Furyk grabs PGA lead

Jim Furyk (AFP)
Jim Furyk (AFP)
Rochester - Jim Furyk has fired a five under par 65, his lowest first-round score in 73 career majors, to seize the clubhouse lead Thursday at the PGA Championship while top-ranked Tiger Woods struggled.

Furyk, the 2003 US Open champion, has not won since the 2010 Tour Championship but the 43-year-old American fired six birdies at Oak Hill to launch his quest for a 17th career title.

"I had a good ball-striking day," Furyk said.

"I felt like the course would set up well for me.

"I missed one drive in the heavy stuff but overall a good day.

"It was good to get my feet under me.

"I got relaxed and settled into my game.

"I got on a roll and got a lot of confidence out there."

Furyk opened with a birdie at the 10th, added a birdie at the 16th and followed with back-to-back birdies at the 18th and first.

He made another at the par-4 fifth and yet another at the seventh to grab a two-stroke edge on the field before closing with a bogey at the ninth.

That left Furyk one stroke in front of Canada's David Hearn with England's Paul Casey, Australian Marcus Fraser and Americans Matt Kuchar and Robert Garrigus another stroke adrift on 67.

"To be in this position is going to be a great learning experience for me," Hearn said.

"I'm excited about the next three days."

Woods, a 14-time major winner seeking his first major title since the 2008 US Open, closed with a double bogey at the par-4 ninth to finish on one-over 71.

"I'm still right there," Woods said.

"I'm only six back and we've got a long way to go."

Woods, also looking for a record-tying fifth PGA Championship crown, began on the back nine, birdied the par-5 13th and sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and saved pars at 17 and 18 after missing the green.

But he found trouble on the front side, missing a four-footer for birdie at the second and finding rough and a bunker on his way to a bogey at the par-5 fourth.

At 18, Woods found the greenside rough with his second shot and plopped his third into a bunker.

He blasted out with his fourth but lipped out on a 12-foot bogey putt.

"I feel like I played well and made some nice key putts," Woods said.

The big shock among the afternoon starters came from Japan's 51-year-old Kohki Idoki, who won the Senior PGA Championship to earn a spot in the field.

Idoki birdied four holes in a row starting at the par-4 second and made a long par-saving putt on seven but took a bogey at the ninth to fall to three under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a bogey but then fired five birdies in a row to reach four under, the 49-year-old Spaniard seeking his first major title.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy birided three of the first four holes but found the water off the fifth tee on his way to a bogey.

The other reigning major champions were not faring so well paired together, with British Open winner Phil Mickelson taking a bogey at the par-3 third and a double bogey at the par-5 fourth, Masters champion Adam Scott making birdie at the fourth to one under and US Open winner Justin Rose opening with a bogey and making birdie at the fourth.

Clear skies made for perfect playing conditions after an overnight storm did eased the formidable 7 163-yard, par-70 layout.

"Benign conditions this morning," said 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell.

"A bit of rain overnight softened the greens and guys were able to take it on a little bit.

"The pins weren't brutal."

Scores during the opening round of the 95th PGA Championship at 7 163-yard Oak Hill Country Club (par 70):

65 - Jim Furyk (USA)
66 - David Hearn (CAN)
67 - Robert Garrigus (USA), Paul Casey (ENG), Matt Kuchar (USA), Marcus Fraser (AUS)
68 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Steve Stricker (USA), Jason Dufner (USA), Bill Haas (USA), Henrik Stenson (SWE), Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP), Jonas Blixt (SWE), Roberto Castro (USA)
69 - Charley Hoffman (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Tommy Gainey (USA), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Keegan Bradley (USA), David Lynn (ENG), Scott Jamieson (SCO)
70 - Mark Leishman (AUS), Hunter Mahan (USA), Rickie Fowler (USA), Graeme McDowell (NIR), Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Kevin Streelman (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT)
71 - Shane Lowry (IRL), Matt Every (USA), Luke Guthrie (USA), Hiroyuki Fujita (JPN), Josh Teater (USA), Rich Beem (USA), J.J. Henry (USA), David Toms (USA), Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Tiger Woods (USA), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Branden Grace (RSA)
72 - John Senden (AUS), Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Michael Thompson (USA), Richard Sterne (RSA), Yang Yong-Eun (KOR), Peter Hanson (SWE), Dustin Johnson (USA), Paul Lawrie (SCO), Matt Jones (AUS)
73 - Bob Sowards (USA), Ryan Palmer (USA), Marcel Siem (GER), Scott Brown (USA), Ben Curtis (USA), Brian Gay (USA), Ryan Polzin (USA), Scott Stallings (USA), Jeff Sorenson (USA), J.C. Anderson (USA)
74 - Bob Gaus (USA), Ernie Els (RSA), David Lingmerth (SWE), Davis Love (USA), David McNabb (USA), Jason Kokrak (USA), Jaco Van Zyl (RSA)
75 - Mark Sheftic (USA), Stewart Cink (USA), Stephen Gallacher (SCO), Caine Fitzgerald (USA)
76 - Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Shaun Micheel (USA), Padraig Harrington (IRL), K.J. Choi (KOR)
77 - Peter Uihlein (USA)
78 - Rob Labritz (USA), Stuart Smith (USA)
WD - Bo Van Pelt (USA) 80

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