Sports

Tiger Woods falters late, seems to favor injured leg; Rory McIlroy in lead


The second main males’s golf championship of 2022 is underway in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as Southern Hills Country Club hosts the PGA Championship for the fifth time.

Four-time PGA champion Tiger Woods is enjoying within the event’s highest-profile grouping with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the primary two rounds.

McIlroy stole the highlight early, capping a 5-under 65 with a birdie on 18 a take the clubhouse lead. Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge sit one shot again. Woods, in the meantime, struggled to a 74.

Two of the largest names in males’s golf aren’t within the subject. Defending champion Phil Mickelson, who turned the oldest golfer to win a significant title at age 50, has determined to not take part. And 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau withdrew on Wednesday as he continues to recuperate from wrist surgical procedure.

THE COURSE: Southern Hills yardage e book

‘I’LL BE READY’: Tiger Woods says he can win fifth PGA Championship

ARMOUR: What’s unhappy is not Phil lacking the PGA Championship. It’s Mickelson himself

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Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 17th hole as Tiger Woods looks on during Thursday's first round of the PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the seventeenth gap as Tiger Woods seems to be on throughout Thursday’s first spherical of the PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy off to quick begin with opening-round 65

TULSA, Okla. – Earlier within the week, Rory McIlroy spoke to his need to begin main championships on a greater be aware.

Mission achieved.

McIlroy stole the highlight from his co-stars in Thursday’s first spherical of the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills, grabbing the clubhouse lead with a 5-under 65 whereas Tiger Woods limped residence with a 74 and Jordan Spieth grinded his option to a 72 in entrance of large however subdued galleries.

“It was a great start to the tournament,” McIlroy stated. “I’ve been playing well coming in here. I’ve been carrying some good form. And played good in the practice rounds earlier this week.”

The four-time major champion and two-time Wanamaker Trophy winner is well aware that it’s been nearly eight years since he won one of the game’s most coveted titles, his last coming in the 2014 PGA Championship. One of the reasons behind the drought has been his inability to get off on the right foot. In the past eight years, his average in the first round is nearly 2.5 strokes higher than the other three rounds.

— Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek

Tiger Woods hungry for a win at Southern Hills

It’s only the first of two days together, but Tiger Woods being paired with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy is been so much fun to watch.

You know what else was fun to watch? Tiger eating a sandwich and going through Spieth’s bag while the group waited on the fourth tee box.

Look at this:

Tremendous.

Tiger then went on to birdie that hole, because of course.

Also, Twitter loved the sandwich.

— Andy Nesbitt, For The Win

Night and day scoring for morning and afternoon play

After a rush of low scores started the day — perhaps due to more favorable conditions before drier air rolled in — scoring in the afternoon has been notably lower.

The best scores of the late groups belong to Scottie Scheffler (2-under through 11), Charl Schwartzel (2-under through 9) and Lucas Herbert (2-under through 8).

All is not lost for the afternoon slate, however, as 10 players (Talor Gooch, K.H. Lee, Jesse Mueller, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Matt Fitzpatrick, Alex Beach, Jhonattan Vegas, Patton Kizzire and Aaron Wise) were all sitting at 1-under, while still on the course.

Hot start for Herbert

No player has started hotter in the first round than Australian Lucas Herbert. Beginning his first round on the back 9, Herbert raced out with three birdies in his first five holes, including consecutive ones on Nos. 13 and 14.

That has put him in a tie for fourth with Mexican Abraham Ancer, and just two strokes off the lead.

Elsewhere, Rickie Fowler found himself in some trouble on No. 7, when his approach landed in the bunker. He managed to save par with a beautifully-played chip out of the sand to get back to even-par.

World’s No. 1 makes his move

American Scottie Scheffler started his day with a consistent string of pars. Then, he went aggressive at No. 5.  From 308 yards, while on the fairway, Scheffler didn’t choose to lay up. He crushed a fairway wood with a beautiful approach that landed on the green that left him with a manageable eagle chance.

He converted it and now sits in a tie for sixth place at 2-under par.

Zalatoris shines on green

American Will Zalatoris, who doesn’t have a single PGA Tour victory in his career, let alone a major, may be the early surprise of the PGA Championship. Yet, after a clean first round Thursday, in which he posted only two bogeys, the 25-year-old is sitting in a two-way tie for second place at 4-under, just one stroke off the lead.

To do that, Zalatoris was effective with his putter. According to the PGA Tour, he made a career-high 150 feet, 4 inches in made putts in the first round.

Swish!

Talor Gooch had one chance to save par on the difficult par-4 16th, and he had to do it coming out of the bunker. Not only did he save par, his shot didn’t even have to hit the green to do so as he sunk his chip shot straight into the pin.

