2011 USPGA - The story of round 1
- Friday, 12 August 2011
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Rory McIlroy plays through the pain [Getty Images]
The opening day at Atlanta Athletic Club provided plenty of talking points as well as some incredible golf.
The big story of the day came in the afternoon when, tournament favourite, Rory McIlroy tried to play his second shot at the 3rd from behind the root of a tree. As he connected with the ball he instantly dropped his club and appeared to do severe damage to his right wrist.
After a lengthy delay and treatment throughout his round McIlroy managed to make it round in an even-par 70. It is yet to be confirmed just how much damage he has done but an early tee time on Friday will not help matters.
The overnight leader, Steve Stricker, produced a quite magnificent round of golf. A seven-under-par 63 takes him into day two with a two-stroke lead from compatriot Jerry Kelly, who is playing in his 43rd Major.
At the last hole Stricker had a putt for birdie that just went past the hole. Had he holed it, he would have become the first player to ever shoot a round of 62 in a Major.
He was one of only three players to get through the first round bogey-free as the course proved incredibly tough going for the competitors. Champion from 2003 Shaun Micheel (66) and fellow American Brandt Jobe (68) were the only others to do so.
Young Italian Matteo Manassero provides the early European challenge at two-under-par and is tied for 5th with Simon Dyson and six others. Luke Donald is at even par while Lee Westwood is at one-over-par. Defending champion Martin Kaymer shot a two-over 72.
The early story of the day was the continuing demise of Tiger Woods. He started his round with three birdies but made double bogies at 15 and 18 and then went on a horrendous run on the back nine to finish seven-over-par.