Brooks Koepka, right, shakes hands with Tiger Woods after finishing a initial turn of a PGA Championship golf tournament, Thursday, May 16, 2019, during Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Three majors in dual years, and Brooks Koepka can still feel as yet he has something to prove.
He delivered again on golf’s biggest stage.
And this time, Tiger Woods was along for a ride.
Koepka kick adult on muscular Bethpage Black for a record-setting start to his pretension invulnerability in a PGA Championship. With a 40-foot birdie to start his turn and a birdie putt from usually inside 35 feet during a end, he shot a 7-under 63 to mangle a march record and turn a initial actor to fire 63 in a same vital twice.
“That was one of a best rounds I’ve played substantially as a professional,” Koepka said. “This golf march is brutal.”
He was 10 shots improved than a normal measure in a opening round, though usually one improved than Danny Lee on a day when usually 16 players pennyless par, a fewest for a initial turn of a PGA Championship given 2008 during Oakland Hills.
It was usually one round, though adequate to make a Masters that Woods won final month feel some-more sentimental than a pointer of some-more to come.
“I felt like we won this final year. I’m personification good,” Koepka said. “It was good that Tiger won Augusta, though we mean, we’re during a new week now. … Obviously, everybody is going to be entertaining for him, and it’s going to be loud, generally if he creates a putt. You’ve usually got to keep battling.”
Thousands of fans who trudged opposite muddied paths to a distant finish of Bethpage Black on Thursday morning were drawn to Woods, a Masters champion again, announced on a 10th tee as a PGA champion from 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.
The introduction took prolonged adequate to remind everybody what Woods has finished in a game.
Koepka afterwards showed what he has finished newly — back-to-back U.S. Open titles, a PGA Championship and an ideal start in his bid to join Woods as a usually back-to-back winners of a PGA Championship in cadence play.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Lee said. “I mean, have we seen him personification U.S. Opens and PGA Championships in a final 3 years?”
Woods looked rusty early, desirous in a center and messy late in his initial foe given his emotionally removal feat during a Masters.
He non-stop with a span of double bogeys on a behind 9 and busted a vehement start to a front 9 — dual birdies and a 30-foot eagle in a four-hole widen — with a span of three-putt bogeys. That gave him a 72, withdrawal him 9 shots behind and finale 12 uninterrupted rounds during standard or improved in a majors dating to a U.S. Open final summer.
“It wasn’t as purify as I’d like to have it, for sure,” Woods said.
Tommy Fleetwood had a 67, while a organisation during 68 enclosed Pat Perez, who played a use turn with Koepka on Tuesday. Jordan Spieth overcame a double spook on a 10th hole for a 69 and was in a organisation that enclosed Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day.
“The march is not easy, though Brooks apparently done it demeanour genuine easy,” Perez said. “I saw that on Tuesday when we played with him. we indeed congratulated him on his win.”
But it’s distant from over, even before Lee done his afternoon pierce to cut into a lead. Fowler was faraway when asked how tighten he would have to be to Koepka streamer into a final turn Sunday.
“What creates we consider he’s going to be leading?” Fowler said. “I would contend there’s no lead unequivocally protected here.”
Koepka unsuccessful to birdie a dual standard 5s, blank a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 13 and scrambling for standard on a easier fourth hole. He also missed a 7-foot birdie putt on a 11th and an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 2. Yes, this could have been special. Then again, he also done 4 birdie putts of 15 feet or longer, including a prolonged ones during a start and finish of his round.
“When that putt went in on No. 10, that was kind of a movement that set me,” Koepka said. “But we never once suspicion about a march record or anything. we was usually perplexing to fire a best we could. Simple as that. Just keep going and sum them adult during a end.”
He is a ninth actor to open a vital with 63, and usually dual of them went on to win — Jack Nicklaus during Baltusrol in a 1980 U.S. Open and Raymond Floyd during Southern Hills in a 1982 PGA Championship.
There is a prolonged approach to go. Considering Koepka’s record in a majors — 3 wins and a runner-up in his final 7 majors — this felt shorter. Koepka came severely tighten to a spook usually one time, and he done a 10-foot standard on a sixth hole.
Woods managed to get underneath par, though usually briefly.
His opening tee shot took adequate bounces to hardly get into a rough, and it left him no choice though to penetrate out. The mistake was a crowd that went over a behind of a green, and Woods threw his conduct behind meaningful his mistake. His quick representation went 6 feet by and he missed to open with a double bogey. His other double spook came on a par-3 17th when he went into a face of a bunker, bloody out longer and took 3 to get down from there.
A birdie-birdie start to a front nine, and a 30-foot eagle putt on a par-5 fourth, brought him to 1 under. And afterwards he bogeyed 3 of a subsequent 4 holes.
“I fought my approach behind around there, and unfortunately, we usually didn’t keep it together during a end,” he said.