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US PGA Championship 2023: DeChambeau leads Scheffler, McIlroy battles, Rahm struggles at Oak Hill

Jon Rahm received the Masters however struggled at the beginning of the US PGA Championship
-5 E Cole (US)*; -4 B DeChambeau (US); -3 S Scheffler (US), C Conners (Can), D Johnson (US); -2 Ok Bradley (US), R Fox (NZ), V Hovland (Nor), A Scott (Aus)
Selected Others: -1 J Rose (Eng)*; +1 R McIlroy (NI), C Morikawa (US); +2 J Thomas (US), B Koepka (US), C Smith (Aus); +3 J Spieth (US); +6 J Rahm (Spa), M Fitzpatrick (Eng)
Latest leaderboard * denotes but to complete spherical one

American Bryson DeChambeau holds the clubhouse lead after darkness curtailed spherical one of many US PGA Championship at a testing Oak Hill in New York.

DeChambeau carded a four-under 66 to guide Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson and Corey Conners by one.

Masters champion Jon Rahm and England’s US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick each struggled and signed for six-over 76s.

Unheralded American Eric Cole is high of the leaderboard on 5 beneath however the 34-year-old has performed solely 14 holes.

Cole will return, together with 11 different teams, at 07:00 native time (12:00 BST) on Friday to complete his spherical. England’s Justin Rose may even be out early and his first shot might be a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th to get to 2 beneath.

Former Masters champions Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson have been among the many later starters. They challenged for the lead and bought to 4 beneath earlier than each dropped photographs on the 18th as they raced to finish their rounds in close to darkness.

Johnson carded his first bogey of the spherical to complete on three beneath whereas Australian Scott ended on a disappointing two beneath after a double-bogey six at the final.

DeChambeau, who famously bulked up earlier than outmuscling Winged Foot – a course likened to Oak Hill – to win the 2020 US Open, actually appeared comfy with six birdies and simply two bogeys in his opening spherical.

Rory McIlroy, who has received this title twice, battled sickness to shoot 71, one higher than defending champion Justin Thomas.

The begin of the 105th US PGA Championship was delayed for one hour and 50 minutes as a result of in a single day frost coated the course in Rochester, which is in western New York state, near the Canada border. But when play began, this iconic and tough monitor quickly turned up the warmth.

Patience and positioning is essential at Oak Hill, with thick tough gobbling up any photographs that stray off line, making it nearly unimaginable to seek out and maintain greens when digging the ball out.

Scottie Scheffler loved a strong first spherical at the US PGA Championship

While many gamers had a irritating day, Scheffler was the epitome of calm, as is his standard manner, and he managed to navigate the menacing par-70 structure with out dropping a shot in his spherical of 67.

It was a primary bogey-free spherical in a significant, in his 15th begin, and coming at such a notoriously tough course gave the 2022 Masters champion much more enjoyment of his efforts.

“This is one of those places where you just try and stay in position, make the important par putts and just keep the momentum going. I did a good job of that,” he mentioned.

“I feel like my game is better suited for this kind of test. I get more excited for a tournament like this versus a birdie-fest like last week. With that being said, I don’t think mentally I would be able to handle playing a tournament like this every single week on Tour.”

McIlroy battled whereas Rahm was rattled

McIlroy was a subdued determine within the build-up, with the Northern Irishman nonetheless hurting from his stinging missed minimize at the Masters, and that continued onto the course with three bogeys in a scratchy entrance 9.

A two-time US PGA winner, the four-time main winner confirmed creditable struggle on his again 9 although with three birdies towards one bogey to complete with a 71 to maintain himself within the contest – all of the whereas being slightly below the climate himself.

“I’m fighting something,” McIlroy mentioned. “But I actually feel better today than I felt yesterday, so plenty of water and a bit of rest, I’ll be fine.”

Rory McIlroy (L) and Justin Thomas each discovered it arduous work at Oak Hill

It was a disappointing begin for Rahm although, with the Spaniard trying surprisingly out-of-sorts as he laboured to a 76 to go away him considering extra about making the minimize than successful the title.

He birdied his first gap, the 10th, however didn’t choose up one other shot till the eighth, to bookend a spherical that featured six bogeys and a double bogey.

England’s Fitzpatrick, who was within the ultimate pairing at final yr’s US PGA, additionally struggled to a 76, carding three bogeys on every 9 as he didn’t discover a single birdie.

American Thomas solely actually made a few errors, however they value him three photographs as he completed on two over par, whereas his good pal Jordan Spieth was one other who let his temperature boil over at occasions throughout his spherical of 73.

Spieth was a doubt for the event with a wrist harm, however confirmed no actual indicators of that worrying him as he made a wobbly begin to his newest bid to say the one main to have up to now eluded him and with it full the profession Grand Slam.

A battle of attrition in Rochester

Canadian Conners and 2011 US PGA champion Keegan Bradley are each large iron gamers so it was no large shock to see them each difficult on a course the place positioning is every thing.

Norwegian star Viktor Hovland has gone shut previously two majors and joined Bradley on two beneath.

New Zealander Ryan Fox – the son of All Blacks rugby union legend Grant – has battled pneumonia and suffered sleepless nights following the start of his second baby in current weeks however he too posted a 68.

But solely 19 gamers ended the day beneath par.

England’s Callum Tarren, who briefly led after a run of three successive birdies from the second gap, closed with bogeys on his ultimate two holes to submit a 71.

Compatriot Tyrrell Hatton, fancied by many to go properly this week, opened with a 77, whereas Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre fared a shot higher.

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