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US PGA Championship 2022: first round – as it happened | US PGA


Bounceback birdie for Kizzire at 6. He rattles in a 30-footer to return to -2. Meanwhile a par on 18 for Fitzpatrick, and the Englishman signs for a fine two-under 68. No better way to finish our day one coverage, then. Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow.

-5: McIlroy
-4: Zalatoris, Hoge
-3: Kuchar, Ancer, Thomas, Herbert (17*)

Herbert splits the 7th fairway and sends his second over the flag to 15 feet. But he can’t nail the putt coming back and he remains at -3. He’s got another look at birdie coming up at the par-three 8th, albeit from 30 feet.

Patton Kizzire had been going along nicely. He was -2 and in the middle of the fairway at the par-five 5th. But he sent his approach into a bunker at the front, then knifed one into more sand at the back. One weak splash out later, and he was putting from the fringe in the hope of scrambling par. He couldn’t make it, and he slips to -1.

Herbert wedges up from the back of 6 to seven feet, but the par putt slides by, and he’s back to -3. The shadows getting longer now.

Scheffler steers in his left-to-right par putt on 18, and that’s a brilliant par. One that didn’t look likely when he was setting about his bag in a hot funk. But he cooled his boots quicksmart, and that’s a one-over 71. Not ideal, but it’s better than Jon Rahm’s 73 and Collin Morikawa’s 72. All three members of the afternoon’s marquee group over par … but none of them out of it yet, either.

Birdie for Lucas Herbert at the par-five 5th. He moves to within a shot of the lead at -4, though having sent his tee shot at 6 over the back of the green and into thick rough, he’ll have a test to get up and down to stay there.

Yep, it’s in all right … and Scheffler, well-known for his placid demeanour, loses the plot spectacularly, repeatedly slamming his driver into his bag in a wild fury. The pressure of trying to win back-to-back majors, right there. Only six men have won the first two majors of the season in the modern Masters era: Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Having taken his penalty drop, he gathers himself to wedge his third pin high to 15 feet, and he’ll have a chance to salvage his par.

Scheffler really is stumbling home. A fair chance that he’ll be ending with three straight bogeys, because having shipped shots at 16 and 17, he now slices his drive at 18 dangerously close to the drink down the right. Nothing confirmed yet, but that looks to have disappeared into the blue vagueness.

A perfect ending for Justin Thomas! Birdie on 18, his third of the back nine. He comes home in 32 for a three-under 67. Meanwhile the unfortunate Scheffler can’t get up and down from the sand and he drops to +1.

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F), Thomas (F), Herbert (13*)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Simpson (15*), Fitzpatrick (14), Niemann (13)

Birdies at 10 and now 13 for the young Chilean Joaquin Niemann. He’s been steady but not spectacular in his last six major appearances. No cuts missed, but nothing above a tie for 23rd (in the 2020 US Open) either. He’s -2, and perhaps preparing to make a big career statement this week.

Scheffler’s drive at 17 ends up behind the trunk of a large tree. He’s still able to chop out towards the green with his wedge, though there’s no option to complete his follow through, as the tree would surely break his club and possibly both hands, arms, etc. A brilliant stab out falls just short of the green and into a bunker at the front. With the flag nearby, that was close to perfection. Such a shame.

Scottie Scheffler continues to gently oscillate up and down the leaderboard. A bogey this time as he dumps his second into a bunker guarding the front of 16. He can’t get up and down, and he’s back to level par.

Lucas Herbert bounces back in style. He’s slightly unlucky as his second into 3 catches a slope that sends his ball rolling off the green and down a swale. That wasn’t far off being very close, but away it goes. No matter! He chips up and in to get back to -3. Limiting the damage to bogey on 2 suddenly feels huge.

Scottie Scheffler sends his second into the heart of 15, allowing the camber to send his ball on a big right-to-left journey down towards the flag. His ball stops six feet short, and he makes the birdie putt, repairing a little of the damage made by those back-to-back bogeys. He’s back into the red at -1, though not bothering the toppermost of the poppermost quite yet.

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Thomas (16), Fitzpatrick (12), Herbert (11*), Kizzire (10*)

A big bogey putt this time. Lucas Herbert is in all sorts of trouble down 2, having found a water hazard with his drive. After taking a drop, he sends his third into a bunker at the back of the green. His escape from sand isn’t all that, but he guides in the left-to-right 12-footer to limit to the damage to bogey. He slips to -2. Meanwhile local lad Talor Gooch is in the house with a 69.

A big par save for Collin Morikawa on 14. Having left his tee shot at the par-three short of the green, then leaving his second 20 feet short, a third bogey in five holes looks most likely. But he rattles in the putt to remain at +1. Pars too for Scottie Scheffler (E) and Jon Rahm (+2) and Rory McIlroy (-5, feet up, cigar on) will be a happy man right now.

