Koepka Shoots 63 To Lead USPGA Championship

The defending champion tore up Bethpage Black to surge to the top of the leaderboard

Koepka Shoots 63 To Lead USPGA Championship

The defending champion tore up Bethpage Black to surge to the top of the leaderboard after day one

Koepka Shoots 63 To Lead USPGA Championship

Brooks Koepka shot 63 in round one of the USPGA Championship to lead after day one at Bethpage Black.

The World Number three was faultless in his opening round, with seven birdies and zero bogeys for the only blemish-free round of the day.

His 63 equals the lowest round ever scored in the tournament's history and he becomes the first man to shoot the score in a Major in successive years.

Koepka spoke about Majors being the easiest tournaments to win in the build up and he looked at ease as he made the brutally difficult Bethpage look like just any other golf course.

The defending champion opened up with a birdie at the 10th, his first, which is a a 502 yard par-4 that many players struggled with.

Tiger Woods was one of those who struggled with it, as the Masters champion made a double-bogey six, one of two doubles in his first nine.

Koepka would add further birdies at the par-3 14th, the 18th and the 1st before another 2 at the par-3 3rd.

Tiger Woods eagled the 4th - 

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His sixth birdie of the round came at the 5th, which is where Tiger Woods made a bogey to drop back to level par after starting the front nine birdie, birdie, par, eagle to get under par.

Koepka rolled in a long putt on his final hole to sign for a 63.

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Woods' three-putt five at the 5th was followed with further bogeys at the 7th and 8th to drop to two over, which is where he finished.

His total of 72 (+2) is nine worse than the total of Koepka but it is by no means a disgrace around the difficult Black Course at Bethpage.

Woods hasn't played since Augusta and only managed nine holes in practice this week after not playing a practice round yesterday.

The other man in the group, Open champion Francesco Molinari, also shot 72 to trail Koepka by nine.

Danny Lee shot the best round of the afternoon with a 64, and that was despite hitting just 10 greens in regulation.

He did only manage 21 putts though, which is his lowest ever total in a round on the PGA Tour.

The Kiwi made eight birdies and two bogeys, including back-to-back birdies to finish.

Danny Lee's birdie on 18 -

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Lee's best finish in a Major was a T17th at the 2016 Masters so he'll be hoping to better that this week in New York.

Tommy Fleetwood is the leading Brit after day one thanks to a three under par 67.

The Englishman, fresh from hosting the British Masters last week at Hillside, mixed six birdies with three bogeys.

Fleetwood has played some of the best golf in the world over the last couple of years and will be expected to challenge late on Sunday.

Related: USPGA Championship round 2 tee times

Two-time USPGA Champion Rory McIlroy had a poor day, making three bogeys and no birdies for his first 17 holes until a birdie finally came at the last.

The four-time Major winner stiffed a wedge into 18 for a tap-in 3 to sign for a 72.

A huge story this week could be Jordan Spieth completing the career grand slam and Spieth is in great shape after a one under par 69.

The Texan battled with some wayward drives and made a double on 10 and a bogey on 12, but four birdies including one on the last got him under par.

World Number One Dustin Johnson also shot 69, as did countrymen Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

2015 USPGA Champion Jason Day is also at one under along with four-time European Tour winner Matt Wallace.

World Number Two Justin Rose is at level par with the likes of Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x