Woods Makes Solid Start As Day Takes Early PGA Lead

Tiger shot two under on Thursday morning at TPC Harding Park whilst Jason Day took the clubhouse lead at five under

Woods Makes Solid Start As Day Takes Early PGA Lead
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger shot two under on Thursday morning at TPC Harding Park whilst Jason Day took the clubhouse lead at five under

Woods Makes Solid Start As Day Takes Early PGA Lead

Tiger Woods showed no signs of rust on day one at the PGA Championship in carding a 68 (-2).

He is just three back of leader Jason Day after the morning wave on day one at TPC Harding Park.

The 15-time Major winner, making just his second competitive appearance since February, made a fast start with a birdie on his opening hole.

He then reached two under after four holes thanks to a 32 footer for birdie.

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Dropped shots on his 5th and 11th holes pegged him back but back-to-back birdies on holes 4 and 5, his 13th and 14th of the day, got him back to two under.

He then made a 12 footer on the 7th to get to three under, showing that his putter switch was really paying off, although he handed it straight back at the treacherous 237 yard par-3 8th.

Woods' playing partners both struggled, with new World No.1 Justin Thomas shooting one over and Rory McIlroy mixing four birdies and four bogeys in a round of level par.

TPC Harding Park was playing difficult as expected, with thick rough and firm greens really placing a premium on straight driving and solid ball striking.

Related: PGA Championship Leaderboard

Jason Day took the early lead with a 65 (-5), which was his best ever opening round in 38 Major championship appearances.

The Aussie, winner at Whistling Straits in 2015, made five birdies in a flawless opening round.

Day has really struggled with his back over the past few years and has struggled with his putting earlier this year, although he says he is getting back to his best on the greens.

The former World No.1, on his day, is arguably the best putter in the world so if he can keep the long game going he'll fancy his chances.

Brooks Koepka could become the first man since 1927 to win three consecutive PGA Championships and the American got off to a very solid start with a 66 (-4).

Koepka has struggled for the best part of a year now with a knee injury but is finding form at the right time after a T2nd at last week's WGC.

Justin Rose also shot four under along with Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Bud Cauley, Zach Johnson and Brendan Steele

2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer was another to shoot a 66 to put himself in a great position after day one.

Kaymer said he wasn't feeling great about his week prior to the event but watched the back nine of his 2014 US Open victory last night to help his confidence.

Incredibly, the German hasn't won a tournament since his eight stroke victory at Pinehurst 2 more than six years ago.

However, one player who did struggle in the morning was Jordan Spieth who cared a 73 (+3).

The Texan has some work to do to make the cut, let alone complete the career grand slam.

Related: PGA Championship second round tee times

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor 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. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, 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 2-5. 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: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5