Matt Fitzpatrick clips his tee shot at 11 to six feet, and makes no mistake with the birdie putt. He’s -2. Meanwhile birdie for Justin Thomas at 15, and the 2017 champ moves to -2 as well.

While the marquee group struggles, Lucas Herbert is once again the main man of the second wave. Birdie at 1 takes the Aussie back up to -3.

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F), Herbert (10*)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Kizzire (8*), Wise (8)

Turns out that Scheffler was in more bother than everyone initially thought. His drive found a creek, so he had to take a penalty drop before hitting out of the trouble down the left of 13. It’s back-to-back bogeys for the world number one, and he’s back to level par. His demeanour is nevertheless much cooler than partner Jon Rahm, who blades a chip, then races a long putt past the hole; his bogey drops him to +2.

Scheffler is getting a little bit ragged. Another wayward drive, this time into the trees down the left of the Homeric journey that is the 628-yard par-five 13th. Again he whips out, taking an aggressive line with so much trouble around, and again he nearly sends his ball into a watery grave. But the ball stops short, and he’s back in position. A good chance for an up and down to make birdie! Then he nearly dunks his lob wedge into a bunker. His ball just gets over, settling on the fringe, from where he’ll have a look at birdie from 20 feet, but he’s making heavy work for himself right now.

Three birdies in four holes for Aaron Wise, and the 25-year-old from Vegas rises to -2. His compatriot Patton Kizzire is alongside him after picking up shots at 13 and now 17. Birdie for Tommy Fleetwood at 10 brings the joyous Evertonian up to -1. And there are back-to-back birdies for Louis Oosthuizen at 10 and 11, repairing all the damage of an outward nine of 37. Last year’s joint runner-up is back to level par.

Scottie Scheffler chances his arm on 12. He flays his tee shot into the trees down the right. Spotting a gap between a couple of branches, he opts against taking his medicine and instead of carefully chipping out sideways, powers his ball through that gap instead. He clips a few leaves en route, and his ball nearly squirts into a creek on the other side of the fairway. It stops just short of trouble, and he’s able to chip close and scramble his pa… scrub that! He horseshoes out from a couple of feet, and drops to -1. Hmm. Meanwhile Shane Lowry can’t get up and down from the bunker at 14, but despite slipping back to +1, there’s no effing and blinding this time, so there’s no further attack of the vapours Chez Sky. All good news. Everybody happy.

Shane Lowry is battling with himself right now. He slices his second at the par-five 13th into the drink. He then chips from 85 yards to 15 feet and drains the par saver, but immediately dunks his tee shot at the following hole, a par-three, into deep sand at the front. He loudly utters the f-word, “fuck”, a couple of times, causing UK broadcaster Sky Sports to apologise to its audience of adults, despite it being nearly 11pm BST, quite some time past the watershed. Anyway, he’ll need another fine up and down if he’s to remain at level par.

Now it’s Collin Morikawa’s turn to bounce back with a birdie. He fires his tee shot at the par-three 11th straight at the flag. The ball threatens to topple back off the green, but sticks on the fringe, from where Morikawa guides in a left-to-right slider. He returns to level par.

It’s been a pretty miserable day for Patrick Cantlay. The reigning FedEx Cup champion took 38 strokes on his way out, and he’s just pulled a tiddler left of the cup at 12 to drop yet another shot. He’s +4.

The 2020 champion Collin Morikawa’s run of pars comes to a disappointing end. Bogey at 10, the result of sending his second shot into a bunker. He’s +1. A bounceback birdie for his playing partner Scottie Scheffler, though, and the Masters champ rises to -2 again.

The wind continues to blow. Not particularly dramatically, but enough to give the players pause for thought. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a low-energy afternoon. Not a great deal of excitement right now, other than Matt Fitzpatrick taking three to get down from the fringe at 7 and dropping back to -1. Plenty of time left for drama this week. It’ll come.

Tommy Fleetwood’s day gets better and better! First Everton secure their Premier League status by coming back from 2-0 down against Crystal Palace to win 3-2. Now he trundles in a chip from the front of 8 to get back to level par. A world-class shot! Nil satis nisi optimum.

Scottie Scheffler gets a huge break on 9. He hooks his tee shot into the trees down the left, but the ball pings back onto the fairway. The sort of thing that happens to world number ones. However he doesn’t take advantage of his good fortune, leaving his second short of the green. He can’t scramble par, and slips back to -1.

Ewan Murray is at Southern Hills. Here’s his take on Rory McIlroy’s fine opening round of 65. That was ten shots better than Lee Westwood, who has lost a sponsor over this LIV business, something also touched upon in this article. To reiterate: the LIV Golf Series can do one!

Matt Fitzpatrick sticks his tee shot at the par-three 6th pin high, 16 feet to the right. He rolls the putt straight into the cup, in the calm fashion, and rises to -2 again. He’s met there by Lucas Herbert, coming the other way after dunking his approach at 15 into deep sandy trouble.

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Scheffler (8), Schwartzel (6), Fitzpatrick (6), Herbert (6*)

Jon Rahm makes an awful balls of the par-three 8th. His tee shot takes a hot bounce over the back of the green. He then blades his chip past the flag and off the front. He can’t get up and down from 60 feet, and that’s a double that crashes him down the standings to +1. His partners are in better mood and better nick: Collin Morikawa has made eight straight pars, while Scottie Scheffler pars to remain at -2.

Jon Rahm plays from the bunker on the first.
Jon Rahm plays from the bunker on the first. Photograph: Matt York/AP

There’s not a great deal happening for Tommy Fleetwood. He’s +1 through 5 after dropping one at 3. But his beloved Everton are safe from relegation, so it’s swings and roundabouts!

… and Herbert was so very nearly joined there at -3 by Schwartzel! The South African looked to have rolled in a fairly straight downhill 12-footer on 5, only for the ball, just as it prepared to drop over the lip, took a little shimmy to the left and stayed up. Eh? Not sure how that happened, but there we have it. He remains at -2.

Lucas Herbert becomes the hottest player of the afternoon wave! The 26-year-old from Queensland won his first PGA Tour event earlier this season at the Bermuda Championship, and is the current Irish Open champion. So while he doesn’t have much of a record in the majors yet, he has form elsewhere. He’s just followed up birdies at 10 and 13 by curling a long-distance right-to-left swinger into the cup from the back of 14. He’s the only player from the second wave of starters to reach as high as -3. So far.

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F), Herbert (5*)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Scheffler (7), Schwartzel (4)

Justin Thomas has started to move in the wrong direction. He can’t get up and down from sand at the front of 9, and it’s back to back bogeys. He’s back where he started at level par.

Quite a few players have been struggling with the bunkers today. Tiger, for one. Brooks is another. Having failed to get up and down from sand at 8, he repeats the failure at 9, and the two-time champion is turning in 40 strokes. He’s +5, and these sort of days happen to us all. Succour for weekend hackers everywhere. Hey, we need it.

Justin Thomas drops his first stroke of the week. It’s the result of finding the bunker to the right of the par-three 8th. He slips back to -1. His place alongside Scottie Scheffler at -2 has been taken by 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who follows up birdie at 1 with another at 4.

Rickie Fowler holes out from a bunker at 7. The birdie cancels out the shot he dropped at the opening hole, and I can reveal that he’s still cutting quite the dash with his Vic Colfari moustache.

Brooks Koepka continues to struggle. He pulls his tee shot at the par-three 8th way to the left, then chunks his chip into a bunker. He can only hack out to 20 feet … but then rolls the bogey putt straight into the cup. Difficult to know whether that will make him a little happier or not. You’d suspect not. He’s +4. That hip must still be bothering him. Koepka playing with a dodgy hip, Bryson already withdrawn due to a sore wrist … this was supposed to be the rivalry of the age. Where’s our rivalry of the age?! Get well soon, fellows.

Belated word of John Daly. The 1991 champion was mixing it with the leaders for a while, but ran out of

whisky and water
steam towards the end. After bogeys at 14, 16, 17 and 18, the old boy signed for a still-decent 72. And never anything but entertaining. What a hero.

John Daly on his golf cart.
John Daly on his golf cart. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler makes mincemeat of the 665-yard par-five 5th! He bashes a 380 yard drive down the middle, then draws a fairway wood around the trees into the heart of the green, tucked away a little on the left. That’s ten feet away! That is absurd. He rolls in the putt, and all of a sudden the world number one and new Masters champion joins Jesse Mueller and Justin Thomas as the only players out there this afternoon at -2. His playing partner Jon Rahm’s birdie (-1) looks positively mundane by comparison.

Jesse Mueller bounces back immediately with birdie at 17! He nearly spins another approach into the cup from the centre of the fairway, but this one stops a couple of feet to the right of the hole. He pops in the putt and he’s back to -2. In do-si-do news, he once again swaps places with Matt Fitzpatrick, who yips a tiddler on 3 to ship a needless shot. He slips to -1.

It’s just not happening for Brooks Koepka. He crashes a huge drive down 7, then wedges to six feet. He looks to have confidently nailed the birdie putt, only for the ball to sling around the back of the cup and stop out. He’s forced to settle for par and remains at +3.

… and having brought up Mueller, the club pro drops his first stroke of the afternoon soon after. Bogey at 16, and he’s back to -1. He’s replaced at -2 by Justin Thomas, who birdies the super-long (665 yards) par-five 5th. Time for a look at that old leaderboard!

-5: McIlroy (F)
-4: Zalatoris (F), Hoge (F)
-3: Kuchar (F), Ancer (F)
-2: Kirk (F), Pereira (F), Schauffele (F), Smith (F), Na (F), Riley (F), Thomas, (5), Fitzpatrick (2)



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