It was a hot day in jersey as the players at the PGA Championship sweated their way around Baltusrol. Surprisingly, some big names were feeling the heat and failed to capitalize on a course that was ripe for a low score.
Here are some Hots and some Not So Hots from Thursday’s golf.
Little know Emiliano Grillo, Englishman Ross Fisher and two time major winner Martin Kaymer scratched out a four under par 66 to sit tied for second.
Henrik Stenson showed no sign of an Open Championship hangover with a three under 67.
Beware the sick golfer. Words to live by with world number one Jason Day who hasn’t been on the course for two days because he and his wife were ill and then promptly goes out and shoots 68.
Props to Rickie Fowler for a solid opening round 68. So far his major season consists of missed cuts at the Masters and U.S. Open and a T46 at the Open. Maybe this start will break that snide he is own.
Let’s not forget there is another major going on this week as the women tee it up at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Mirim Lee opened the day with an ten under Women’s Open record 62 and with it a three shot lead.
Stacy Lewis is the low American after day one at five under with an opening 67. Lewis hasn’t won in two years but has so many second places she could be the Phil Mickelson of the LPGA. Maybe this week will be different.
Not So Hot:
Dustin Johnson seemed like a different player today. He had broken through with his major at the U.S. Open, backed it up with a win at the WGC and a T9 at the Open and a T2 at the Canadian Open proved that this was a golfer that had found “it”. Well…he lost it today with a seven over 77 and may have played his way out of the PGA Championship. Ouch.
Right behind DJ in major Thursday disappointment is Rory McIlroy who couldn’t find “it” either. His plus four 74 scorecard showed not a single birdie. Even his monstrous drives couldn’t salvage his round and he showed frustrations on the course.
Tony Finau, everyone’s favorite dark horse pick ballooned to a 77 also. That’s no way to break through for your first major.
Back at the Women’s British Open, Michelle Wie continued her disastrous season with another poor round of golf. Her first round four over 74 has her 14 shots back off the lead. Wie hasn’t won since her ’14 U.S. Women’s Open and her ’16 season is a mess: 11 missed cuts and her best finish is a T25. Injuries have derailed her and you have to wonder when she will ever find her game again.
The TNT coverage of the PGA was the least impressive of all the majors so far this season and with Fox’s constant “oops” moments that’s saying something. And why is there only on-line coverage until 1:00pm EST? Come on…we want to see golf, all of it, especially in the early rounds when the entire field is still playing.
Hot and Not So Hot…
Phil Mickelson’s opening nine (the back nine) wasn’t so hot and had disaster written all over it. Phil the Thrill was not too thrilling as he took a 39 on the back as he sprayed the ball far and wide. And after yet another bogey on his eleventh hole (the second) he got busy with a comeback on the third hole with his first birdie. Then he got hot and went back to back on six and seven with birdies and a four over kerfuffle turned into a respectable one over 71. He’s Phil the Thrill and still in this thing.