That was until he stepped to the tee at the 184-yard, par-3 9th (his 18th of the day) and knocked in an ace for a 4-under 67.
"Just choked down [on a] 7-iron," Fowler said. "Made a great swing ... We had 176 [yards] was the adjusted number. Spun to the right, I was trying to cut it, rolled in with perfect speed."
After a rain delay of about 90 minutes, Fowler three-putted the par-5 8th to drop back to 2 under and looked like he was going to let a good round slip away. Plus, he got the good end of the draw Thursday morning, as players were allowed to lift, clean and place in anticipation of afternoon storms.
But then he ended his opening round in the best possible way.
"Continuing to swing well here," he said. "Get a little bit of a good kick. Hey, we'll take it. Looking forward to getting back out tomorrow and see if we can get some putts to go."