Day, Todd share the honours

Star-studded group lying second; Woods three off the pace

Australia’s Jason Day shot a bogey-free five-under 65 to take a share of the lead in the opening round of the PGA Championship, the first Major of the pandemic-interrupted season, on Thursday.

The 2015 PGA champion Day rolled in five birdies for a one-shot cushion with co-leader Brendon Todd atop a star-studded, crowded leaderboard at the TPC Harding Park course here.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, England’s Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Bud Cauley, Scottie Scheffler, France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Brendan Steele are close behind at four-under 66.

Muted ambience

The relatively muted atmosphere proved no hindrance to Day, who is coming off a string of top 10 finishes. Todd, who already has two PGA Tour wins this season, had eight birdies as he was part of the afternoon wave which had to battle more difficult weather conditions.

Koepka, who is chasing history by trying to become the first three-peat PGA Major winner in almost a century, sank four birdies on the final six holes of his front nine after starting his round from the 10th tee where he made bogey.

Reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods showed why it is never wise to count him out of a Major, shooting a solid 68 to join another large group at two under, three shots behind the leaders.

The scores:

65: Jason Day (Aus), Brendon Todd (USA); 66: Zach Johnson (USA), Bud Cauley (USA), Brendan Steele (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Scottie Scheffler (USA), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Xander Schauffele (USA), Justin Rose (Eng).

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