Aug. 9 (UPI) — Gary Woodland leads the field at the 2018 PGA Championship after firing a six-under-par 64 in the first round Thursday at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.
Woodland had a rough start to his day, making bogey on hole No. 1. He followed that up with six consecutive pars before making birdie on holes No. 8 and No. 9 for a score of 34 on the front nine. He caught fire heading into the clubhouse. Woodland made par on No. 10 before making birdie on No. 11, No. 12 and No. 14. He also carded birdies on No. 16 and No. 17 and did not card a bogey down the stretch, entering the clubhouse with a one-shot lead on second-place Rickie Fowler.
“I probably pressed a little bit too much early,” Woodland told reporters. “I’ve been hitting the golf ball beautifully coming into this week. I’m close to home. I have a million friends and family out here which is pretty cool. So I was probably off pressing a little bit. I kinda settled in there really on five and outside of that, I hit the golf ball beautifully.”
Fowler fired a four-under par 31 on the back nine, hitting four birdies and making par on the five other holes after teeing off on No. 10. He had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
Brandon Stone and Zach Johnson are tied for third place at 4-under-par. Ian Poulter, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner and Justin Rose are among a group of 11 golfers tied for fifth place at 3-under-par entering Friday’s second round.
— PGA of America (@PGA) August 9, 2018
Justin Thomas — who won last year’s PGA Championship for his first major title — shot one-under-par and is tied for 33rd place.
Woodland tees off with Garcia and Kisner on No. 10 at 8:01 a.m. Friday. Fowler tees off with Poulter and Hideki Matsuyama at 1:04 p.m. on tee No. 1. Woods joins Thomas and McIlroy and will tee off at 1:48 p.m. on tee No. 1 in the second round in St. Louis.