Tiger finishes round, favors leg injured in car crash

Tiger Woods tees off at the 12th tee during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament.

Tiger Woods tees off at the 12th tee during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament.

With Tiger Woods’ first round now approaching its fifth hour, Woods may be feeling the effects of prolonged playing on his right leg, the one he injured in his car crash from February of 2021. As he was walking up to the green on No. 8, the second-to-last hole Woods will play Thursday, he appeared to have a slight limp. He had appeared to be favoring his leg on No. 7, too, right after he appeared to grimace after his tee shot. Later, he also grimaced after his tee shot on No. 9.

Still, Woods finished his round, although his play was inconsistent. He posted bogeys on No. 8 and No. 9, which put him at 4-over par for the day. That gave Woods five bogeys on the front 9, and six bogeys in his final 10 holes. At the time his round ended, he was in a tie for 81st.

“I drove it well, but my iron shots were not very good,” Woods said after the round in an interview with ESPN. “I didn’t get the ball very close. I got off to a great start and didn’t keep it going. I really didn’t give myself any looks for birdie. I was struggling trying to get the ball on the green, and I missed quite a few iron shots both ways. It was a frustrating day.”

Woods acknowledged that his leg wasn’t “feeling as good as I would like it to be” but said he would focus on recovery to get it ready for Friday’s round.

Rory loses but then regains sole lead

After he dropped his first stroke of the day on No. 6, the 15th hole McIlroy had played, he bogeyed No. 8 to give him two in three holes. That has opened up a small window for what is becoming a crowded leaderboard.

McIlroy was no longer the sole leader and was tied for first at 4-under par with Americans Tom Hoge and Will Zalatoris heading into his final hole of the day. McIlroy, however, bounced back and finished his first round strong, sinking a birdie putt to close his round at 5-under par, good enough for a one-stroke lead.

Rory McIlroy excelling with his driver

One reason why Rory McIlroy has built a two-stroke lead and has reached 5-under par so early in the first round is because of his effectiveness off the tee box.

McIlroy, always known for having solid power with the driver, has launched his tee shots to put himself in manageable positions to gain strokes.

Americans all over the leaderboard

One of the early stories in the PGA Championship is the overwhelming American presence atop the leaderboard. Though Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) is in the lead, six of the next nine players are all from the U.S. Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge are tied for second at 3-under with South African Dean Burmester, while Chris Kirk, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink are all tied for fifth at 2-under.

Elsewhere, Cameron Smith joined the latter group of Americans after a beautiful shot from the fairway on his approach on No. 5 that set up a short birdie putt that also put him at 2-under.

Rough stretch for Tiger Woods, who regroups on 3

After bogeying No. 18th before making the turn to the front 9, Woods made it three in a row, adding a stroke on each of No. 1 and No. 2. It was a problem of misplaced tee shots that landed in bunkers, and then poor shots to get out of them.

Yet Woods stopped the bleeding, and gained a stroke on the par-4 No. 3 to climb back to 1-over par, which was six shots behind his playing partner and current leader, Rory McIlroy, at 5-under par.

More on Rory McIlroy’s start

Rory McIlroy’s pursuit of his first major victory since 2014 is off to a big start in the opening holes of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

The Northern Irishman had a run of four consecutive birdies that earned him a spot at the top of the leaderboard at 4 under after nine holes. Playing with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth in the featured group of the first round, McIlroy birdied holes Nos. 12-15. The group started on No. 10.

McIlroy is seeking his fifth major championship. He won the PGA in 2012 and 2014. He hasn’t led a round of a major championship since that 2014 victory.

— The Associated Press

Tiger Woods finishes back 9 at even par; Rory McIlroy maintains lead

Woods had an excellent opportunity for a birdie on 16, leaving his approach shot 20 yards from the hole, but his putt went past the hole, and he was able to save par.

On 17, Woods went over two bunkers and another birdie chance passed him by as his opportunity to close the gap on McIlroy missed the left cup for a tap-in par, leaving him three shots behind the leader.

Woods had to wait nearly eight minutes to tee off on 18 and drove his tee shot on the par 4 on hole about 323 yards, which landed near the creek and about 160 yards from the pin. He had to settle for a bogey and is back at even par.  Of the first 21 golfers to play the 18th on Thursday, only one managed to birdie the hole. Woods is through 9.

Tiger Woods bogeys 15; Rory McIlroy on fire

Tiger Woods had a rough start on No. 15, which is a par 4, 405-yard hole. His tee shot hit the rough and he struggled to gain his footing from there as he ended up bogeying the hole to drop to 1-under par.

After two straight pars to begin his round, Rory McIlroy birdied four straight holes (12, 13, 14, 15) and currently has a one-shot lead over Max Homa, Will Zalatoris and Justin Rose, with John Daly close behind a 2-under.

