Rory content with ‘solid start’
The world No.1 admitted he was ‘pretty nervous’ on the first tee as he got the defence of his US PGA Championship title underway at Whistling Straits, six weeks after suffering that ankle ligament injury.
And McIlroy showed no signs of pain or weakness there throughout his opening round, as he battled to a one-under-par 71 in tough afternoon conditions.
“I felt it was good, a solid round of golf and I was happy with the way I struck the ball,” said the 26-year-old.
As for the ankle? “Fine, just as it is walking 18 and practicing,” he said. “The exact same, no different.”
McIlroy’s score was matched by playing partner Jordan Spieth, while making up that group, Zach Johnson struggled to a three-over-par 75.
Dustin leads the way… again
For the third major in a row, DJ has the tournament lead after the first round.
The 31-year-old took advantage of the calmer morning conditions to post a six-under-par 66, which included five birdies, an eagle and just a single bogey.
“Today was pretty easy, I would have to say,” said Dustin Johnson. “But I was swinging well and I was hitting the shots where I was looking. So anytime you're doing that, it makes things a lot easier on you.
“I was just super patient, stayed focused all day and I was swinging well. In this wind it's tough to do, but I did a great job of controlling the golf ball today.”
Here’s DJ’s eagle putt on the par-5 16th hole…
Lingmerth leads chasing pack
The Swede put together comfortably the best round of the afternoon as, starting on the back nine, he was five-under through his first seven holes, the score he finished on to sit alone in second place.
Eight players sit a further shot back, including Russell Henley, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Harris English, Jason Day, Danny Lee, Matt Jones and Scott Piercy, with the latter the only player out of those who teed off in the afternoon.
Putting woes for Woods
Tiger was delighted with his ball striking during the opening round at Whistling Straits – but was let down badly by his putting as he faltered to a three-over-par 75.
“I hit it great today, but I made actually nothing,” said Tiger Woods. “Probably one of the worst putting rounds I've had in a very long time.
“Even I if I dumped the ball centre of the green or had some makeable putts straight up the gut, they still were off. They were either getting chewed up by the green or I was blowing them through. So I definitely need to somehow find the speed better.”
Woods now faces a battle to avoid missing the cut in a third consecutive major.
Rollercoaster round for Koepka
Four-over-par at the turn, the 25-year-old, who has been fancied by many to do well this week, went on a birdie blitz, making five in a row to get to one-under-par by the 14th.
However, it wasn’t to last as the American then bogeyed the 15th and the last to finish back on one-over.
Here’s Koepka’s chip in at the 13th, where he made it four in a row…
Day of struggle for Scots
Only Marc Warren, currently the highest ranked Scot in the world, had anything to take from round one at Whistling Straits as he shot a level par 72. But it could’ve been so much better as the 34-year-old was three-under with seven holes to play.
Elsewhere, Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher are on four-over-par, Steven Young and Russell Knox are five-over-par, Colin Montgomerie is six-over par, while Richie Ramsay is nine-over-par and pulled no punches on the assessment of his round.
US PGA Championship :: Your thoughts
After round one, who do you think will be lifting the US PGA Championship title come Sunday night? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.