PGA Championship tracker: Day 1 at Whistling Straits

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 13, 2015, 11:45 am

The 97th PGA Championship takes place this week at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. GolfChannel.com is tracking the men's final major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. All-times for the PGA Championship tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).


8:00PM: It's official! That's three major championships in a row that Dustin Johnson has led after 18 holes. Could this finally be the one? We'll have to wait to find out. Thanks for following along with our live blog. Come hang out with us again tomorrow.


7:52PM: That four birdies and four bogeys for Phil Mickelson for an even-par 72 to open the PGA Championship.


7:49PM: B-T-Dub ... 'Live From' the PGA Championship is headed your way in 11 minutes, on Golf Channel or you can live stream here: http://www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream


7:38PM: Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth makes par at 18 for a 1-under 71, also. There is, however, no confusion as to what color his pants are.


7:37PM: Rory McIlroy finishes with bogey at 18 to shoot 1-under 71 in Round 1, but what's really important here is ...


7:30PM: Phil being Phil. After a birdie at 16, he found himself in a wee bit of trouble on 17:


7:27PM: DJ is still your outright leader after David Lingmerth posts a 5-under 67 in Round 1.


7:22PM: Looky who's now 1 under after a birdie at the 16th:


7:18PM: Not as many low scores in the afternoon, but these guys didn't notice:


7:11PM: Birdies for both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at the par-5 16th. McIlroy moves to 2 under; Spieth moves to 1 under. Who wants to see them birdie in?


7:08PM: DJ can't 'weight' to get back out for Round 2! He's off tomorrow at 2:20 p.m. ET.


6:55PM: Ian Baker-Finch with the line of the day in reference to Jordan Spieth's admonishment of his tee shot (that found a fairway bunker left): That's not what a snap-hook is. And I know what a snap hook is.


6:54PM: What he said ... Y.E. Yang (the 2009 PGA champion, you might recall) shot a first-round 70 to Tiger Woods' opening 73.


6:50PM: Score update for the Nos. 1 and 2 in the world: Rory McIlroy is 1 under through 15 and Jordan Spieth is even through 15. What's that? You want to know where the third player in their group is? Our bad - Zach Johnson is 2 over through 15.


6:45PM: Just kidding. David Lingmerth just made bogey at the par-4 sixth to drop back to 5 under and now trails DJ by one.


6:28PM: Dustin Johnson's got company. David Lingmerth joins DJ at 6-under par. Four holes to play in his first round.


6:24PM: Ladies and gentlemen ... Steve Stricker! Wisconsin native finishes off a 1-under 71 with a loud roar from the crowd.


6:10PM: Mark a fifth straight birdie for Koepka. After going out in 40, he's now under par on the day.


5:57PM: And within a span of about 30 seconds, Phil nearly holes one from the fairway, Spieth bounces back with a chip-in birdie and Brooks Koepka chips in for his fourth straight circle. The PGA Championship has officially started.


5:52PM: David Lingmerth continues to be the only player amongst those with a late tee time anywhere near the lead. He's one back through 12.


5:46PM: Zach Johnson makes par. Which is the most Zach Johnson sentence of all time.


5:45PM: Rory McIlroy gets to 1-under par with a birdie on 11. Jordan Spieth makes his first non-par of the day, but unfortunately it's a bogey, after lipping out his short par putt.


5:38PM: Skinny Jason Dufner makes a birdie on 10 ... Almost blows over in the wind picking the ball out of the cup.


5:30PM: Think the Day family is happy with his opening 68?


5:25PM: And that's three more pars for the featured group. McIlroy with the 6-footer in heavy wind.


5:17PM: Rory chipping out of some knee-high grass on 10. And considering he could probably barely see the ball, putting it on the green some 50 feet from the hole isn't so bad.


5:05PM: And Zach Johnson pours in a birdie. Rory follows with one of his own. Spieth makes another par. All sit at even par as they head to the back nine.


4:55PM: Phil bouncing back from that bogey.


4:49PM: And ... our featured group of Spieth, McIlroy and ZJ at 2-over combined through eight holes. Spieth leading the threesome with 8 straight pars. Electric stuff.


4:39PM: Mickelson standing a solid couple feet above his ball on No. 8 in the bunker ... and he hits it to a five feet. And in Classic Phil fashion he misses the putt. Makes bogey. Back to even.


