It is tight at the top of the PGA Championship at Valhalla with three players tied at the end of play on the first day.
Lee Westwood found some much-needed form to share the top of the PGA Championship leaderboard with Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer. All three players carded a first round of -6 under par 65 at Valhalla Golf Course.
Lee spoke about the return to form, which started with a good showing last week, but his round here did include two bogey’s;
“Last week was a big week for me, I felt like I had turned the corner and I was starting to swing it a lot better but that’s no good unless you start converting it into low rounds. The first three rounds were frustrating because I played a lot better than three over.”
“Then obviously I got it going the final day, shot 63. I tried to keep it low-key in the practice rounds here, just playing nine holes each day, and carry that momentum through to the first round, which I’ve managed to do.”
Kevin is another player who has suddenly clicked, with his bogey free opening round;
“I guess I was in a good rhythm out there. Drove the ball well, hit a lot of greens and gave myself some opportunities and I was able to take advantage of it, something that hasn’t happened a lot for me this year”
Ryan has also been out of the spotlight recently, but said he is playing well, just been waiting for a low round to come along;
“After Colonial I felt like I was playing good golf, just couldn’t get a round in there. I missed a U.S. Open cut, but made the cut at the Scottish and British Open. Played decent in D.C., but couldn’t get that low round in there.”
“So I knew my game was in good shape, it was just a matter of getting the result. It was nice to finally get a result out of it. It’s great knowing that I can come out tomorrow and keep moving forward and try to build on where I’m at. It’s hard to come out when you are struggling Thursday and you come out Friday knowing you got to shoot low to make the cut.”
The man everyone is talking about, Rory McIlroy has made a good start to this competition, he is one of five players who are just one shot off the lead at -5 under par. Rory’s round included a double bogey 7 on the par 5 10th and followed that with a bogey at the very next hole, the par 3 11th. He responded well to those mishaps;
“I was really annoyed, the second shot on ten was actually a bit of a shock, it’s the worst shot I have hit the last few weeks. It came out of the blue and knocked me off track but to come back the way I did was great. I really needed that. It could have been a couple better but if those last few putts had dropped but 66 is a solid start.”
The others joining Rory on that -5 under par total are; Jim Furyk, Chris Wood, Henrik Stenson and Edoardo Molinari.
The other player in the news is Tiger Woods, with his sore back, he did not play too well today, scoring a first round +3 over par 74, to be T109. He summed it all up thus;
“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, and I didn’t get a putt to the hole. That’s not a good combo.”