Tiger Woods off to fast start

Woods has won at Southern Hills Country Club, taking home the Wanamaker Trophy in 2007. Woods seeking his fifth PGA Championship. He started off at the back nine at No. 10 with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Woods birdied the first hole to get off to a fast start. In Woods’ last appearance at Southern Hills, he also birdied the 10th hole to start the tournament.

Phil Mickelson not missed at PGA

TULSA, Okla. – Tuesday’s Champions Dinner at the PGA Championship was light on past winners of the Wanamaker Trophy.

Just over 10 PGA champs attended the dinner in the main clubhouse of Southern Hills Country Club, home this week to the 104th PGA Championship.

Among the missing? Phil Mickelson.

“Phil was not missed,” stated Dave Stockton, who received the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976. “I think Phil would have been a big distraction. The story here this week is the PGA.”

Mickelson would have hosted the dinner after turning into the oldest main champion final yr when he received the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island two months shy of turning 51. Mickelson elected to not defend his title this yr as he prolonged his self-imposed hiatus from the sport following disparaging remarks of the PGA Tour and the oppressive Saudi Arabia regime, which is financially backing Greg Norman’s rival LIV Golf Investments.

— Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek

Jordan Spieth in search of profession golf Grand Slam 

TULSA, Okla. — Three-time main winner Jordan Spieth is one Wanamaker Trophy away from finishing the profession Grand Slam – an unique fraternity consisting of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – and he’s by no means been in higher kind forward of what’s going to be sixth try on the PGA Championship since successful the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale.

“It’s an elephant in the room for me. It’s a goal of mine,” Spieth stated throughout his information convention forward of the 104th PGA at Southern Hills. “If you just told me I was going to win one tournament the rest of my life, I’d say I want to win this one.”

He’ll enter the week riding the momentum of his 13th Tour title in a playoff at the RBC Heritage in April and shooting 64-67 on the weekend to finish second a shot back of winner K.H. Lee at the AT&T Byron Nelson last week.

— Adam Schupak, Golfweek

Bryson DeChambeau ‘not ready yet’ to return from wrist surgery

Bryson DeChambeau traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week with the hopes of playing in the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

But, after testing his surgically repaired left wrist over the last few days, he decided to withdraw from the second men’s major of the year.

“Just not ready yet,” DeChambeau stated in a textual content to Golfweek.

DeChambeau hasn’t performed on the PGA Tour because the Masters. He missed the reduce after struggling by way of the primary two rounds with a 76 on Thursday and a Friday 80, the very best main championship rating of his profession.

— Riley Hamel and Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek

Tiger Woods pushes again towards Mickelson feedback, Saudi tour

Tiger Woods speaks during a news conference at the PGA Championship golf tournament, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Tiger Woods speaks throughout a information convention on the PGA Championship golf event, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Matt York)

TULSA, Okla. — Somewhere PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is smiling as large because the Grand Canyon after listening to the pro-PGA Tour assist from Tiger Woods.

When requested to share his emotions about Phil Mickelson being absent from the PGA Championship this week, Woods expressed his disappointment that the defending champion would not be competing, saying, “We’ll miss him,” however did not mince phrases.

“Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against, and he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that,” Woods stated. “Some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there. Obviously we’re going to have difference of opinions, how he sees the Tour, and we’ll go from there.”

During his Tuesday press convention, Woods made it completely clear he is dedicated to the PGA Tour and distanced himself from the imaginative and prescient for world golf that Mickelson, Greg Norman and others are pitching.

“I believe in legacies. I believe in major championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past,” Woods stated. “There’s plenty of money out here … You have to go out there and earn it.”

— Adam Schupak, Golfweek

Armour: No Mickelson on the PGA is definitely a aid 

Phil Mickelson prepares to putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship, an event he won.

Phil Mickelson prepares to putt on the 18th inexperienced throughout the ultimate spherical of the 2021 PGA Championship, an occasion he received.

Phil Mickelson’s absence will little doubt loom giant over the PGA Championship. A yr after his unbelievable win at Kiawah Island, this week would have been a celebration of that accomplishment and so many others in his profession.

Instead of unhappiness at how far probably the most beloved golfer since Arnold Palmer has fallen, nonetheless, there must be a way of aid. Bad because it’s been to see his picture and repute go up in flames from a distance, it could be far worse to see the blaze up shut.

And that’s precisely what would have occurred had Mickelson confirmed up at Southern Hills.

He will be unable to dodge the pointed questions in regards to the new Saudi-backed golf tour or the unauthorized biography of him that was launched this week every time he does resurface. The extra space he can put between himself and the revelations that undermine the Man of the People picture he’s crafted so rigorously all these years, the higher.

— Nancy Armour

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: PGA Championship updates: Tiger Woods falters late, favors injured leg



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