KOHLER, Wis. (WFRV) — Dustin Johnson fired an opening round 66 and is 6-under par after the first round of play at the PGA Championship.
It’s his best score in a opening round in six PGA Championships.
“Today I thought I did a great job of just staying patient, hitting the shots that the course allowed me to hit,” Johnson said. “And I struck the ball well today. So I was very pleased.”
Johnson, who started on the 10th hole, had a birdie, birdie start and an eagle on 16. He shot a 4-under for his first nine holes.
“I would prefer to be in the lead, though, there’s less shots you’ve got to make up,” Johnson said. “But you still just got to play your game, no matter where you’re at you’ve got to play your game, especially in majors. When you try to push and try to make things happen, that’s when you can make some big numbers at the majors.”
Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth both ended the day 1-under par and five shots behind Johnson.
“I think anything under par this afternoon was a decent score,” McIlroy said. “I set myself a target going into the back nine. I knew there would be a few chances, so I thought trying to shoot something under 70 was realistic.”
Tiger Woods shot a 3-over 75 and is nine shots back of Johnson.
“I hit it great today, but I made actually nothing,” Woods 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.”
Wind appeared to be a factor for some of the afternoon pairings.
“This (Thursday morning) was definitely the time to take advantage of the golf course,” Matt Kuchar said, who teed off at 7:15 and shot a 4-under 66 to put him two shots behind Johnson. “Probably as easy as we have seen this place play. It was nice.”
And Wisconsin native Steve Stricker (1-under) said he noticed large Wisconsin presence in the gallery.
“I feel the Cheesehead love all the way around here,” he said. “It’s great support that I’m getting.”