SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The Latest from the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits (all times local):
Make it five straight birdies for Brooks Koepka.
He’s off to a great start on the back nine Thursday in the first round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Koepka chipped in on the par-4 10th and 13th holes, and made birdie putts on the par-5 11th, par-3 12th and par-4 15th — holing a 23-footer to get below par for the first time Thursday at 1 under.
The Phoenix Open winner had four bogeys in a 4-over 40 on the front nine.
Some not-so-great news for those finishing late at the PGA Championship. Nos. 18 and at Whistling Straits are playing as the two toughest holes on the course so far.
Players are averaging nearly 0.7 over par on the par-4 18th and more than 0.4 over on the par-4 ninth. There have been five birdies and 46 bogeys on No. 18. There have been 11 birdies and 39 bogeys on No. 9.
So far, only one player in the afternoon has cracked the leaderboard. That’s Sweden’s David Lingmerth, who is 5 under, one behind Dustin Johnson, after 12 holes.
Jordan Spieth was 1 over after 11 holes and Rory McIlroy was 1 under.
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are at the turn at the PGA Championship, both at even par.
The world’s two best players got to that point in far different ways.
Spieth went 9 for 9 — nine holes, nine pars.
McIlroy has been up and down, starting his opening round with the first of two bogeys, and finishing the front nine with the second of two birdies.
In between, he dipped his feet in the water after his second shot on the fifth hole landed in a lake by the green.
Rolling up the right pant leg on his fuschia slacks, McIlroy made solid contact and got the ball back on to the green. He then made a 10-foot putt for a par.
Zach Johnson, the British Open champion, completed the threesome. He was also at even par at the turn with three bogeys and three birdies.
The wind is whipping at Whistling Straits.
It isn’t bothering David Lingmerth.
The Swede just shot 5-under 31 over his first nine holes at the PGA Championship, making the turn only one shot behind leader Dustin Johnson.
Most everyone else is struggling in the afternoon, with 16 mph wind blowing across the course.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy is having trouble hitting it straight. He’s at 1 over through eight. Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth has opened with eight straight pars. And British Open champion Zach Johnson threw one ball into Lake Michigan in frustration and hit another one into the water. He has made three bogeys so far and is 1 over.
Rory McIlroy rolled up his pant leg and took a step into the lake to hit his third shot on the fifth hole at Whistling Straits.
He opened the clubface, made solid contact, got the ball back onto the green and rolled the 10-foot par putt into the side of the hole for a par. As they say, “It’s not how, it’s how many.”
And those fuchsia pants weren’t any worse for wear.
Check this out: http://bit.ly/1N68YFX
Some stats on Tiger’s putting: He needed 33 putts and the average length of the putts he made was a tad under 4 feet.
“Probably one of the worst putting rounds I’ve had in a long time,” he said. “I just never had the speed right. I either left them short or blew them by. Just didn’t have the speed at all.”
Zach Johnson just chucked a ball into Lake Michigan. Reason: He made bogey on the fourth hole to fall to 1-over par.
The British Open champion is struggling. He also made a bogey on the par-5 second after hitting his second shot in a bunker that was situated outside the ropes and pocked with footprints from spectators. He hacked that one out, but into the rough, then needed three more shots to finish the hole.
The season is almost over for Tiger Woods. Could be over as soon as Friday.
Woods couldn’t get putts to go in Thursday and finished at 3-over 75 in the first round of the PGA Championship.
That’s nine shots behind clubhouse leader Dustin Johnson and very much in danger of missing the cut. If that happens, this would mark the first time in his career he’s missed three straight cuts at a major.
Woods came into the week ranked 186th in the FedEx Cup standings. He needs a huge week to get in the mix for the playoffs, which begins with the top 125.
Hard to think it’ll happen after Thursday, and Woods wasn’t trying to deny it.
“The season is pretty much over, very soon,” he said. “But the year is not. There’s plenty of golf to be played.”
Most of it, though, would be in overseas events, and not where the top players will be competing.
Phil Mickelson has opened with a birdie.
Rory McIlroy has opened with a bogey.
Jordan Spieth has opened with a par. And Adam Scott has opened with two straight birdies.
They’re all trying to catch Dustin Johnson, who shot 6-under 66. They’re part of the afternoon group teeing off at the PGA Championship.
You could say that both Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods are picking up where they left off.
Johnson knows his way around Whistling Straits. He shot a 6-under 66 at the PGA Championship today, writing a new chapter at the Wisconsin course that’s the sight of one of his worst moments. He was leading going into the 72nd hole here in 2010, but grounded his club in a trash-strewn bunker and was penalized two shots. That kept him out of a playoff.
His 6 under in the first round Thursday included five birdies, an eagle, one bogey and no drama.
It gave him the clubhouse lead with the morning rounds wrapping up. It also put him nine shots ahead of Woods, who had a 75 and is in danger of missing three straight cuts in the majors for the first time in his career.
The world’s top two players, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, just teed off.
