By The Associated Press
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on the first round of the PGA Championship (all times local):
Brooks Koepka hasn’t played since the Masters, and it’s starting to show. The four-time major champion had a 40 on the front nine and has yet to make a birdie.
Koepka has been dealing with injuries the last few years. He shot 75-75 at the Masters and missed the cut. He pulled out of the Byron Nelson last week to help get ready for Southern Hills.
Koepka isn’t the only top player to struggle.
Patrick Cantlay, the PGA Tour player of the year, has three-putted twice for bogey and was 4 over through 12 holes. Dustin Johnson, who returned to competition last week following his wedding, has back-to-back bogeys and fell to 2 over through 12 holes.
From the afternoon starters, Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Bermuda winner Lucas Herbert have done the best. They are at 2 under.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler has kick-started his opening round at the PGA Championship with an eagle on the fifth hole in the chase to catch leader Rory McIlroy.
The Masters champion was at even par until the par-5 No. 5 at Southern Hills. His second shot on the hole went 306 yards and left him inside of 11 feet to the pin for the putt.
McIlroy still tops the leaderboard after his 5-under 65 earlier in the day.
Tiger Woods said his right leg was “sore” after his first-round 4-over 74. The leg needed reconstructive surgery after an auto accident 15 months ago.
Woods was clearly favoring the leg on several holes Thursday and said he plans a “lots of ice baths” to prepare for Friday’s second round.
“Pressing off it hurts, and walking hurts, and twisting hurts,” Woods said. “It’s just golf.”
Rory McIlroy’s birdie on the final hole put him back on top early in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
The Northern Irishman held a commanding lead at 6-under, then gave back two shots before his strong finish at 5-under 65. American Will Zalatoris was a shot behind him with a 4 under.
Tiger Woods played in the same group with McIlroy. His round was a struggle and Woods will need a big recovery round Friday. He finished Thursday 4 over, tied for 82nd when he walked off the course after closing his round with consecutive bogeys.
Woods is playing his second competitive tournament after a car crash 15 months ago that nearly led to his right leg being amputated.
Another wild ride for John Daly has ended at the PGA Championship.
The 56-year-old Daly was the first to tee off at Southern Hills and he made it look like a blast from the past with two quick birdies. His name was on the leaderboard all morning. He was 2 under after a 7-foot birdie on the 10th hole.
And then he ran out of gas at the end. Daly finished with four bogeys over his last five holes. Three bogeys were from the bunker. He three-putted the 18th. He finished with a 74.
It still beats the rounds of 85-86 he shot last year at Kiawah Island. Whether Daly agreed is uncertain. He declined requests for an interview.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, made his first bogey on the par-3 sixth hole. With three holes left, he was leading by two over. Tiger Woods was still seven shots behind at 2-over par.
Tiger Woods is starting to face an uphill battle early in the PGA Championship.
Woods was 2-under par at Southern Hills until he ran into trouble off the tee and around the greens on multiple holes. That led to four bogeys in a five-hole stretch to fall to 2 over. And he doesn’t need a leaderboard to see where that leaves him.
Rory McIlroy is playing alongside Woods. He made a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 2 to reach 5 under through 11 holes. He’s already seven shots ahead of Woods and Jordan Spieth, who also is in the feature group of the morning.
The surprise? John Daly is still hanging in there. He’s 2 under with three to play with a beard that is longer than the rough at Southern Hills.
Rory McIlroy’s pursuit of his first major victory since 2014 is off to a big start in the opening holes of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
The Northern Irishman had a run of four consecutive birdies that earned him a spot at the top of the leaderboard at 4-under par after nine holes. Playing with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth in the featured group of the first round, McIlroy birdied holes Nos. 12-15. The group started on No. 10.
McIlroy is seeking his fifth major championship. He won the PGA in 2012 and 2014. He hasn’t led a round of a major championship since that 2014 victory.
Woods, playing in his second competitive tournament in his return from a car crash 15 months ago that nearly led to his right leg being amputated, was in a group tied for 20th at even par.
Three-time major winner Spieth was 2 over in his pursuit of a victory that would earn him a career Grand Slam.
The PGA Championship began at Southern Hills with a stacked field that included Tiger Woods in one of the morning’s featured pairings but no defending champion after Phil Mickelson withdrew amid scrutiny last week.
Woods was due to go off with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy in a grouping that is sure to have massive crowds packed into every corner of the compact, recently restored Perry Maxwell layout near downtown Tulsa.
That trio has combined to win 22 major championships.
As for Mickelson, the defending PGA champion chose to extend his hiatus from competitive golf after incendiary comments that he made about a Saudi-funded rival league that is due to hold its first event next month in London.
Bryson DeChambeau also is missing after he withdrew Wednesday to give more time for his injured wrist to heal.
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