DJ leads the way at Whistling Straits

Dustin Johnson is one clear of David Lingmerth at Whistling Straits

It’s a familiar story – for the third Major in a row, Dustin Johnson leads after the first round. He’s one clear of David Lingmerth in the USPGA Championship.

It’s a familiar story – for the third Major in a row, Dustin Johnson leads after the first round. He’s one clear of David Lingmerth in the USPGA Championship.

Johnson took advantage of the calmer early morning conditions to card an opening 66 that included five birdies and an eagle. To this point in 2015, Johnson has a first and second round Major scoring average of 67.83.

“Today I thought I did a great job of just staying patient, hitting the shots that the course allowed me to hit,” Johnson said. “So I was very pleased.”

David Lingmerth could also have been forgiven for experiencing déjà vu on the fairways of Whistling Straits. The Swede raced to the turn in 31, raising comparisons with his his first nine 29 at St Andrews last month. Playing in the wind in the afternoon, Lingmerth held on well to card a 67.

“Super tough course here this week and really windy conditions in the afternoon,” Lingmerth said. “I didn’t really know what to expect but I got off to a flying start, was able to make some putts and give myself a lot of looks.”

The afternoon starters definitely faced the more challenging conditions as winds gusted to 30mph. Playing together, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth both posted opening 71s. McIlroy, on his return from an ankle injury, was happy with the start.

“It was a solid round of golf,” he said. “Happy with the way I struck the ball.”

Rory McIlroy on how he became a champion:

Tiger Woods struggled on the greens as he carded a three-over-par 75. He struck the ball well but had 33 putts through the course of the round.

“It was one of the worst putting rounds I’ve had in a very long time,” he said. “I just had no feel for the speed. It was awful.”

A number of the usual suspects are in contention after round 1. Australia’s Jason Day and Matt Kuchar of the USA carded rounds of 68 while England’s Justin Rose posted a 69. 2010 champion at Whistling Straits, Martin Kaymer opened with a 70.

USPGA Championship – Round 1 scores Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin Aug 13-16, par 72, purse: $10,000,000

1    Dustin Johnson (USA)        66 2    David Lingmerth (Swe)        67 T3    Russell Henley (USA)        68 T3    Matt Kuchar (USA)        68 T3    Harris English (USA)        68 T3    J.B. Holmes (USA)        68 T3    Jason Day (Aus)            68 T3    Danny Lee (NZL)            68 T3    Matt Jones (Aus)            68 T3    Scott Piercy (USA)        68

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?