Thursday’s PGA Championship Notes

PGA
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Coutesy:  The PGA of America

KOHLER, Wis. (WFRV) — News and notes thru Thursday afternoon of the PGA Championship.

DUSTIN JOHNSON IS HOME AT THE STRAITS

Playing in his sixth PGA Championship, Dustin Johnson fired an opening-round 6-under-par 66 and assumed the first-round lead. The 66 was Johnson’s second-lowest score in a PGA Championship and best in an opening round. Starting on the back side, Johnson birdied his initial two holes and eagled the 573-yard, par-5 16th (his seventh hole of the morning). He capped off his round by sinking a 10-footer for par on No. 9. 

31 YEARS AND COUNTING, SO CAN DUSTIN JOHNSON SNAP THE STREAK?

After one round, Dustin Johnson sits alone atop the leaderboard of the 97th PGA Championship. The last outright leader at the end of the first round to win the PGA Championship was Hal Sutton in 1983 at Riviera Country Club.


LINGMERTH’S FAMILIAR SCRIPT FOR FIRST ROUND

David Lingmerth (5-under-par, 67) teed off the back-9 this afternoon and proceeded to card birdies on five of his first seven holes (No. 10, 11, 13, 15, 16). Lingmerth’s 31 was the best effort on Whistling Straits’ back 9 today. If Lingmerth’s effort today rings familiar, that is because, in his first career round in the Open Championship last month, he posted birdies on all seven par fours on St. Andrews front side to card with an outward 29. Lingmerth ultimately finished T-74 at St. Andrews.


SEVEN PLAYERS PACKED AT 4-UNDER

The following eight players finished the today with 4-under 68s and are two shots off Dustin’s Johnson’s 6-under pace: Jason Day, Harris English, Russell Henley, J.B. Holmes, Matt Jones, Matt Kuchar, Danny Lee and Scott Piercy. Kuchar held the outright lead (5-under-par 67) after the first round of the 2010 PGA Championship here at Whistling Straits. He ultimately finished in a tie for 10th place.

NEW YORK’S GAFFNEY LEADS PGA CLUB PROFESSIONALS

Brian Gaffney, a 44-year-old PGA Head Professional at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York, took a circuitous journey to a 71 to lead a contingent of 20 PGA Club Professionals. Appearing in his fourth PGA Championship, Gaffney collected seven birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.

“It’s hard for me to separate from work. I just know that there’s so many people at Quaker Ridge, people that have supported me along the way, that have read their computer, living and dying by the birdies and bogeys. But obviously it feels good,” said Gaffney. “I hope that this reaches a lot of people and elevates why club professionals bring a lot of attention to this event. It’s not just for how I played today, but rather that there’s so many people that will be following that would not necessarily be following. And that’s exciting.”

KAYMER SOLID OUT OF THE CHUTE

Martin Kaymer, who claimed the first of his two major championships at Whistling Straits in 2010, opened with a 70 that included a double bogey on his final hole (No. 9). Nonetheless, Kaymer’s off to a better start than 2010, when his opening-round 72 rendered a tie for 44th place.     

HOW THE MAJOR CHAMPIONS FARED

The 28 major champions in the field, who own a combined 70 major titles, and their respective first-round performances: Justin Rose (69), Martin Kaymer (70), Y.E. Yang (70), Jason Dufner (71), Ernie Els (71), Rory McIlroy (71), Webb Simpson (71), Graeme McDowell (71), Jordan Spieth (71), Phil Mickelson (72), Louis Oosthuizen (72), Bubba Watson (72), John Daly (73), Vijay Singh (73), Jim Furyk (73), Charl Schwartzel (73), Shaun Micheel (74), Geoff Ogilvy (74), Zach Johnson (75), Tiger Woods (75), Rich Beem (76), Keegan Bradley (76), Padraig Harrington (76), Adam Scott (76), Darren Clarke (78), David Toms (77), Davis Love III (79), Mark Brooks 84.

WOODLAND WITHDRAWS, PETTERSSON STEPS IN

Prior to today’s opening round, Gary Woodland withdrew from the 97th PGA Championship due to neck issues. Carl Pettersson then joined the 156-player field with Woodland’s exit.

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