The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS–There were few bogey-free rounds among the morning wave at the PGA Championship at Bellerive, but Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day have a couple of them to sit two-under and one shot off the lead.
Some thought rains early in the week that softened the course, coupled with relatively slow greens, would lead to someone going low.
But there appears to be enough teeth in the length and deep rough at Bellerive that bogeys–and worse, for Phil Mickelson–are offsetting the birdies.
“Lefty” was one-under through five holes but two bogeys and two doubles had him at five-over at last report late this morning.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Rickie Fowler’s on-again, off-again form carried over from last week at Firestone.
Fowler opened with a 63 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, shot 74 on Friday, then had a 65 to get into contention Saturday.
He finished with a 73 that dropped him into a tie for 17th.
So naturally, Fowler was due for a good first round at Bellerive. And he’s delivered so far with two birdies on his second nine to reach three-under, joining Justin Thomas and Stewart Cink in the lead.
Tiger Woods made the turn at two-over.
Thomas, the defending champ who who also won last week at Firestone, had three birdies in his first six holes and was tied atop the leaderboard among the early wave at Bellerive.
Thomas has experience defending titles. He did it at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in 2015 and ’16.
Woods was the last player to win back-to-back PGAs in 2006 and ’07.