Woodland leads PGA with 64

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Gary Woodland fell in love with Bellerive when he first played it a month ago. It’s a big golf course that would play into the hands of a power player. It would be soft from the stifling heat and humidity of summer, allowing him to be aggressive.

Woodland delivered his best performance in a major Thursday at the PGA Championship.

All because of his putter.

Once he settled down while playing before so many family members and friends, the Kansas-bred Woodland ran off seven birdies and made five putts from 15 feet or longer for a 6-under 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler in an opening round that otherwise went as advertised.

Keep it in the fairway, and low scores were available.

Woodland led 47 players who broke par, with 15 players were separated by three shots at the top. Tiger Woods was not among them because he was in thick grass and at the bottom of a pond early on before rallying to salvage a 70.

“If you can ball-strike your way around this golf course, you’ll walk off thinking it’s pretty simple,” Jason Day said after a 67.

COMMENTS