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Sports Gary Woodland bounces back to take PGA Championship lead

04:30  10 august  2018
04:30  10 august  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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ST. LOUIS -- Gary Woodland bounced back from an opening bogey to shoot 6-under 64 on Thursday, moving him ahead of early leader Rickie Fowler in the PGA Championship at Bellerive. Woodland was still scuffling along at 1 over until making birdie at the par-5 eighth.

Gary Woodland 's clutch birdie putt at PGA Championship . Woods was 3 over through seven holes, and then clawed his way back to even par for a 70. "A lot of things could happen. Not a lot them were positive," Woods said.

Gary Woodland of the United States topped the leaderboard with a 6-under 64 on Day 1 of the PGA Championship.© Jeff Roberson/Associated Press Gary Woodland of the United States topped the leaderboard with a 6-under 64 on Day 1 of the PGA Championship.

Kansas-bred Gary Woodland felt right at home in enemy territory and delivered his best performance in a major Thursday at the PGA Championship.

Woodland used his power to birdie the two par 5s on the soft turf of Bellerive, and he relied on a new grip and new confidence in his putter for everything else on his way to a 6-under 64 for a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler in the opening round of the year's final major.

Woodland recognized close to 100 friends and family among thousands in a gallery that withstood the sweltering weather, and his only fault was trying too hard. He made a careless bogey on the opening hole, had to make a 15-foot par putt at No. 5. And then he settled down and was on his way.

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The official PGA TOUR profile of Gary Woodland . Of those, three were top-five showings, led by a runner-up finish at the Barracuda Championship . Forced to return Monday due to darkness Sunday evening, Moore birdied the first playoff hole to take the title.

Gary Woodland practicing during preview day one of The Open Championship 2018 at iParty: Fans at Bellerive take in first-round action of the PGA Championship . But the 42-year-old winner of 14 majors quickly bounced back to keep pace with Thomas, who shot 69, and McIlroy, who close at 70.

"This week is as close to home as I've been," Woodland said. "I snuck over here about a month ago and played the golf course. Really enjoyed the layout. The turf is very familiar to me. It's so hot here during the summer, so the greens are soft and slow. You can be more aggressive, which suits my game."

Fowler played in the morning, when the greens were slight smoother, and made five birdies over his last 11 holes for a 65. It was an important start for Fowler, who turns 30 this year and already is regarded as among the best without a major. The closest he has come to such a trophy is celebrating those won by his friends.

"It's not something I necessarily worry about," Fowler said. "Keep putting ourselves in position, get in contention ... we have had plenty of runner-ups. Jack [Nicklaus] had a lot of runner-ups. We'll just keep beating down that door."

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Gary Woodland caught fire on the back nine to take the Round 1 lead Thursday at the PGA Championship .

Gary Woodland ’s five birdies on the back nine pushed him past Rickie Fowler’s early lead in the first round of the PGA Championship . Woodland ’s Back -Nine Surge Tops Fowler’s Early Lead at Bellerive.

Bellerive allowed for low scoring, provided the ball stayed in the short grass. Woodland had an 18-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole that would have tied the PGA Championship record, and it stopped just short. It was one of the few he missed.

Johnson's costly drives

Two-time major champion Zach Johnson and Brandon Stone of South Africa were at 66.

Dustin Johnson reached 5 under until a few wild drives on the back nine cost him. The world's No. 1 player had to settle for a 67, along with Jason Day, Justin Rose and eight other players.

No sweat for Tiger

It was more of a struggle for Tiger Woods, drenched in so much sweat that he changed shirts after 12 shots — that was only two holes and a tee shot. He had to make an 8-foot putt to escape with bogey on No. 10, and then dumped a wedge into the water for double bogey on No. 11. Woods was 3 over through seven holes, and then clawed his way back to even par for a 70.

"A lot of things could happen. Not a lot them were positive," Woods said. "But I hung in there and turned it around."

Defending champion Justin Thomas let a good start slip away. He didn't make a putt outside a few feet over the last 12 holes and shot 69. Jordan Spieth, in his second crack at the career Grand Slam, opened with a double bogey and finished two bad swings off the tee that sent him to a 71.

The secret was simple: Avoid the rough.

Woodland, who played college basketball for one year at Washburn as a freshman before switching to golf at Kansas, is among the most powerful, athletic figures in golf. He had 145 yards to the front on No. 5 and couldn't get it to the green.

  • LEADERBOARD: PGA Championship
  • Snedeker takes 2-shot lead into weekend at Wyndham .
    Brandt Snedeker followed his opening 11-under 59 with a 67 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the Wyndham Championship. A day after becoming the 10th player in PGA Tour history to break 60, Snedeker moved to 14-under 126 halfway through the final PGA Tour event before the playoffs.D.A. Points shot a 64 to reach 12 under — one stroke ahead of C.T. Pan, who also had a 64. Canadian David Hearn, Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Harris English, Brett Stegmaier and Sergio Garcia were 9 under.

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