Woodland Amused By Fans Making Fun of His Jayhawks, He's Your First-Round Leader

Woodland got hot over the final eight holes, making five birdies and steadily climbing the leaderboard on steaming afternoon.

August 09, 2018 - 7:36 pm
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship, golf's final major of the year:

Gary Woodland bounced back from an opening bogey to shoot 6-under 64 on Thursday, moving him ahead of early leader Rickie Fowler in the PGA Championship at Bellerive.

Woodland was still scuffling along at 1 over until making birdie at the par-5 eighth. He added another to close out the front nine, then got hot over the final eight holes, making five birdies and steadily climbing the leaderboard on steaming afternoon.

Woodland got off to a good start last year, too. The Kansan shot 68 at Quail Hollow and was still within sight of the leaders entering the final round, when a 74 left him in a tie for 22nd.

He was asked how the fans in Mizzou territory treated him: 

"I hope I can win them over. I don't know. There's a lot of bad blood there. Between Kansas and Missouri. But there's a lot of chants going on, a lot of jokes going on making fun of Jayhawks and how, the noise they make compared to a Tiger. I mean, I heard a lot of stuff that actually made me laugh and chuckle, but it's all in fun. I'm just happy and excited to be as close to home as I'll ever be."

7:15 p.m.

Justin Rose says the back injury that forced him to withdraw from last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational didn't cause him any problems during an opening-round 67 at the PGA Championship.

The Englishman did have a few hiccups midway through his round, but he said they didn't have anything to do with his back. It was more a function of having not played much competitive golf the last few weeks, and trying to get back into the swing of a major championship.

If anything, the back injury that led to Rose skipping the practice rounds was a good thing.

"I kind of went out there today and had a very clear intent on what I wanted to do on every hole," he said. "Often you can be biased how you play in practice at times, and that can influence the clubs you want to hit off the tee and what you're comfortable doing."

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6:50 p.m.

Zach Johnson thinks he benefited from being one of the only players to drop into Bellerive for a practice round last week, though not in the way you might think.

Sure, it gave him a chance to see the course early. He was able to hit some different shots into greens and check run-outs and so forth. But the real benefit came this week, when he was able to take Monday off and then play nine holes each day Tuesday and Wednesday.

He felt rested Thursday and produced a 4-under 66, two shots off the lead. Others that tried to pack more holes into their practice rounds were dragging in the hot, humid St. Louis weather.

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6:30 p.m.

Jordan Spieth spent most of his day play catch-up after a double-bogey at the first, and his 1-over 71 in the opening round of the PGA Championship left him seven shots off the pace.

Spieth arrived at Bellerive trying to complete the career grand slam, but he never seemed to get his round going. He fought back to even par after a birdie at the 15th, but a pair of wayward shots led to another bogey at the par-5 17th and a bitter taste in his mouth.

Spieth won't have much time to figure out what went wrong. He goes off at 8:12 a.m. on Friday.