SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) Rory McIlroy was nervous about his game. Jordan Spieth was frustrated with his putting.
Not so surprising about the opening round of the PGA Championship on Thursday was Dustin Johnson.
He was leading.
Shaking off a double dose of disappointment in the majors, Johnson breezed his way to a 6-under 66 in moderate morning conditions at Whistling Straits and wound up with a one-shot lead over David Lingmerth of Sweden. It was the fifth time in 13 rounds at the majors this year that Johnson had at least a share of the lead. Just never on the final day.
It was a big start for McIlroy, and a shaky one for Spieth. They were the main event in the first round of the final major. McIlroy has not played since the U.S. Open, out for 53 days because of an injury to his left ankle and mildly curious whether his game would be sharp enough to compete. Adding to the buzz was playing with Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion who is closing in on McIlroy’s No. 1 ranking.
McIlory had three birdies on the par 5s, and one big par save with his feet in the water, in a 71.
Spieth doesn’t usually go 11 holes without making a putt of any length, and frustrations were starting wear on him until he chipped in from behind the 12th green for birdie, which steadied him enough to match McIlroy with a 71. Considering they played in a strong wind and tough afternoon conditions, it was a reasonable start.
It certainly was for Johnson.
He took three putts from 12 feet on the final hole at the U.S. Open to shockingly go from a chance to win to a runner-up finish behind Spieth. He had the 36-hole lead at St. Andrews until he disappeared on the weekend. And the PGA Championship was at Whistling Straits, where five years ago Johnson famously grounded his club in a bunker and lost out on a spot in the playoff because of the two-shot penalty.
He birdied the first two holes. He hit 4-iron to 30 feet and made eagle on No. 16. He added a trio of birdies on the front nine.
Tiger Woods might be one day away from the end of his season. Woods opened with a 75 and was in danger of missing the cut.
CAMBIA PORTLAND CLASSIC
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Amy Anderson and Sandra Changkija shared the first-round lead at 7-under 65 in the LPGA Tour’s Cambia Portland Classic.
In warm, calm afternoon conditions, Anderson had five consecutive birdies on the front nine in her bogey-free round at Columbia Edgewater. Changkija, playing in the morning, made six birdies on her opening nine and reached 8 under before finishing with a bogey.
Anderson, the 23-year-old former North Dakota State player who won an NCAA-record 20 tournaments, had never led a round during her two-year LPGA Tour career. She’s coming off her best finish of the year, a tie for eighth in Michigan in the Meijer LPGA Classic.
The 26-year-old Changkija, in her fourth LPGA season, has only two career top-10 finishes, but one came at the 2013 Portland stop.
Canadian teen star Brooke Henderson was a shot back along with Alison Lee and Julieta Granada.
Mo Martin and Cristie Kerr shot 67. Second-ranked Lydia Ko opened with a 70, and No. 3 Stacy Lewis had a 71. Defending champion Austin Ernst made four birdies and four bogeys and shot 72.
U.S. WOMEN’S AMATEUR
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Hannah O’Sullivan routed two more opponents to advance to the U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinals at Portland Golf Club.
The 17-year-old O’Sullivan, from Chandler, Arizona, beat France’s Justine Dreher 7 and 6 in the second round, and topped Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster, Colorado, 4 and 3 in the third.
On Wednesday in the first round of match play, O’Sullivan beat Haley Mills of Tyler, Texas, 7 and 6. O’Sullivan won the Symetra Tour’s Gateway Classic in February in Mesa, Arizona, at 16 to become the youngest winner in the history of the professional circuit.
O’Sullivan will face SMU junior Lindsey McCurdy of Liberty Hill, Texas. McCurdy beat 2014 winner Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, 4 and 3, and Oregon’s Caroline Inglis of Eugene 1-up.