Some work to do here for the leader McIlroy at the monstrously long par-four 16th. (At 527 yards, it’s a par five for the members.) He sends his drive into the big bunker down the left of the fairway, and takes his medicine by laying up. He’s just off the front, requiring an up and down for his par. Meanwhile bogey for Bob MacIntyre at 1, and he slips back to -1.
-4: McIlroy (6*)
-3: Homa (7*), Zalatoris (7*)
-2: Daly (11), Kirk (9), Schauffele (8*), Streelman (8), Rose (5*), Riley (4*)
The Wild Thing refuses to go away! Birdie at 10, and John Daly rejoins the group tying for fourth at -2. It’s not going to happen, of course it’s not … but if it did, it would be highly amusing if the absent Phil Mickelson’s record as oldest major winner was obliterated by the carefree 56-year-old PGA stalwart a mere 12 months on. Once more with feeling: there’s no point watching sport if you’re not allowed to dream. Also, the LIV tour can do one.
The 2013 US Open champ Justin Rose rolls in a 30-footer on 13. It’s his second birdie in a row, and he joins the group at -2, one shot off the lead. That no longer features Tiger, who clips the ball first with his sand splash, sending it 20 feet past the flag. He can’t make the one coming back, and he’s -1. Spieth gets closer with his splash, but not close enough to salvage his par. He’s level. But it’s a fourth straight birdie for Rory, who rolls his birdie putt confidently into the centre of the cup! This is a sensational start by McIlroy, who has made a habit of stumbling out of the gates at the majors in recent years. But look at this!
-4: McIlroy (6*)
-3: Homa (7*), Zalatoris (6*)
Jordan Spieth is also in that front bunker with Tiger. His drive took one bound too many and crept into the rough down the right. This is difficult, thick stuff to deal with, and he can only gouge into further trouble. Spieth, hoping to complete the career slam this week, is -1 through his first five holes of the day, but will need all of his scrambling skills to stay in the red. A couple of momentum-saving saves required here by two of the USA’s big hopes.
Trouble for Tiger at 15. He sends his stinger into the thick rough down the right. He’s a long way back, and can only power his second into the bunker guarding the front left of the green. He’s not left with too much green to work with, so getting up and down to salvage par will be a result. By contrast McIlroy continues to go along nicely, stroking a 5-wood down the middle and sending his second pin high. He’ll have a look from 20 feet for a fourth birdie in a row.
A 20-foot birdie putt for Max Homa on 15. Can he make it four in a row? Nope. This one skims past the left lip and stays up. He remains at -3 … and is joined there by Rory McIlroy, who sends a gorgeous iron over the flag at the par-three 14th and steers in a downhill right-to-left slider from 20 feet. Three birdies in a row, and major number five is on! Just the 67 holes to go. Birdie for Tiger, too, as he goes to school on Jordan Spieth’s near miss from 30 feet. Quite the leaderboard already!
-3: Homa (6*), Zalatoris (5*), McIlroy (5*)
-2: Yang (9), MacIntyre (8*), Horsfield (7), Schauffele (6*), Streelman (6), Woods (5*)
Not the start the 2008 champion Padraig Harrington wanted. He sends his tee shot at 2 into the water, and it’s a double-bogey six at the long par four. He’s now +2 through 4.
Three birdies in a row for Max Homa! The latest comes at 14, and the in-form Californian grabs a share of the lead. Hot on his heels: Rory McIlroy, who sends his second at the par-five 13th into greenside sand, but slaps a fine wedge to kick-in distance, and that’s two birdies in a row for the Masters runner-up.
-3: Homa (5*), Zalatoris (4*)
-2: Yang (9), MacIntyre (8*), Schauffele (6*), Streelman (5), McIlroy (4*)
John Daly no longer on that leaderboard, you’ll have noticed. Bogey at the par-three 8th, the result of finding sand with his tee shot. He slips back to -1. Bah. Time for something to take the edge off?
Will Zalatoris loves the majors. The 25-year-old Californian finished second at the Masters last year; tied sixth at the US Open at Winged Foot in 2020, coming this close to following up a first-round hole in one with a second a few holes later; and tied eighth on his PGA Championship debut at Kiawah Island last year. He’s now leading this one, after making it three birdies in his first four holes at 13. His partner Cam Smith meanwhile lobs to three feet from an awkward position down a swale to the side of the green, having only just cleared the drink with his second. He repairs some of the damage of that double at 12 and moves back to level par overall.
