In what seems to be a familiar tale at the recent majors, Dustin Johnson leads the field with an impressive six-under-par 66 after the first round of the PGA Championship.
After two birdies on the first two holes, he eagled on the seventh hole. The back nine saw the American hit three more birdies along with a bogey to have a solo lead. Johnson played in the morning when the conditions were less windy and hit the ball farther and straighter than others in the field.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy scored a one-under 71 after his return to the tour. Three bogeys and four birdies meant the Northern Irishman is five shots off the lead.
Johnson has a one-shot lead over David Lingmerth and is two strokes clear of Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and a host of other players. Tied with McIlroy at one-under is World No. 2 Jordan Spieth. 5-time Major champion Phil Mickelson shot 72, while Tiger Woods had a disappointing outing ending with a three-over-par 75.
"Today I thought I did a great job of just staying patient, hitting the shots that the course allowed me to hit. And I struck the ball well today. So I was very pleased," Johnson told USA Today.Johnson became the first player in the modern era to lead after round one in the third consecutive major.
Lingmerth scored five birdies in his first seven holes to finish second. He has had four top-6 finishes in his last six starts and opened the British Open first round with a 29 in the front nine.
"I know I can play well out here, so I'm just going to put one foot in front of the other and keep on going,” Lingmerth said.
Spieth, who is looking for a third Major this year appreciated Lingmerth’s efforts on a tough day.
"Under par was a good round this afternoon, I think one of the better rounds in the afternoon. Whatever (Lingmerth) ate this morning, I'd like to eat tomorrow, because that's a heck of a round of golf in those conditions," Spieth said.
Woods scored two birdies and five bogeys and showed his frustration by using the F-word on the 16th hole.
"I've had good putting rounds and I've had bad ball-striking days on those days, and then the flip side of it," Woods said.
Leaderboard after Round 1:
After a first-round 66, Dustin Johnson stands alone at the top and in history. But where does he go from here? pic.twitter.com/wBWMwvrOmV— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 14, 2015
The golf world talks a lot about Tiger Then vs. Tiger Now. This is as clear as it gets: pic.twitter.com/YlQKorEVDd— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 14, 2015
Rory McIlroy drove it an average of 20 yards past Jordan Spieth. Otherwise, their rounds looked pretty similar: pic.twitter.com/JCfMZkLC0z— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 14, 2015