Rickie Fowler is wrapping up one wild round.
Fowler was in a bunker far below the third green and took four shots to escape, leading to triple bogey. He followed with a chip-in for birdie on No. 4, only to find a bunker off the fifth tee and then lay up — wait for it — into the water. He scrambled for par, bounced back with a birdie, followed by two more bogeys. He’s 1 over with one hole to play.
Fowler brings an “X Games” personality to the PGA Tour.
He brought it to the golf course at the PGA Championship.
John Daly update: 1-over 73. Still looking dapper. And, for the record, those are L.A. Dodgers pants with blue diamonds that he’s wearing.
And this from Brian Gaffney, a club pro at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York: “I hope that this reaches a lot of people and elevates why club professionals bring a lot of attention to this event. Not just for how I played today, but just that there’s so many people that will be following that would not necessarily be following. And that’s exciting.”
Gaffney had a wild round. Seven birdies, four bogeys and one double en route to a 1-under 71.
Matt Kuchar and Russell Henley have wrapped up rounds of 4-under 68 and are the early clubhouse leaders at the PGA Championship.
Thomas Bjorn and Brendan Steele both shot 3-under 69.
There are two players still on the course who currently have better scores.
Dustin Johnson is 6 under and J.B. Holmes is at 5 under, both with five holes left.
That’s not good.
Keegan Bradley rimmed out a 3-foot par putt to fall to 4 over par for the day. The 2011 PGA champ, playing in the same group with Tiger Woods, has made five bogeys and a double since opening the day with a pair of birdies.
Dustin Johnson is in the lead at 6 under par through 13 holes.
Tiger Woods just missed a birdie try and remains at 1 over par through 10 holes in the opening round of the PGA Championship.
That’s six behind leaders Hideki Matsuyama, Thomas Bjorn and, yes, Dustin Johnson.
It was Johnson who infamously grounded his club in a trampled bunker on the 18th hole the last time the PGA was at Whistling Straits.
That cost him a spot in the playoff.
This time on 18, he missed a 6-foot birdie putt, but opened his second nine on the first hole with a birdie to take a share of the lead.
This time, Dustin Johnson avoided anything even resembling a bunker on No. 18 at Whistling Straits.
After finding the middle of the fairway from the tee box, Johnson hit his approach to 6 feet but missed the putt and settled for a par.
Disappointing, though hardly like the last time he played No. 18 on this course.
That was in 2010, when he grounded his club in a trash-strewn bunker and was penalized two shots, which kept him out of a playoff for the PGA Championship.
On Thursday, he opened the PGA on the back nine and played No. 18 competitively for the first time since that bunker debacle.
He made the turn at 4-under par, one shot behind leader Thomas Bjorn.
Diamonds are forever. Or, in this case, at least through Friday.
Surprise, surprise — John Daly was sporting pants with a garish blue-diamond pattern on them in the first round of the PGA Championship.
Might have gone well with that awesome blue and yellow sports coat he wore to the champion’s dinner earlier this week.
Daly’s fiancee, Anna Cladakis, is also serving as his caddie for the week. She’s rocking American flag socks that were pulled up to the knees.
A fine looking couple.
Oh, about the golf: Daly was 2 over par through his first 10 holes at Whistling Straits.
Daly, whose fame began when he won the PGA as the ninth alternate in 1991, opened the day on No. 10 with a bogey, got to even par with a birdie on the par-16th, but made double on No. 18.
Check out Daly’s look here: http://bit.ly/1hzEKhR
Tiger Woods is out on the course at the PGA Championship. Nothing spectacular so far.
Woods is even par through three holes. He had a birdie chance on the par-5 11th. He putted from the fringe, about 100 feet from the hole, and left the next one 7 feet away. That one lipped out. He ended up with par on a hole where many players are making birdie.
Hideki Matsuyama is the early leader, at 4 under through his first nine holes.
Thomas Bjorn, Ryan Moore, Paul Casey and Harris English are all at 3 under.
Rory Sabbatini is off to a quick start at the PGA Championship. He made three birdies over the first four holes to start the day at 3 under. Sabbatini hasn’t made a cut in a major since the 2011 PGA.
Matt Kuchar birdied his first two holes and is at 2 under.
Among those warming up on the driving range are Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer, who won the PGA in 2010 — the last time it was played at Whistling Straits.
Carl Pettersson was bracing for a long day at the PGA Championship. When he arrived at Whistling Straits, he had a short turnaround.
The first news of the final major of the year came early Thursday: Gary Woodland had withdrawn because of a neck injury, and he was replaced by Pettersson. The Swede has been at the course since Tuesday and played 27 holes of practice. He teed off later Thursday morning.
Ryan Helminen got the final major of the year underway. Helminen is a club pro in Wisconsin. He qualified by finishing 10th in the Professional National Championship, and he had the honors of hitting first tee shot. It went left.
Tiger Woods, coming off missed cuts at the U.S. and British Open, was among the early starters.