The opening round of the 100th PGA Championship is officially in the books. Who leads, who’s in contention and who needs to make up ground in round two?
The opening round of the 2018 PGA Championship was expected to be full of scoring opportunities early on. Despite expectations, Bellerive Country Club fought back against the field competing for golf’s final major of the year.
Only 60 players in the 156-man field lived under par following the close of the first round.
Starting in just the 10th grouping of the early morning, Rickie Fowler jumped out to the early lead and held on tight throughout the majority of the day. Fowler began his day on the back nine and made the turn to hole one at just 1-under par.
Eyeing his first career major championship, he turned up the heat withs birdies on four of his final nine holes to take the clubhouse lead at 5-under.
The top two players in the Official World Golf Rankings, Dustin Johnson (-3) and Justin Thomas (-1), each flirted with the lead before untimely bogeys knocked both back down the leaderboard.
As the day came to a close it was Kansas native Gary Woodland who made the late run to finally surpass Fowler for the lead. Woodland began his day with a bogey but answered with seven birdies over his last 11 holes to put himself a top the leaderboard at 6-under.
1. Gary Woodland -6
2. Rickie Fowler -5
T3. Brandon Stone -4
T3. Zach Johnson -4
T5. Jason Day -3
T5. Dustin Johnson -3
T5. Justin Rose -3
T16. Francesco Molinari -2
T33. Justin Thomas -1
T33. Brooks Koepka -1
T48. Rory McIlroy E
T48. Tiger Woods E
T62. Jordan Spieth +1
T83. Patrick Reed +2
T100. Phil Mickelson +3
Seeking the career grand slam, Jordan Spieth will need a solid second round in order to get back into contention following an opening round of 1-over.
In his last chance at a major title this year, the iconic Tiger Woods had a rough go early on opening with a bogey and double bogey on his first two holes. Woods dug in and battled back to even par to keep himself in the mix heading into Friday.