'It's Not Hard': Rickie Fowler is Earlier Leader at Bellerive

Fowler was steady from tee to green, only missing two in regulation. He made four birdies without a bogey on his second nine.

August 09, 2018 - 1:44 pm
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rickie Fowler birdie two of his final three holes to shoot 5-under 65, giving him a two-shot lead when he hit the clubhouse after his opening round of the PGA Championship.

Fowler was steady from tee to green, only missing two in regulation. He made four birdies without a bogey on his second nine, highlighted by a beautiful approach shot to the water-guarded, par-3 third that led to a 10-footer for birdie.

He gave an assesment of the course during his post-round interview: 

"If you hit fairways and greens it's not hard. But it is playing fairly long and you kind of have to pick and choose which holes you kind of maybe play aggressive on, hit driver, take on some of the corners or bunkers and where you lay back. You start driving it in the rough and missing greens, start scrambling, I feel like that's where kind of the bogeys come. I hit the wrong club on 16 and luckily ended up kind of paying the price and making bogey there. But I feel like this golf course, it's fairly generous off the tee, you can definitely play back on some areas to where it's maybe a little bit wider, but the big thing is definitely hitting fairways and greens out here. And especially this afternoon, because the greens I'm sure will start to get a little beat up as it's soft out there and it's something that we'll deal with tomorrow afternoon as well."

Aaron Cook, Ian Poulter and Pat Perez joined him in the clubhouse after rounds of 67.

Tiger Woods has rallied from a bogey-double bogey start to shoot an even-par 70, leaving him five strokes behind clubhouse leader Rickie Fowler at the PGA Championship.

Woods missed his first two fairways and dumped an approach shot in the water. But scrambled for enough pars to keep his round going, then made a pair of birdies on a bogey-free second nine.

Playing partner Justin Thomas was 1 under and Rory McIlroy also was even.

12:10 p.m.

Austin Cook is a long way from the Adams Tour victory that once earned him $4,000.

The Arkansas native shot a 3-under 67 and was the leader in the clubhouse at the PGA Championship, though Rickie Fowler had a hole left and was about to bump him from the perch.

Cook probably won't complain. He played well enough to graduate from the Web.com Tour last year, and his stunning win in the RSM Classic earlier this year got him in the PGA Championship.

It was his first win as a pro since that Adams Tour event. It paid a cool $1,116,000, too.

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12:05 p.m.

Tributes have been flowing right along with tears at the PGA Championship for Jarrod Lyle, who passed away overnight after a long struggle with cancer in his native Australia.

Lyle was first diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and suffered recurrences of the disease in 2012 and 2017. He chose not to seek more treatment earlier this month.

His good friend Rickie Fowler, who was 5 under and leading the tournament, wore bright yellow much like Lyle often wore. Justin Thomas said on Twitter that "we will all be thinking of him and his family," while countryman Jason Day said he was "deeply saddened" by Lyle's passing.

He was survived by Briony and daughters Lusi, 6, and Jemma, 2.