The Latest: Woodland shoots 64 to take PGA Championship lead
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship, golf’s final major of the year (all times local):
Gary Woodland bounced back from an opening bogey to shoot 6-under 64 on Thursday, moving him ahead of early leader Rickie Fowler in the PGA Championship at Bellerive.
Woodland was still scuffling along at 1 over until making birdie at the par-5 eighth. He added another to close out the front nine, then got hot over the final eight holes, making five birdies and steadily climbing the leaderboard on steaming afternoon.
Woodland got off to a good start last year, too. The Kansan shot 68 at Quail Hollow and was still within sight of the leaders entering the final round, when a 74 left him in a tie for 22nd.
Dustin Johnson shot 3-under 67 in the first round of the PGA Championship, a solid start for the world’s top-ranked player but one that could have been even better.
Johnson had it to 5 under on the back nine before a couple of bogeys heading in dropped him back.
Johnson said that Bellerive is playing difficult despite its wide fairways and generous greens, and that the key to getting around it in good shape is to hit those fairways off the tee.
“If you mishit it you’re not going to be in the fairway,” he said, “and if you miss the fairway you’re really going to struggle.”
The PGA Championship’s return to the Midwest has produced a leaderboard that has a strong flavor of players from the heartland.
Topping the board at Bellerive Country Club is Rickie Fowler, the cool California who played his collegiate golf at Oklahoma State, and Gary Woodland, a Kansas native who played for the Jayhawks.
One shot back is Zach Johnson, the two-time major winner from Iowa. And another shot back is Aaron Cook, who was born in Little Rock and played his college golf for Arkansas.
Maybe it’s coincidence. Then again, maybe they have an advantage in this midwestern heat.
Brandon Stone ought to feel pretty good about his opening-round 66 at Bellerive, considering the way the South African started off his previous two PGA Championships.
Stone shot 79 each of the past two years and went on to miss the cut.
His four-round total in those championships? Twenty-seven over par.
Stone got around Bellerive just fine, though. He made five birdies with his only bogey on the difficult par-4 15th, getting him into the clubhouse one shot off the lead.
Not bad for someone who missed nine cuts in his first 16 tournaments this season.
The block party down the road from Bellerive is probably rocking now.
Dustin Johnson has strung together six birdies in an eight-hole stretch spanning the turn, taking the world’s top-ranked player to 5 under and into a tie for the lead at the PGA Championship.
Johnson and his fiance, Paulina Gretzky, have rented a house near the course this week, which isn’t unusual in itself. But it just so happens that this time, that home is close to the one owned by Gretzky’s parents — as in, Hall of Famer and former St. Louis Blues star Wayne Gretzky.
Johnson is tied atop the leaderboard with Rickie Fowler, who is already in the clubhouse.
The world’s top-ranked player is one shot off the top of the leaderboard at the PGA Championship.
Dustin Johnson followed an early bogey with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch, taking him to 4 under for the tournament. Rickie Fowler posted 65 earlier in the day and remains in the lead.
Johnson has the right game for Bellerive, which is playing long and soft after rains early in the week. But his putting has also been superb, including a 15-footer for birdie at the par-4 third.
Kyle Stanley and Brandon Stone are at 3 under and still on the course.
John Daly made it through his first nine holes at the PGA without incident, and at 1 over par.
Daly, whose massive following began when he won the 1991 PGA as the ninth alternate, is decked out in a white shirt and white pants covered with St. Louis Cardinals logos.
He had a chance to make the turn at even par but left a 15-foot birdie putt just short.
Rickie Fowler leads the way after shooting 5-under 65 in the morning. Dustin Johnson made the turn at 2 under and Jordan Spieth is 1 over.
Jordan Spieth has gathered himself following a rough start, making four straight pars after starting the day with a double bogey.
In need of the PGA to complete the career grand slam, Spieth drove his opening shot into the rough, and needed two more shots to escape it en route to a 6.
Heading into the par-3 sixth, Spieth was seven back of Rickie Fowler, who played in the morning and took the lead with a 5-under 65.
Dustin Johnson, also playing in the afternoon, made three straight birdies to head into the ninth hole at 2 under.
Some of the Americans trying to earn their way onto the Ryder Cup team didn’t get off to the best of starts at the PGA Championship.
That includes Phil Mickelson, though he would appear to be safe as a captain’s pick. Mickelson opened with a 73, meaning his immediate goal is to make the cut. Mickelson has qualified for every Ryder Cup team since 1995. He is No. 10 in the standings, and the top eight qualify after the PGA.
