Round one of the 2014 PGA Championship is in the books and we got to see the top golfers in the world play in perfect conditions from the first tee shot to the last putt. The leaderboard shows that as well as there is a balanced group of players that played in the morning and in the afternoon. Co-leaders and practice round buddies Lee Westwood and Kevin Chappell played in the morning while Ryan Palmer teed off in the afternoon.
All three got to 6-under par in different ways. Chappell played a bogey-free round, Westwood double-bogeyed the first hole (which was the 10th hole as he started on the back nine), and Palmer started off on the back-nine birding his first five holes; he had a bogey-free round for 16 holes before succumbing to the par-3 8th hole.
Jim Furyk and Edoardo Molinari both teed off in the morning and shot 5-under, one stroke back in a T-4 along with Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy both of whom teed off in the afternoon.
I keep bringing up the weather because it was perfect for everybody for the first round. However, on Friday it looks like the weather may favor the morning players just slightly. As of now, the morning players won’t get much of a wind, but in the afternoon the wind may pick up to a good 10 MPH+ and there is a 50% chance of rain. Weather changes and it may not be that big of a factor, but it’s worth noting.
Rounding out the top 10 is Mikko Ilonen and Jerry Kelly as they sit 4-under par after the first round. Ten players are at 3-under par which include Joost Luiten, Ian Poulter, Matt Jones, Seung-Yul Noh, and Kentucky’s own J.B. Holmes.
Overall, there are seventy-eight players that are even par or better for the tournament. There were a lot of birdies out there even with some difficult pin locations players were able to attack the pins and land it next to the flag.
If we get some rain that should benefit the higher, longer players even more. It may end up coming down to Stenson and McIlroy on Sunday afternoon. But, we are just getting started, there’s still a lot of golf to be played, just about everybody is bunched together and still in contention.
Friday afternoon when TNT starts up their coverage at 1:00 PM ET there will be a lot of interesting groups out there. Victor Dubuisson (-2), Rickie Fowler (-2), and Ernie Els (-1) will tee off on the first hole at 1:15 PM ET.
Westwood, Adam Scott (E), and Jordan Spieth (E) will tee off on the first hole at 1:25 PM ET. Poulter, Jimmy Walker (-2), Jason Day (-2) will tee off on the first hole at 1:35 PM ET.
Phil Mickelson (-2), Padraig Harrington (+2), and Tiger Woods (+3) will tee off on the first hole at 1:45 PM ET. Furyk, Charl Schwartzel (+1), and Miguel Angel Jimenez (+1) will tee off on the first hole at 2:05 PM ET.