4:33PM: Dustin Johnson's take on once again sitting in the driver's seat at a major:


4:25PM: All the cool kids are playing out of the water.


4:12PM: While Rory, Jordan and Zach are having their fair share of problems in the wind, David Lingmerth is in solo second thanks to a tap-in birdie at No. 16. He's 5 under through seven holes.


4:04PM: Because we haven't had a depressing Tiger update in 34 minutes.


4:02PM: Rory McIlroy just put on a clinic in playing from the water, rolling up just one pant leg, and getting up-and-down for par.


3:52PM: Separately, after throwing his ball into the water on No. 4, Zach Johnson hit his drive into the water on 5. Two down.


3:50PM: Make that 4 under through six holes for Lingmerth, who's quickly gotten himself into a tie for second, just two back of the lead.


3:45PM: Your reigning Memorial champ is setting the pace for the afternoon wave as the wind continues to pick up.


3:36PM: Zach Johnson made bogey at the par-4 fourth, and promptly chucked his ball into Lake Michigan.


3:30PM: Might tomorrow be Tiger's last round of the season?


3:20PM: Details for the statistic below. Tiger closed with a 73 at the Masters, missed the weekend with 80-76 at the U.S. Open and left the British early after 76-75.


3:12PM: Phil Mickelson is off and running. This for birdie at No. 1:


3:08PM: Guess who, who and who.


2:59PM: We should see if Norm wants to run this tracker some time.

Rory ended up tapping in for birdie to get back to even through two after an opening bogey.


2:49PM: Ian Baker-Finch on the telecast explains that the good news after Zach Johnson's hooked second shot is that his ball actually hit someone in the back, resulting in a favorable kick. So Zach's got that going for him. Which is ... you know.


2:45PM: You can probably expect another good round from DJ tomorrow. Question is - what happens over the weekend?


2:35PM: Post-round quotes from Big Cat. Right on about the putting - at least.

That was 33 putts in total, by the way.


2:29PM: As for the other two PGA champs in Tiger's group, Martin Kaymer posted a 2-under 70 with a double bogey on his final hole, while Keegan Bradley needed to close birdie-birdie just to shoot 4 over. That's five birdies, seven bogeys and a double for Keegs.


2:26PM: On a far less exciting note, Tiger Woods is in the house with a 3-over 75. That's currently tied for 94th, with the morning wave coming to its close. And Tiger Tracker is once again on cut watch after Round 1.


2:20PM: And here ... we ... go.


2:19PM: It's unlikely this will ever get old.


2:15PM: Dustin Johnson is in the clubhouse with a 6-under 66. Five birdies and an eagle against a single bogey. Playing in the same group, Jason Day is just two off the early pace after a 4-under 68. Cards:


2:09PM: While purists continue to miss "Glory's Last Shot," this slogan makes for a better picture.


2:03PM: Rory shaping it on the range:


1:55PM: If you've yet to see it, here's Anirban Lahiri's prize for winning the Long Drive on Tuesday. Check the hastags.


1:48PM: Dustin Johnson is rarely anything other than low key, but his coach, Butch Harmon, told Steve Sands on Thursday that DJ believes "this place," Whistling Straits, "owes him something."


1:40PM: Not only did Billy Horschel pose for this picture, he retweeted it. He must really like that shirt.


1:37PM: Hideki Matsuyama, who at one point held the lead at 5 under, finished with a 2-under 70. What happened? Check out Nos. 6-9, his final four holes of the day.


1:30PM: Fifty minutes to go. These two and the British Open champ off at 2:20.


1:28PM: Rematch of WGC-Cadillac Championship?


1:24PM: So there's that ...


1:15PM: That's one heck of a line off the tee ...


1:13PM: English, Holmes and Day are one back of DJ. Holmes has birdied four of his last five holes.


1:03PM: Tiger's slide continues ...


1:01PM: Ouch! Fowler makes a quad on par-3 3rd, follows up with a birdie on 4, but still he's even par.


12:55PM: DJ rebounds with a birdie on par-4 4th. He's at 6 under and leads by two over six players.


12:48PM: Bjorn bogeys par-3 17th, DJ now leads alone again at 5 under. Kuchar makes fourth birdie in last five holes and joins group at 4 under.