-3: Zalatoris (4*)
-2: Yang (8), MacIntyre (7*), Homa (4*)
Up on the 13th green, it’s back to back birdies for Max Homa. He joins the leading pack at -2. Once the green is cleared, Cam Smith nearly sends his second into a greenside body of water. Just over, but he’ll need to clear his head, which is possibly running hot after that needless double-bogey at 12. Meanwhile a clumsy three-putt par for Xander Schauffele at 14; he slips back to -1.
Xander Schauffele joins the leaders with birdie at the par-five 13th. His partner Tony Finau birdies as well, cancelling out the dismal three-putt bogey he opened with at 10. He’s back to level par. Meanwhile patient birdies for Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at 12. Patient because they have to wait for the group ahead to hit their drives at the extended par-five 13th, the tee box positioned so players have to send their shots over the 12th green and towards the 13th fairway. The designers have squeezed every inch out of this real estate all right.
John Daly finds himself over the back of 7, in thick rough near a penalty area. Having diced with bother, he then nearly takes sole ownership of the lead by clattering the flagstick with his chip. The ball stubbornly stays out, and he remains at -2. Will Zalatoris, who opened with birdie at 10, joins him by rattling in a long birdie putt at 12. Trouble for Zalatoris’s playing partner Cam Smith, though; a short-game meltdown and a double bogey that takes him back to +1.
-2: Daly (7), Yang (6), MacIntyre (6*), Zalatoris (3*)
Max Homa hasn’t got any record to speak of in the majors … yet. The 31-year-old Californian is blooming late, having won three times on the PGA Tour in the last 15 months, the latest victory his second at the Wells Fargo just two weeks ago. He also tied for 13th at this year’s Players. Now he’s sent a tramliner into the cup at 12 to join the group at -1. Meanwhile it’s pars for Tiger, Rory and Jordan at the par-three 11th.
Yep, in pops Tiger’s birdie putt, and the great man opens with a birdie. Meanwhile his playing partners in this morning’s marquee group, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, card garden-variety birdies. A birdie for the Players champion Cam Smith at 11. And YE Yang joins the leaders at -2 by holing a chip from the fringe at 6 that would still be rolling now had the flagstick not got involved.
-2: Yang (6), MacIntyre (5*), Daly (5)
-1: Borchert (4), Block (3*), Schauffele (3*), Smith (2*), Zalatoris (1*), Kuchar (1), Woods (1*)
Robert MacIntyre birdies the par-five 13th, and the young Scot leads the PGA … alongside John Daly, who birdies the par-five 5th! These are long par fives, by the way: the 13th is 632 yards while the 5th measures 656 yards. It’s going to be a long trek – 7,556 yards in total – which may explain why Tiger Woods is already feeling it. As the CBS camera operative follows him down 10, after a well-placed opening tee shot, he’s told in no uncertain terms by Woods to “give me some breathing space”. Three times. But his mood improves quickly when he wedges his second from 95 yards to a couple of feet. He’ll be joining the crew at -1 imminently.
-2: Daly (5), MacIntyre (4*)
-1: Yang (5), Borchert (4), Block (3*), Schauffele (2*), Kuchar (1)
The 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau sadly pulled out late last night. That sore wrist, jiggered during a game of ping pong, still hasn’t healed fully. He’s been replaced in the field by Denny McCarthy, who having been called up at short notice can perhaps be forgiven a cold start. The 29-year-old from Maryland bogeys 10, one of the more inviting par fours on the course. Onwards and upwards, and at least he’s here.
Speaking of erstwhile winners, Tiger Woods will be out in a few minutes. He lifted the Wanamaker Trophy the last time the PGA was staged at Southern Hills. Here’s how the Guardian reported major No.13 at the time.
The opening shot of the 2022 PGA Championship was hit by the 1991 champion John Daly. The big man went on to register the first birdie of the week, and by definition, for what it’s worth, became the first leader of the tournament. He was soon joined at -1 by a few others making a fast start: Oban’s Bob MacIntyre, US-reared Mancunian Sam Horsfield, PGA pros Matthew Borchert and Michael Block, Texan veteran Ryan Palmer, 2009 champion YE Yang, and major champion in waiting Xander Schauffele, who screeched a short iron at 10 from 120 yards to three feet, and tidied up for his birdie. The second major of the year is very much under way!
-1: Daly (4), Yang (4), Palmer (3*), MacIntyre (3*), Borchert (2), Block (2*), Horsfield (1), Schauffele (1*)
It’s a shame that Phil Mickelson won’t be at Southern Hills to defend the title he won so memorably last year at Kiawah Island, where he channeled the PGA Championship’s old slogan, Glory’s Last Shot, to become the oldest winner of a major at 51 years and 11 months. It was a story for the ages. Do his ridiculous LIV-related shenanigans wash back and cast a stain on that amazing tale? Nah. It’s not ideal, of course, but in a couple of years/months, when it all comes down, it’ll be nothing more than a footnote, a historical curiosity. We’ll miss Lefty, of course we will, but here we are. Onwards!