Tony Finau took a scouting trip to Paris ahead of the Sept. 28-30 matches with U.S. captain Jim Furyk. Finau, who is No. 13 in the standings, played with Furyk and shot a 74. Xander Schauffele also was in that group and after being 3 over through 10 holes, he rallied for a 70.
Bryson DeChambeau is on the bubble at No. 9 in the standings. He shot 71. Webb Simpson (No. 8) opened with a 68.
Louis Oosthuizen has withdrawn from the PGA Championship less than an hour before his scheduled tee time, giving Kelly Kraft a spot in the field at Bellerive.
The official announcement was made about 10 minutes before Oosthuizen’s scheduled 1:59 tee time, though Kraft has been warming up in case he got just such a chance.
He joined a group along with Thomas Pieters and Bill Haas.
If you’re curious what those bandage-like patches were on Rory McIlroy as he grinded his way to a first-round 70 at the PGA Championship, they are designed to deal with wrist and forearm inflammation.
McIlroy said he hit a lot of extra balls last week at Firestone, trying to work on a few things before arriving at Bellerive. He wound up with a bit of soreness in his right arm that accompanied him to St. Louis.
McIlroy says it hurts “the most when I’m chipping, because I sort of hold the angle a bit,” but he doesn’t think it will affect him too much as the tournament progresses.
Tiger Woods says he’s just happy to still be in the tournament after a rough start at the PGA Championship, and that his goal was to “hole a few putts and grind out a score today.”
He certainly holed a few putts. But he only hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation.
As for the mid-round wardrobe change, Woods said he usually changes shirts before teeing off but there wasn’t anywhere to do it between the driving range and the 10th tee. So, he waited until he came across a portable restroom and peeled off his sweat-soaked shirt.
“I just sweat a lot,” he said with a grin.
Tiger Woods has rallied from a bogey-double bogey start to shoot an even-par 70, leaving him five strokes behind clubhouse leader Rickie Fowler at the PGA Championship.
Woods missed his first two fairways and dumped an approach shot in the water. But scrambled for enough pars to keep his round going, then made a pair of birdies on a bogey-free second nine.
Playing partner Justin Thomas was 1 under and Rory McIlroy also was even.
Rickie Fowler birdie two of his final three holes to shoot 5-under 65, giving him a two-shot lead when he hit the clubhouse after his opening round of the PGA Championship.
Fowler was steady from tee to green, only missing two in regulation. He made four birdies without a bogey on his second nine, highlighted by a beautiful approach shot to the water-guarded, par-3 third that led to a 10-footer for birdie.
Aaron Cook, Ian Poulter and Pat Perez joined him in the clubhouse after rounds of 67.
Austin Cook is a long way from the Adams Tour victory that once earned him $4,000.
The Arkansas native shot a 3-under 67 and was the leader in the clubhouse at the PGA Championship, though Rickie Fowler had a hole left and was about to bump him from the perch.
Cook probably won’t complain. He played well enough to graduate from the Web.com Tour last year, and his stunning win in the RSM Classic earlier this year got him in the PGA Championship.
It was his first win as a pro since that Adams Tour event. It paid a cool $1,116,000, too.
Tributes have been flowing right along with tears at the PGA Championship for Jarrod Lyle, who passed away overnight after a long struggle with cancer in his native Australia.
Lyle was first diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and suffered recurrences of the disease in 2012 and 2017. He chose not to seek more treatment earlier this month.
His good friend Rickie Fowler, who was 5 under and leading the tournament, wore bright yellow much like Lyle often wore. Justin Thomas said on Twitter that “we will all be thinking of him and his family,” while countryman Jason Day said he was “deeply saddened” by Lyle’s passing.
He was survived by Briony and daughters Lusi, 6, and Jemma, 2.
Ryan Fox has posted the first red number of the PGA Championship, a 2-under 68 capped by a pair of birdies heading into the clubhouse out of the first group on the course.
The son of well-known New Zealand rugby player Grant Fox, Ryan Fox played well at the British Open at Carnoustie. He was sixth at the Scottish Open and second at the Irish Open before that.
Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler has climbed into the lead at 4 under. Fowler has three birdies on his second nine to take a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink.
There are few bogey-free rounds among the morning wave at Bellerive, but Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day have a couple of them to sit 2 under and one shot off the lead.
