SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest from the opening round of the PGA Championship in San Francisco:
Brendon Todd is back in the PGA Championship for the first time in five years and is tied for the lead.
Todd, who recovered from a wicked case of the yips that dropped him out of the top 2,000 players in the world, won twice on the PGA Tour in the fall and now is among the top 50.
He made a 10-foot par putt on his final hole to join Jason Day at 5-under 65. They were one shot ahead of nine players, including two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka.
As the first round at Harding Park was winding down, it was shaping up as a low day for scoring. Nearly half of the field was at par or better, including Tiger Woods at 68.
Day is a former PGA champion and no stranger to be at the top of the board in a major. This is only the ninth major Todd has played, and the second time he has opened with a round in the 60s.
Bryson DeChambeau released “the Kraken,” and the Kraken didn’t come back.
The bulked-up golfer broke his driver, which he has nicknamed “the Kraken,” after teeing off on the seventh hole in the opening round of the PGA Championship on Thursday. A rules official said he would be allowed to replace the club during the round, and a member of DeChambeau’s support team fetched another shaft for him.
“That was weird,” DeChambeau said as he walked toward the green, still holding the pieces. “I guess it’s all those swings I put in.”
DeChambeau gained as much as 40 pounds during the coronavirus shutdown, consuming up to 6,000 calories per day with the goal of getting “huge.” He is the longest-driving player on the tour.
But this time he was too strong for his own good.
DeChambeau hit what appeared to be a normal tee shot 296 yards into the rough on the par-4, 340-yard seventh hole at TPC Harding Park. But when he bent over to pick up his tee, the club snapped under him.
“It was bound to break,” DeChambeau said. “I’ve been using it for a long time.”
2015 PGA Champion Jason Day has the early lead in the first round of the year’s first major.
Day shot a 5-under 65 over the 7,251-yard TPC Harding Park to head to the clubhouse in front. Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was in a group of nine one stroke behind at minus-4, with some of the morning tee times still on the course.
Day had a bogey-free round that included a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole.
Scottie Scheffler is the first one in the clubhouse at 4-under in the opening round of the PGA Championship. He’s tied for fourth with three other players, including two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka.
Scheffler was up there at minus-5 with Martin Kaymer, Xander Schauffele and Zach Johnson before hitting his tee shot into the left rough and making bogey on his final hole of the day.
Scheffler was in the first group off the 10th tee in the morning.
“Going first out was definitely an advantage, even though it was pretty cold when we started,” he said. “It warmed up fairly quick.”
Major champions are starting to populate the leaderboard at the PGA Championship, including some names that haven’t been heard from in a while.
Martin Kaymer, a PGA champion in 2010 and a U.S. Open champion in 2014, was at 5 under through 14 holes at the TPC Harding Park. He was in a four-way tie that included Zach Johnson, whose last major was at St. Andrews five years ago.
Kaymer is No. 128 in the world. Johnson is at No. 210.
What they have in common — aside from a good start — is the last majors they won was the last tournaments they won.
Scottie Scheffler, a PGA Tour rookie from Texas, and Xander Schauffele also were at 5 under.
Another shot back was Jason Day, who won the PGA Championship five years ago. He wasn’t won in two years.
Brooks Koepka was 3 under through 12 holes, just the start he needed. Tiger Woods, after a quick start, was back to even par through 12.
Zach Johnson and Scottie Scheffler are off to an early lead at 4 under at the PGA Championship.
Starting on the back nine, Johnson was through eight holes after three straight birdies at TPC Harding Park. Scheffler was through 12 holes.
Dustin Johnson and Jason Day were at 3 under. Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was tied for fifth at minus-2 through eight holes in the first round on Thursday. Koepka would be the first golfer to win the tournament three times in a row since Walter Hagen won four in a row almost 100 years ago.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka has teed off a TPC Harding Park as he tries to become the first golfer to win three PGA Championships in a row since Walter Hagen.
Koepka teed off on the back nine on Thursday morning and parred his first hole.
Koepka would be the first player ever to win the PGA Championship three straight times in stroke play. Hagen won four in a row from 1924-27, when it was match play.
The threesome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas also teed off from the back nine on Thursday morning.
Brian Harman hit the opening shot at the PGA Championship on Thursday, and it was clear as he looked down the first fairway at TPC Harding Park that it was a historic moment.
The fairway was lined by trees, not people.
The COVID-19 pandemic that forced the PGA Championship to move from May to August also led to this being the first major championship without spectators. That includes family members of the 156 players in the field, and limited media.
A few volunteers took out mobile phones to capture the moment. The starter announced in a microphone, “From Sea Island, Georgia, Brian Harman.” And there was no applause. There was no need for a microphone, either, but old habits die hard.
Harman pulled his tee shot into the rough. At least he found it. There is only one marshal for each hole, down from 12.
This is the first major of the year, with the Masters moved to November, the U.S. Open moved ot September and the British Open moved to 2021.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods were among those playing in the morning.
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