The USPGA Championship looks finely poised with a number of the world's best players making good starts


Woodland Leads USPGA As Fowler Equals His Lowest Major Round

Rickie Fowler looks set to contend in yet another major thanks to an opening 65 to sit at five under after day one of the 100th USPGA Championship.

Bellerive was touted to be a walk in the park for the world’s best but it turned into something of a brute, playing long with thick rough and just two par-5s.

It was Gary Woodland who shot the low-round of the day with a 64 to lead at six under.

Woodland lives nearby and had a lot of friends and fans following him. He was one over par after seven holes and then caught fire, playing his final 10 in seven under par.

The American has won three times on the PGA Tour, most recently at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

His best finish in a major is T12th.

Rickie Fowler began on the 10th hole and was level par through his first seven holes. He then birdied five of the last 11, going bogey-free.

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The 29-year-old’s opening 65 is his joint-lowest round in a major as he looks to win his first one after eight top-5s in the past.

Fowler was due to wear a blue shirt on Thursday but went away from his scripting to wear yellow in honour of Jarrod Lyle, who sadly passed away on Wednesday night.

He is one clear of two-time major winner Zach Johnson and Brandon Stone, who shot 60 in the final round to win the recent Scottish Open.

Ian Poulter is a shot further back after an opening 67, which included five birdies and two bogeys, as he looks to win his first major and book a spot on the European Ryder Cup side.

Justin Rose is also at three under after five birdies and two bogeys.

That was the world number three’s first ever round at Bellerive after only walking the course pre-tournament as he opted to nurse his back which has caused him trouble lately.

Former world number one and 2015 USPGA Champion Jason Day is also at three under.

World number one Dustin Johnson is on the same score too despite briefly tieing the lead on his back nine.

Two bogeys to finish from DJ, including a six on the par-5 17th, meant he posted a 67.

The morning’s featured group of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Justin Thomas are all slightly further back but still within touching distance.

Woods and McIlroy each shot very differing rounds of level par.

McIlroy’s ball striking was far superior than the 14-time major winner’s but Woods grinded out his 70 after a bogey-double start.

Thomas was one better than his playing partners at one under after a 69.

Jordan Spieth, who could become just the sixth man to complete the career grand slam this week, got off to a nightmare start with a double bogey on the opening hole.

However, he rallied to go bogey-free from there on until the par-5 17 where, like Dustin Johnson, he pushed his drive right into the stream and had to take a drop out.

That led to a bogey and he almost dropped another shot at the last but made a long par save to shoot 71.

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