Woods gets into frame on 1st day, is three behind leaders at PGA Championship

American golf great Tiger Woods ensured he was in the frame as he produced three birdies in a four-hole run on his second nine at the ongoing PGA Championship. Though he was tied-20th, Woods was only three shots behind Jason Day, who had his best opening day in a Major with a five-under 65.

Woods, on Thursday, started on the back nine and birdied 10th and 13th before giving back shots on 14th and second. Then came a good run with birdies on fourth, fifth and seventh but an eight-foot par miss cost him a shot on the eighth to finish with 68, three behind Day.

Sharing the lead with Day was in-form Brendon Todd, who has twice won this season, and been in contention multiple times more.

Brooks Koepka’s ‘A’ game shows up every time it is a Major. At 66, he was one shot behind the co-leaders. Koepka was in a group of nine players, many of whom are seasoned and past Major champions, including Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and Zach Johnson.

Koepka is trying to do what has not been done in over 90 years – win a third successive PGA Championship. While the PGA has not been won three or more times in succession since 1927, no Major has been won three times in a row since Peter Thomson at The Open in 1956.

Todd was as impressive, if not more, despite playing in the afternoon when the wind was stronger. Todd had seven birdies and two bogeys.

Woods turned up with a new putter, which never looked better than while coaxing the golf ball into the cup on fourth, fifth and seventh on his second nine. The solid 68 was very good for someone who has played just once since February.

Among the putts that caught the eye were the 32-foot birdie on 13th, his fourth hole of the day, and a 20-footer par putt on the 18th, his ninth of the round. The weather, too, was not too cold for him and Woods said, “I thought anything today in the red was going to be good.”

Playing with Woods were Rory McIlroy and World No. 1 Justin Thomas. Woods outscored both. McIlroy overcame three straight bogeys early in his 70, while Thomas shot 71.

Among other prominent players were Gary Woodland and Daniel Berger with 67 each, Shane Lowry, Adam Scott and Viktor Hovland with 68 each and Dustin Johnson (69).

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