Spieth, McIlroy, ZJ put on the clock during Round 1

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – While lengthy rounds at major championships are nothing new, it is noteworthy when the day’s marquee group finds themselves competing against a stopwatch as well as the golf course.

It’s exactly the position the threesome of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson found themselves late on the back nine on Day 1 at the PGA Championship.

As winds buffeted Whistling Straits and play slowed to a crawl the group was informed by officials on the 15th hole they were on the clock, which neither surprised nor concerned the trio.

“There wasn't much you could do about why it was slow, it was because of the conditions,” said Spieth, who matched McIlroy with a 1-under 71. “I didn't think much of it. You just kind of go with it. And we were being timed and they just said, try and pick up the pace and nothing happened from there.”

Spieth jokingly figured it took the group about 45 minutes to play the par-5 fifth hole when McIlroy was forced to play a shot from a pond left of the green, and the threesome was largely slowed by winds that gusted to 25 mph and a tough day for Johnson, who struggled to find the fairway on Thursday and shot a 3-over 75.