Thursday 13 December 2018

US PGA Championship – Story of the first round

Gary Woodland topped the leaderboard after day one.

Gary Woodland set the pace on day one of the 100th US PGA Championship (Rui Vieira/PA)
Gary Woodland set the pace on day one of the 100th US PGA Championship (Rui Vieira/PA)

By Phil Casey, Press Association Sport Golf Correspondent, St Louis

A change of shirt paid dividends for Tiger Woods as he recovered from a nightmare start to his opening round of the 100th US PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Woods, who is seeking a 15th major title and a first since 2008, was among the early starters hoping to make a flying start in sweltering conditions in St Louis, only to drop three shots in his first two holes.

But after changing his drenched shirt in a players’ bathroom between the 11th green and 12th tee, Woods fought back to card a level-par 70 to lie six shots off the clubhouse lead held by fellow American Gary Woodland.

Tweet of the day

Ross Fisher highlights the hot and humid conditions at Bellerive after an opening 68, posting a GIF of a man pouring with sweat.

Shot of the day

The par-three sixth played as the toughest hole and world number one Dustin Johnson looked set to be another casualty after a poor tee shot, but produced a superb chip-in from right of the green for an unlikely birdie.

Round of the day

Gary Woodland was one over par after seven holes before reeling off seven birdies in the next 10 on his way to a superb 64.

Quote of the day

“He’s a player and it’s always tough when you see one of us struggle like that and what his family have to endure now, those kids without a dad” – Tiger Woods pays tribute to the late Jarrod Lyle.

Stat of the day

The Golf Channel’s Justin Ray points out how many times Rickie Fowler has been close to a first major win, tweeting that he has had eight top-five finishes.

Toughest hole

At 224 yards, it was no surprise that the par-three sixth hole was the toughest, playing to an average of 3.463 and yielding just nine birdies as well as 12 double bogeys and two triples.

Easiest hole

Despite being 610 yards, the par-five eighth played as the easiest hole, with 50 birdies, 11 bogeys and just one double bogey adding up to a scoring average of 4.732.

On the up

The chances of putting coach Phil Kenyon working with the winner of consecutive majors. Kenyon coaches Open champion Francesco Molinari and also started working with Gary Woodland at Carnoustie.

On the slide

Jordan Spieth’s prospects of completing the career grand slam with a win this week after he opened with a 71 to lie seven shots off the pace.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport