Thursday, July 28th, 2016
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Oosthuizen starts quick at the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen twirled a 2-under-par 34-34=68 during the opening round of the 98th PGA Championship, positioning himself three strokes off the early lead set by Jimmy Walker. The South African found just five (of 14) fairways in round one but recovered nicely to land 15 greens in regulation. Oosthuizen swallowed a pair of early bogeys at Nos. 1 and 3, but rebounded nicely with a 31-footer for birdie at the par-4 sixth and a near-ace at the par-3 ninth. At that ninth hole, his 199-yard tee ball landed just three inches from the cup for a tap-in birdie. It would have been his third hole-in-one in a major this season (No. 16 at the Masters and No. 14 at The Open). The 33-year-old has finished top 30 in each of his last three trips to the PGA Championship, and he's off to another good start this week in Springfield, New Jersey.
Stenson opens with 67 at Baltusrol; two back 07-28-2016
Henrik Stenson
In his first competitive round since winning the Open Championship with a stunning 63, Henrik Stenson hung up a 3-under-par 34-33=67 in his opener at the 98th PGA Championship. That's good enough for T5 on the liveboard and means the Swede is lurking just two shots behind first-round pacesetter Jimmy Walker. A tap-in birdie at No. 2 got him under par early although he handed that shot back at the next. He also wiped out a birdie at 6 with a bogey at 9 after missing from just 3 feet but there were no more errors after that and he cashed in on some fine iron play (15 greens in regulation) with birdies at 12, 15 and 18. Stenson split 9 (of 14) fairways on Thursday and his afternoon lap of the Lower Course at Baltusrol was only bettered by Martin Kaymer. He'll now have the chance to go out early on Friday and put himself in position to make a big bid for a second straight major.
Senden in top 10 after 1st round at Baltusrol 07-28-2016
John Senden
With a walk-off birdie at No. 9, John Senden completed a 2-under-par 33-35=68 in round one of the 98th PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey, three shots behind leader Jimmy Walker. Despite hitting just 4 (of 14) fairways, Senden matched the scores of fellow Aussies Jason Day and Scott Hend via four birdies against two bogeys on the Lower Course today. His first circle came at No. 11 after stuffing his approach to inside five feet and he picked off two more at 16 and 18 to turn in 33. The 45-year-old wobbled with bogeys at 5 and 7 after loose drives but drained a 15'8" putt at his final hole to climb inside the top 10. He found just 10 greens in regulation so had to lean heavily on his short game to produce a score like this.
V. Taylor starts strong @ Baltusrol Golf Club 07-28-2016
Vaughn Taylor
Vaughn Taylor kicked off his week at the 98th PGA Championship with a 2-under-par 34-34=68, positioning himself three strokes shy of Jimmy Walker at the top. Taylor opened his round with nine straight pars and then missed a 3'4" par-saving attempt at the 10th. It looked like his round might take a turn for the worse there, but he responded with four birdies over his last six holes. It was largely due to the flat stick catching fire as he splashed in three putts from outside nine feet and holed one from the fringe at the par-4 14th (16'11"). Today's round was set up nicely by great play off the tee, missing just three fairways on the day. Taylor has never fared well in this event, entering with a 1-for-5 record, with the lone cut made being a T28 back in 2005. Currently T8 on the live leaderboard, he has a great chance to improve upon that disappointing PGA Championship record.
Kaymer starts fast at Baltusrol; tied for 2nd 07-28-2016
Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer is just a shot behind first-round leader Jimmy Walker after signing for a 4-under-par 33-33=66 in his opener at the 98th PGA Championship. That's by far the best score of the afternoon wave at Baltusrol today and leaves the 2010 PGA champion in T2 alongside morning starters Emiliano Grillo and Ross Fisher. Kaymer circled five birdies and a single bogey in round one after starting from the 10th hole. He launched his move up the leaderboard with a 10'5" conversion at 15 and then added circles on the par 5s at 17 and 18. His only dropped shot came at No. 2 but he nailed birdies either side and closed with six pars after sand saves at 8 and 9. The two-time major winner split 7 (of 14) fairways on the Lower Course today and hit 13 greens in regulation.
Streb blemish-free in R1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Robert Streb
Robert Streb styled a bogey-free, 2-under-par 33-35=68 to open his week at the 98th PGA Championship, three strokes shy of the early pacesetter Jimmy Walker. The Kansas State product found just five (of 14) fairways but still manufactured 13 greens in regulation. Other than a 17'10" par-saver at the opening par-4 first, it was really a stress-free round for Streb. The 29-year-old circled his first birdie at the par-3 ninth, coming as a result of a lengthy 20'10" putt. His second of the day came at the par-4 11th where he stuck his 171-yard approach to 2'2" for a tap-in bird. While Streb didn't circle the most birdies during his opening round, he can take credit for one of just two bogey-free rounds on day one (Russell Henley).
Henley signs clean card in Baltusrol opener 07-28-2016
Russell Henley
Russell Henley posted a bogey-free, 2-under-par 34-34=68 in his opening round at the 98th PGA Championship, good enough for a place inside the top 10. The American's impressive afternoon lap of Baltusrol puts him just three swings behind pacesetter Jimmy Walker and T8 on the live leaderboard with the afternoon wave starting to finish off. Henley piped 8 (of 14) fairways but was able to hit 15 greens in regulation. The 27-year-old, who was T12 at Whistling Straits in this tournament last year, boarded the par train with a two-putt 4 at the opening hole and stayed on it for the first 15 holes. He finally snapped the sequence with a 3'1" putt at 16 and added another circle with a 19'5" conversion at 17. Henley missed from inside 5 feet at 18 for a walk-off birdie and slapped his putter in frustration but, once the anger has abated, he should be more than pleased with his day's work.
Vegas stays hot in Round 1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Tsukasa Watanabe
Fresh off a win at the RBC Canadian Open, Jhonattan Vegas kept his foot on the gas with a 2-under-par 34-34=68 during round one of the 98th PGA Championship. Vegas found just six fairways today but still managed 13 greens in regulation. He opened on the back nine and went to work with the flat stick, splashing home three putts from 11-to-18 feet over his first seven holes. From there, the putter cooled down as he made just one putt from outside five feet on his inward nine and also missed a 3'4" par-saving attempt on the eighth hole. The 31-year-old is making just his third career start in a major championship this week with a T51 at the 2011 PGA Championship going as best finish. At 2-under 68 he currently sits at T8 on the live leaderboard.
Koepka returns with success in R1 of the PGA 07-28-2016
Brooks Koepka
Making his first start in a month, Brooks Koepka opened with a 2-under-par 34-34=68 during round one of the 98th PGA Championship, placing him three strokes back of Jimmy Walker's early lead. Battling through an ankle injury that's forced him out since round one of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Koepka split eight (of 14) fairways and landed 13 greens in regulation today. Not being able to play full rounds during rehab, it looks like he kept his putter tidy instead, as he splashed home four putts from outside 10 feet today including a 21'8" birdie bomb at the par-4 second. The highlight of the round came two holes prior when he stuck his 218-yard approach to 3'7" for a tap-in eagle at the par-5 18th. This is a great sign for gamers worried about the ankle, however he's not out of the woods yet, as we need to see a full week of action to see how the ankle responds to four consecutive rounds of golf.
Hend heats up in Round 1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Scott Hend
Scott Hend steadied a 2-under-par 33-35=68 during the opening round of the 98th PGA Championship, three strokes off the early pacesetter Jimmy Walker. The Aussie split seven (of 14) fairways en route to 13 greens in regulation. From there he splashed home just two putts from outside eight feet, and also missed a 4'5" par-saver at the 11th. The real weapon today was his approach play, including a 129-yard wedge at the par-4 15th that he stuck to five inches for a tap-in birdie. Hend is making his debut at the PGA Championship this week and seventh career start in a major championship, with his previous best being a T32 at the 2006 U.S. Open.
Lingmerth scrambles around Baltusrol in R1 07-28-2016
David Lingmerth
David Lingmerth kicked off his week at the 98th PGA Championship with a 2-under-par 34-34=68, placing him three off the early pace set by Jimmy Walker. The Swede didn't have his best stuff approaching the green but he was a magician around the greens today. Despite landing just eight greens in regulation, he swallowed just two bogeys. It all started with a 36'11" hole out from just off the green to secure his first birdie of the day at the par-4 third hole. After that, he converted three putts from outside 10 feet before the round was through. Lingmerth finished T12 at last year's PGA, held at Whistling Straits, and is off to another good start this week in Springfield, New Jersey.
J. Day lands 17 greens in Round 1 of the PGA 07-28-2016
Jason Day
World No. 1 Jason Day coasted to an opening-round 2-under-par 33-35=68 to sit three strokes off the early lead at this week's PGA Championship. The Aussie entered the week with limited prep at the course, which led to a more conservative approach today. That style paid off as he splashed 17 greens in regulation. On the down side he did not leave himself many great birdie looks and he missed a few of those golden opportunities that we're not used to seeing him miss over the past 12 months. Day missed three putts from inside seven feet today, but also splashed home a 10'4" birdie at the fourth hole and 15'5" birdie at the 11th. With one practice round and one official round now under his belt at Baltusrol Golf Club, perhaps he will start to figure out the green complexes over the final three rounds this week. Despite a less-than-stellar putting performance, the defending champion is T8 on the live leaderboard with play still in progress.
R. Fisher strikes it well in R1 of the PGA 07-28-2016
Ross Fisher
Ross Fisher rocketed up the leaderboard of the 98th PGA Championship following a 4-under-par 32-34=66 during the opening round. The Englishman was clicking on all cylinders, tee-to-green, but struggled to find his putting stroke early on. After missing a 5'10" birdie attempt at the first, he also whiffed on a 4'2" par-saving attempt at the third. He didn't let that ruin his round, as great ball-striking (16 GIR) led to plenty of chances for redemption. That's exactly what he did, splashing home five birdies from outside nine feet including a 23'3" bomb at the par-4 second hole. The 35-year-old is making his seventh start at the PGA Championship, with just one finish inside the top 40 on his resume. If Fisher can continue to splash greens at an 89 percent clip then he'll easily add a second top 40 to that CV.
Sullivan stays hot in R1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan scorched Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course with a 3-under-par 31-36=67 during round one of the 98th PGA Championship. The Englishman opened on the back nine and struggled to score early on, trading a bogey and birdie to make the turn at even-par 36. From there he swallowed one more bogey but circled four birdies to offset the square. Most notable was a 32'11" hole out from just off the green at the par-4 seventh hole. That came on the heels of a 27'10" birdie bomb at the sixth. The recipe for success all started off the tee today, splitting 11 (of 14) fairways en route to 15 greens in regulation. With six straight top 25s worldwide entering the week, Sullivan continues to ride the wave of good form.
Fowler finds success in R1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler steadied a 2-under-par 35-33=68 during the first round of the 98th PGA Championship, three off the early leader Jimmy Walker. Fowler wasn't particularly accurate off the tee today, missing eight (of 14) fairways but he still managed 14 greens in regulation. Like the game plan suggests for Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course, Fowler opened on the back nine and took care of all his scoring needs before reaching the more difficult front nine. After a bogey at the opening par-4 10th hole, he rebounded with birdies from 6-to-8 feet at the par-4 11th and par-4 13th holes. After that, he dialed in from long distance with a 23'9" birdie bomb at the par-4 14th. Fowler would scribble eight pars and one bogey, with the blemish coming at the par-3 fourth hole after missing a 5'11" attempt at saving par. Fowler entered the week with five career top 10s in majors, but hasn't found one since the 2014 PGA Championship. Currently T7 on the live leaderboard, Fowler is off and running this week in Springfield, New Jersey.
James Hahn heats up in R1 of the PGA 07-28-2016
James Hahn
James Hahn kicked off the 98th PGA Championship with a 3-under-par 33-34=67, currently two off the early pace set by Jimmy Walker. Hahn was magnificent, tee-to-green, striping nine (of 14) fairways and landing 16 greens. With that many scoring chances, he was able to convert through quantity over quality. On the day, he circled five birdies and gave back a pair of strokes with two bogeys. The highlight of the round came early with a 34'10" birdie bomb at the par-4 fifth hole. Hahn missed the cut last year in his PGA Championship debut, but Baltusrol Golf Club appears to be a better fit thus far.
Walker snags early lead at the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Jimmy Walker
Jimmy Walker bombarded Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course with a 5-under-par 33-32=65 during the opening round of the PGA Championship, giving him early possession of the lead as the morning wave finishes up on Thursday. Walker split just half of the possible 14 fairways, but managed the course nicely to swallow just one bogey. He opened on the back nine and kicked off his scoring with a 10'2" birdie roll at the par-4 13th hole. Before making the turn, he added three more circles, most notably a 14'9" splash on the par-3 16th. Walker swallowed his lone bogey on his inward nine but offset that with two more birdies and an impressive par save from 13'11" at the par-4 third. The Texan entered with just a 2-for-5 record at the PGA Championship with a T21 and T7 being the highlights. It's only 18 holes, but he's on his way to adding a third top 25 to his PGA resume.
Harris English enjoys Round 1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Harris English
Harris English twirled a 3-under-par 34-33=67 during the opening round of the 98th PGA Championship. The Georgia Bulldog split nine (of 14) fairways and found 14 greens in regulation. It was that ball-striking that put him in scoring position throughout the day. English opened on the back nine and found his first birdie on the par-4 11th, converting from 7'4". He nearly doubled the distance with his next birdie, splashing home from 14'3" at the par-4 14th hole. He squeezed in one more bird before the turn, firing in a 15'5" birdie at the par-5 18th hole. English traded two birdies with two bogeys on his way into the clubhouse. Making his fourth career start at the PGA Championship, his previous best is a T48, coming at Whistling Straits last year.
Grillo heats up putter in R1 of the 98th PGA 07-28-2016
Emiliano Grillo
Making his fifth career start in a major, Emiliano Grillo opened the 98th PGA Championship with a 4-under-par 31-35=66 to throw his name into the early mix. The Argentine entered the week just 138th in strokes gained putting but an 18'7" par-saver at the third hole was just a glimpse of what the round was about to entail. After that lengthy par-saver, he followed it up with a 30'3" birdie bomb at the par-3 fourth and splashed in a 12'2" birdie at the par-4 fifth hole. Overall, he fired in five putts from outside 11 feet. The 23-year-old is always steady, tee-to-green, so if he can maintain anything close to this putting performance, he should remain right in the mix as the week progresses. The recent T12 finish at The 145th Open was his career best in a major but he's now looking to best that just two weeks later.
Choi cruises in round 1 of PGA Championship 07-28-2016
K.J. Choi
K.J. Choi had a carefree stroll around Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course with a 2-under-par 35-33=68 during the opening round of the 98th PGA Championship. Going off in the second group of the day, at 7:10 a.m. ET, Choi took some time to ease into his round. After back-to-back pars to open, he swallowed a bogey at the par-4 third before bouncing back with a birdie-2 at the fourth. He saved the best for last, though, circling birdies in three of his last five holes, all from inside nine feet and two from inside four feet. On the whole, this round was manufactured through great ball-striking, providing plenty of looks at birdie and easy pars. After breaking a streak of 14 consecutive starts when he missed last year's PGA Championship, Choi is making his 15th appearance at this event, with a pair of top 10s on his resume (2004, 2006).