Dustin Johnson leads US PGA with Jordan Spieth primed to pounce
First round US PGA leader Dustin Johnson (9/2 with Coral to win) is leading the field at six-under-par, as he capitalised on an early tee-off time at Whistling Straits.
“Today was pretty easy, I would have to say,” said Johnson after his opening round. “I was swinging well and I was hitting the shots where I was looking and I really felt like I was just super patient, stayed focused all day.
“I really felt like I had my ball under control a lot like I did at the US Open.”
Meanwhile, world number one Rory McIlroy (10/1) looks comfortable after injury earlier in the season and joins two-time Major winner on American soil this year, Jordan Spieth (15/2 for a third) on one-under-par with.
“It was a solid round of golf,” said McIlroy. “I’m happy with the way I struck the ball. I think anything under par this afternoon was a decent score.”
Tiger Woods, though, left a lot to be desired after some considerably under-par putting throughout the round. “I hit it great today, but I made actually nothing,” he said. “Probably one of the worst putting rounds I’ve had in a very long time.
“But I hit it good today, so that’s about it. I just had no feel at all for the speed [on the greens]. It was awful,” he continued.
“My speed was bad, hence speed determines line, so that was off. I either left them short or blew them by. Just didn’t have the speed at all.”
England’s Justin Rose (11/1), who has had a solid year in the Majors, is also well-positioned to make a move, after finishing on three-under-par.
“It’s the perfect start, really,” the world number six admitted. “I think obviously when you go and shoot seven, eight or nine under in a major in the first round, it’s a lot of pressure to absorb for the rest of the week, because you’re in contention.
“It’s a platform on which I can build now for the rest of the week. You can never win it on Thursday, you can only lose it.”