Some thought rains early in the week that softened the course, coupled with relatively slow greens, would lead to someone going low. But there appears to be enough teeth in the length and deep rough at Bellerive that bogeys — and worse, for Phil Mickelson — are offsetting the birdies.
Lefty was 1 under through five, but a two bogeys and two doubles have him 5 over.
Looks as if Rickie Fowler’s on-again, off-again form carried over from last week at Firestone.
Fowler opened with a 63 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, shot 74 on Friday, then had a 65 to get into contention Saturday. He finished with a 73 that dropped him into a tie for 17th.
So naturally, Fowler was due for a good first round at Bellerive. And he’s delivered so far with two birdies on his second nine to reach 3 under, joining Justin Thomas and Stewart Cink in the lead.
Tiger Woods made the turn at 2 over. Tony Finau was a trendy pick given his length off the tee, but he was 4 over with four holes to play in his opening round.
Phil Mickelson’s good start has hit the skids after a double-bogey at the 15th and another bogey at the par-4 18th left him 2 over after the first nine at the PGA Championship.
His playing partners, Jason Day and Keegan Bradley, made the turn at 1 under.
There are 20 teaching pros in the field this week, and Craig Hocknull is making the Southwest Section of the PGA proud. The native of Papua New Guinea, who now teaches out of Gilbert, Arizona, and at Glenwild Golf Club in Park City, Utah, was three shots back of the leader.
Justin Thomas is off to a good start as he tries to defend his PGA Championship title.
Thomas, who also won last week at Firestone, has three birdies in his first six holes and was tied atop the leaderboard with Stewart Cink among the early wave at Bellerive.
Thomas has experience defending titles. He did it at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in 2015 and ’16.
Tiger Woods was the last player to win back-to-back PGAs in 2006 and 2007, but four other winners have followed their triumph with top-10 finishes since then. Among them have been Rory McIlroy, who was eighth in 2013, and Jason Day, who finished second two years ago at Baltusrol.
Perhaps experience will trump youthful exuberance at the PGA Championship this week.
With so much attention on young stars such as Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, it’s been the veterans who have gotten off to hot starts at Bellerive.
Forty-two-year-old Ian Poulter led the way at 3 under, and 48-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk and 45-year-old Stewart Cink were among a group one shot back.
Another 48-year-old, Phil Mickelson, and 42-year-old Pat Perez were among a group at 1 under.
Tiger Woods changed his shirt, then set off trying to change his round.
After a bogey-double bogey start, Woods had already sweated through his shirt at Bellerive, so he stepped into a bathroom after the par-4 11th and put on a fresh shirt. He then found the fairway at the 12th and backed his approach shot to within inches for a kick-in birdie.
The weather is expected to be a factor Thursday. The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity, and that could mean insufferable conditions for those playing later in the day.
Ian Poulter was 3 under through his first six holes to take the early lead.
Tiger Woods has started bogey-double bogey at the PGA Championship, hitting wayward tee shots at his first two holes and dumping his approach shot at the par-4 11th in the water.
Woods found the thick zoysia rough right of the 10th to start the round, forcing him to hack back to the fairway. He left his par putt short and had to make a 10-footer just to save bogey.
His tee shot at the 11th found the rough left. But rather than play left of the green, where there was plenty of room, Woods’s approach at the flag was short and bounced into a greenside pond. After his drop, Woods pitched onto the green and two-putted for double.
Playing partner Justin Thomas opened with a birdie. Rory McIlroy was even.
Tiger Woods has survived his first PGA Championship test: making it to the tee.
Massive crowds greeted Woods at his first PGA since 2015, all clamoring for a glimpse of him as he walked from the practice range to the first hole at Bellerive Country Club.
The gallery in some places was more than a dozen deep.
He flared that opening tee shot into the deep rough right of the 10th fairway, forcing him to chop back to the short stop. It was an inauspicious start given the wide avenues at Bellerive.
Woods is playing in a feature group with defending champion Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.
The 100th PGA Championship has begun in stifling summer heat.
Club pro Michael Block hit the opening tee shot down the middle at Bellerive Country Club. The course is playing long and soft because of rain Tuesday and temperatures in the 90s that require PGA officials to keep water on the greens.
The PGA Championship moves to the middle of May next year.
Tiger Woods, defending champion Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are getting most of the attention from the morning side of the draw.
Block is among 20 club pros who qualified for this major. He is the first club pro in six years to qualify for the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year.