Long Island early for this week’s tournament so they could play Shinnecock Hills, site of next year’s U.S. Open. In soft conditions Saturday, the course yielded birdies.

“We both shot the easiest 65s ever,” Thomas said. “I’m almost upset that I did that because I know it’s going to be so impossible next year. You could see where they’re going to narrow the fairways.”

Tapping the top of a desk, he added, “The greens are going to be like this. It’s going to be quite the test.”

Thomas said that Mike Davis, executive director of the U.S. Golf Association, heard they were there and called to ask their impressions. “I said the course is great and that you don’t have to do much. I said, ‘Look, you have to be careful. It’s one of those courses you don’t need to do very much for it to be a U.S. Open course.’ It’s long, it has the slope. Yeah, it could be interesting.”

Johnson: Flying under the radar

Dustin Johnson is officially No. 1 in the world, but you’d never know it from the buzz about all of the top players other than him. That is due mostly to the fact that he hurt his back in a fall at his rental home on the eve of the Masters and has not won since. Still, wouldn’t a little love be in order?

Johnson said, “I’m just fine, flying under the radar.”

Oosthuizen explains video

Louis Oosthuizen completed the career runnerup grand slam when he tied for second at the PGA Championship this month. He now has been second in each of the four majors. Hours later, he posted a video in which he lip-synched Andra Day’s melancholy song, “Rise Up,” and it went viral.

Many people assumed it was a soulful rendering of his feelings of having fallen short again. He said Wednesday that was not the case: “I was more just trying to entertain the kids to get them to sit still on the plane, really.”

New York Sports