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. 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:

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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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.