12:45PM: Not ideal:


12:40PM: At No. 3, DJ makes his first bogey. Drops back into a share of the lead with Bjorn at 5 under.


12:28PM: Matt Kuchar and J.B. Holmes have both made back-to-back birdies to join a large group at 3 under, three behind DJ.


12:14PM: DJ now has the lead at 6 under. Day two back after an eagle on par-5 2nd, Fowler at 3 under.


11:57AM: DJ and Matsuyama join Bjorn at 5 under. Matt Jones is one back.


11:51AM: Tiger bogeys par-4 18th and makes the turn at 1 over par.


11:41AM: DJ wasting no time getting in contention:


11:31AM: Bjorn takes the lead with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. He's at 5 under, one ahead of English, DJ and Matsuyama.


11:22AM: Interesting note below. DJ currently shares the lead while Spieth tees off at 2:20 p.m. ET.


11:18AM: It's a birdie! Tiger cards his first circle of the round, at the par-5 16th. He's back to even par, four back.


11:16AM: Let's make it four at 4 under. Harris English birdies the eighth to tie for the lead.


11:13AM: Thomas Bjorn makes it a trio at the top. He birdies the par-5 11th to reach 4 under.


11:04AM: Dustin Johnson eagles the par-5 16th. He's at 4 under, tied for the lead.


11:04AM: Oh, dear:


11AM: A little over four hours into play, here's a look at where things stand:


10:57AM: Tiger update through six:


10:50AM: An Ernie Els sighting on the leaderboard. He's among a massive group at 2 under, two off the lead.


10:42AM: Tyrrell Hatton, yes, Tyrrell Hatton is one off the lead with three birdies over his first four holes. And, no, he's not a club pro. He's 23-year-old Englishman ranked 93rd in the world.


10:39AM: Three-putt bogey for Woods at the par-4 14th. He's now 1 over through five holes, five off the lead.


10:32AM: Look who's back in major contention: Louis Oosthuizen, who has finished T-2 in each of his last two majors, is at 2 under, two back. That's a lot of twos.


10:22AM: Hideki Matsuyama claims the outright lead with a birdie at 18, his ninth hole of the day.


10:18AM: Harris English birdies Nos. 2-4 to tie for the lead at 3 under.


10:14AM: Among those currently over par: Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Bill Haas and 2004 Whistling winner Vijay Singh.


10:11AM: Sixty of the 78 players on the course right now are at even par or better.


9:57AM: Tiger update: From off the green in two at the par-5 11th, Woods uses putter three times for par.


9:50AM: Make it a four-way tie for the lead. Hideki Matsuyama and Robert Streb have reached 3 under. Meanwhile, club pro Brian Gaffney is at 2 under through eight.


9:40AM: Ryan Moore pulled a Paul Casey. He's gone birdie-birdie-birdie - but on the opposite nine - to reach 3 under.


9:36AM: Check it out:


9:32AM: Paul Casey starts his day birdie-birdie-birdie to break from the pack. And it was almost an even better beginning


9:27AM: Carl Pettersson is about to begin his round. He got in the field Thursday morning when Gary Woodland withdrew.


9:25AM: Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler birdied their opening hole, the par-4 10th. Tiger, playing in the group behind, did not.


9:16AM: Tiger Woods hits the fairway with his opening tee shot. That seems notable, nowadays.


9:14AM: Six players now tied at 2 under, including: Sabbatini, Matsuyama, Hadley, Streb, Kuchar and Moore.


9:04AM: Looks good for the early groups, as we are seeing some red numbers out of the gates.


9AM: Hideki Matsuyama was a popular pick this week. He's on the board early with a birdie at No. 2.


8:48AM: Rory leads the PGA! Sabbatini, that is. The South African is 3 under through four holes.


8:38AM: Hopefully, Tiger gets off to a better start than Tracker.


8:30AM: And right behind that group are Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer and Keegan Bradley.


8:15AM: Rickie's ready. Fowler goes out with Jason Day and Dustin Johnson at 9:05 a.m. ET


8AM: Here's a look at the hole locations for Day 1 at Whistling Straits.


7:45AM: We're live in Round 1 of the 97th PGA Championship!

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry