The Latest: Dustin Johnson opens with 76 at PGA Championship
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship (all times local):
Top-ranked Dustin Johnson’s run of poor form continued in the opening round of the PGA Championship.
Johnson made two double bogeys in his round of 4-over 76 on Thursday, including on the par-4 18th hole. His drive missed right in a native area, and he advanced the ball 154 yards to another native area short left of the green.
After a penalty drop, he found the green and two-putted for a 6.
Johnson won a European Tour event in Saudi Arabia in February and tied for eighth in his next event, the Genesis Invitational. He hasn’t finished in the top 10 in six starts since and missed the cut in his title defense at the Masters.
Justin Thomas could overtake Johnson in the world ranking with a victory, but Thomas wasn’t much better on Thursday. He opened with a 75.
Phil Mickelson rallied from a dreadful start to stay in the mix with a 2-under 70 on Thursday at the PGA Championship.
The 50-year-old five-time major champion made four bogeys over his first six holes and appeared on the way to a missed cut instead of up the leaderboard. But Mickelson made five birdies without a bogey over his final 12 holes at the Ocean Course.
He’s three shots behind leader Corey Conners and one in back of a large group that includes two-time PGA winner Brooks Koepka.
Mickelson won the championship in 2005.
Canada’s Corey Conners has used back-to-back birdies late in the opening round to grab a two-shot lead at the PGA Championship.
Conners made birdies at the 15th and 16th holes to move two in front of five others, including two-time PGA winner Brooks Koepka.
Conners has one career win on the PGA Tour at the Valero Texas Open in 2019. He’s had four top-10 finishes in his last eight tournaments coming to the Ocean Course.
Conners is playing his third straight PGA. He finished 64th in 2019 and missed the cut last year at TPC Harding Park.
Padraig Harrington might have to pick himself for the Ryder Cup if he keeps playing like he is in the opening round of the PGA Championship.
The 49-year-old Harrington had an eagle on the 11th hole to move within a shot of the lead late in his first round Thursday.
Harrington, who won this title in 2008, will lead the European team at the Ryder Cup in September.
Five players, including two-time PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, are tied for the lead at 3-under par.
Harrington’s counterpart, American Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, is holding his own at the Ocean Course, too. Stricker had consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to move to even par late in his opening round.
Sam Burns has withdrawn from the PGA Championship with a back injury.
The 24-year-old Burns came in as one of the hottest players in golf. He won the Valspar Championship three weeks ago, then finished second at the AT&T Byron Nelson last week ahead of the year’s second major.
Burns played his first nine in 5-over par that included a triple bogey and a double bogey before he pulled out of the tournament.
Sebastian Munoz found the trash at the PGA Championship.
Munoz, from Colombia, hit his drive on the 18th hole at the Ocean Course straight left, immediately pointing that way with his club to warn the gallery. Moments later, the ball landed in a plastic trash bag set up for spectator garbage.
The fans, after originally bracing for impact, instead raised their arms in celebration of Munoz’s shot.
Munoz walked up, collected his ball from the garbage and handed it to a spectator. He took a free drop and went on to make par.
John Catlin took 74 shots and signed for a 75, courtesy of a one-shot penalty for slow play.
Catlin, the American who has won three times on the European Tour since September, received two bad times under the PGA Championship’s policy on pace of play.
His first one came on the 16th hole, his seventh of the round, when he took 1 minutes, 14 seconds to play his second shot from the fairway. That resulted in a warning.
Five holes later, Catlin took 1 minutes, 3 seconds to play his second shot from the first cut on No. 3. The second bad time comes with a one-shot penalty. His par became a bogey on that hole.
Under the policy, players are allowed 50 seconds to play a shot when they are first to hit — from the tee, approach, around the green and putting — and the others in the group get 40 seconds.
Brooks Koepka is off to a strong start in his chase for a third PGA Championship title.
Koepka shook off a double bogey on his opening hole to finish at 3-under 69, tied with Keegan Bradley and Viktor Hovland halfway through the opening round at Kiawah Island.
Koepka won the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019. He was in contention in the final round a year ago, but he faded from fourth to 29th after a closing 74.
Among those a stroke behind the leaders was defending champion Collin Morikawa, who missed a par putt on his final hole, the ninth, to fall out of the lead group.
Those teeing off in the afternoon are expected to face even stiffer winds at the Ocean Course than the early starters.
Martin Laird is looking to surprise at the PGA Championship the way he has this season on the PGA Tour.
Laird’s run of four consecutive birdies has him on top at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island as the morning wave of competitors finished their opening rounds Thursday.
Laird went seven years without a win before taking the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last October. He sits at 3-under 69, tied with Keegan Bradley for the lead.
Right behind is a group that includes two-time PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka. Koepka opened with a double-bogey 6 but has since made five birdies including two in a row at the fourth and fifth holes to stay near the top.
Those tied with Koepka include defending PGA winner Collin Morikawa and Stewart Cink, a two-time winner this season who took the RBC Heritage last month about two hours south of here on Hilton Head Island.
Bryson DeChambeau is heading in the wrong direction early on at the PGA Championship.
The reigning U.S. Open champion made bogey on four straight holes in the opening round at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
DeChambeau, whose scientific approach to the game has helped fueled his success, spoke of the “laminar flow of the wind” at the seaside layout. And he struggled to manage it during the middle of his opening nine of the year’s second major.
His approach on No. 13 was 40 feet from the hole, leading to a three-putt bogey. He put his tee shot on the next hole, a par 3, into the bunker and could not save par. He drove way left on the 15th and missed a 9-footer for par. On the 16th, DeChambeau’s approach went into a bunker and he could not get up and down to fall to 2-over par.
Matt Jones of Australia is at 4-under to lead in the middle of the morning wave.
Cameron Tringale is seeking his first win on the PGA Tour and is off to a strong start at the Ocean Course.
Tringale had three birdies on his opening nine holes at the PGA Championship and was a stroke ahead of four players, including Rickie Fowler and Louis Oosthuizen. He birdied the sixth and seventh holes to move to 3-under par.
Tringale is playing his seventh PGA Championship. He has never finished better than 72nd.
Rory McIlroy, who won the PGA on this course in 2012, got off to a bumpy start with an opening bogey on the 10th hole. But he bounced back with birdies on the next two holes.
Francesco Molinari has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.
The 2018 British Open champion cited a back injury in pulling out of the championship Thursday morning.
He was replaced in the field by first alternate Brandon Hagy, who has been practicing on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island this week.
Molinari has fallen to 144th in the world. If no one else withdraws, the PGA Championship will have 99 of the top 100, matching the record for most players from the top 100.
South Carolina native Patrick Rada found the middle of the fairway with the opening tee shot in the PGA Championship.
It was a gorgeous morning on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island with a little trepidation in the air. The flags along the practice range already were flapping even as the sun was beginning its climb over the Atlantic.
The wind is everything at Kiawah Island and it has been strong enough to get everyone’s attention this week. Even the power players have been using long irons, hybrids and even fairway metals into par 4s and par 3s.
Rada is the head PGA professional at MacArthur Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. He likely was chosen to hit the first tee shot given his South Carolina roots.
Among those playing in the morning were Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau. McIlroy won at 13-under 275 in 2012 the other time the PGA Championship was at Kiawah.
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