Another week of historical wonder awaits. Jordan Spieth will become only the seventh man to win a career grand slam if he adds the Wanamaker Trophy to a CV that already lists wins at the Masters, US Open and Open. Masters champ and world number one Scottie Scheffler could complete the second leg of a calendar grand slam. Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka could join the likes of Byron Nelson and Seve as a five-time major winner; the pair could also join Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead as a three-time PGA champ. As for Tiger … well, he couldn’t win major number 16, and his second hobbling around on one leg, could he?
This is before we get to Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Cam Smith, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, DJ, Shane Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris … well, we could be here all day. Actually, we will be here all day, starting our coverage when the marquee match of McIlroy, Spieth and Woods go out just after 2pm BST. It’s going to be a long one. The LIV tour can do one. It’s on!
Tee times (USA Unless stated, All times BST)
Starting at hole 1
13:00 John Daly, Shaun Micheel, Yong-Eun Yang (Kor)
13:11 Matthew Borchert, Takumi Kanaya (Jpn), Troy Merritt
13:22 Dean Burmester (Rsa), Chris Kirk, Kyle Mendoza
13:33 Sam Horsfield (Eng), Nic Ishee, Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi),
13:44 Shaun Norris (Rsa), Carlos Ortiz (Mex), Kevin Streelman
13:55 Cameron Davis (Aus), Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Matt Kuchar
14:06 Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Padraig Harrington (Irl)
14:17 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Thomas Pieters (Bel), Kramer Hickok
14:28 Richard Bland (Eng), Garrick Higgo (Rsa), Matt Jones (Aus)
14:39 Tom Hoge, Si Woo Kim (Kor), Beau Hossler
14:50 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Shawn Warren
15:01 Yuki Inamori (Jpn), Sebastian Munoz (Col), Zac Oakley
15:12 Bio Kim (Kor), Casey Pyne, Brendan Steele
18:30 Ryan Brehm, Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Wyatt Worthington II
18:41 Justin Harding (Rsa), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den), Sean McCarty
18:52 Adam Hadwin (Can), Hudson Swafford, Cameron Tringale
19:03 Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry (Irl), Adam Scott (Aus)
19:14 Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas
19:25 Jason Day (Aus), Rickie Fowler, Harold Varner III
19:36 Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm (Spa), Scottie Scheffler
19:47 Daniel Berger, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Ian Poulter (Eng)
19:58 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner
20:09 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Sergio Garcia (Spa), Charl Schwartzel (Rsa)
20:20 Harry Higgs, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Erik van Rooyen (Rsa)
20:31 Alex Beach, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)
20:42 Jared Jones, Aaron Wise, Joel Dahmen
Starting at hole 10
13:05 Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Alexander Noren (Swe), Ryan Palmer
13:16 Adria Arnaus (Spa), Colin Inglis, Jinichiro Kozuma (Jpn)
13:27 Michael Block, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Sadom Kaewkanjana (Tha)
13:38 Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Xander Schauffele
, Denny McCarthy, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Max Homa
14:00 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Cameron Smith (Aus), Will Zalatoris
14:11 Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods
14:22 Patrick Reed, Justin Rose (Eng), Bubba Watson
14:33 Lucas Glover, Kevin Na, Daniel van Tonder (Rsa)
14:44 Sam Burns, Davis Riley, Cameron Young
14:55 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Lee Westwood (Eng), Gary Woodland
15:06 Oliver Bekker (Rsa), Brian Harman, Ryan Vermeer
15:17 Laurie Canter (Eng), Lanto Griffin, Dylan Newman
18:25 Brandon Bingaman, Talor Gooch, Ryosuke Kinoshita (Jpn)
18:36 Tim Feenstra, Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor)
18:47 Rich Beem, Alex Cejka (Ger), Jesse Mueller
18:58 Seamus Power (Irl), Russell Knox (Sco), Scott Stallings
19:09 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Corey Conners (Can), Jason Kokrak
19:20 Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Marc Leishman (Aus)
19:31 Cameron Champ, Russell Henley, Zach Johnson
19:42 Branden Grace (Rsa), Webb Simpson, Henrik Stenson (Swe)
19:53 J. J. Spaun, Sepp Straka (Aut), Adam Schenk
20:04 Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor), Keith Mitchell, Matthew Wolff
20:15 Lucas Herbert (Aus), Austin Hurt, Chad Ramey
20:26 Tyler Collet, Chan Kim, Maverick McNealy
20:37 Paul Dickinson, Patton Kizzire, Luke List