FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship on Thursday at Bethpage Black (all times local):
Tiger Woods got off to a struggling start to the PGA Championship when he double-bogeyed his first hole, the 10th, in the opening round.
Woods, fresh off his Masters victory for his 15th career major, drove into the rough and had to pitch out to the fairway. His third shot sailed past the green, and he needed three more to get into the hole for a 6. He then parred the next four holes.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka fared much better with a birdie on 10 and another on 14 to be one stroke behind early leader Matt Wallace.
British Open champ Francesco Molinari bogeyed the 10th and 12th but birdied 14 in the group with Woods and Koepka to stand at 1 over.
Wallace, from England, birdied Nos. 1, 2 and 4 on a sunny but windy morning.
Tiger Woods is back at Bethpage Black after a late decision to skip the final round of practice at the PGA Championship.
Woods had planned to play the front nine early Wednesday morning, but never showed up at the course. That led to speculation his surgically-repaired back was acting up. His manager says all was fine.
Coming off his emotional win at the Masters, Woods is in the traditional group of current major champions. He is with U.S. Open and PGA champion Brooks Koepka and British Open champion Francesco Molinari.
The forecast was good. The course was soft and wet. The scores were predictable. With a two-tee start, players starting on the back nine had a far more difficult start. Thomas Pieters opened with a triple bogey at No. 10. Kiradech Aphibarnrat had back-to-back double bogeys.
The only early drama was J.J. Spaun. He was in the first group and walked onto the tee at No. 1 with a minute to spare, avoiding a two-shot penalty. It didn’t seem to bother him. He was 2 under through four holes.
Tiger Woods goes after his next major on a familiar golf course for a PGA Championship held on an unfamiliar spot on the calendar.
The 101st PGA Championship began Thursday morning on Bethpage Black, the first time it has been held in May since 1949. The public course known as the “people’s country club” previously hosted two U.S. Opens.
Rob Labritz, one of 20 club professionals in the 156-man field, hit the opening tee shot under a clearing sky on a course still damp from rain. He sent it well to the right in the rough among the trees.
Woods plays later in the morning with defending champion Brooks Koepka and British Open champion Francesco Molinari. Woods has not played a practice round since nine holes Monday morning.
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