Bobby Wadkins put together six birdies to offset a pair of rough-induc
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) _ Bobby Wadkins put together six birdies to offset a pair of rough-induced bogeys to shoot a 4-under-par 68 today for the lead among the early finishers in the 69th PGA Championship.
″The fairways are perfect, the rough unplayable and the greens so-so″ Wadkins said after his first-round tour of the 7,002-yard championship course at the PGA National Golf Club.
Fred Funk, the golf coach at the University of Maryland, was one shot back after shooting 69.
″I missed two fairways (Nos. 1 and 14), and both fairways I missed I bogeyed,″ Wadkins said.
Wadkins scored his birdies from close range. He got it in from two feet on the fourth, two-putted from 20 feet on No. 6 and holed a 12-footer on No. 8.
Wadkins also birdied No. 11 from six feet, scored from three feet on the 13th and closed by two-putting from 45 feet on the final hole.
The players had been complaining of the severe rough during practice.
″I think it’s more than severe, it’s brutal,″ Wadkins said.
Funk started on the back, opening with a 50-foot birdie 3 on the 10th and turning with a bogey 6 on the 18th.
Funk birdied Nos. 3 and 5 and capped off his performance with a 35-foot birdie on his final hole, No. 9.
The field of 150 began play in hot, muggy weather. The forecast called for temperatures in the low 90s and a 40 percent chance of afternoon showers.
″It was cool here compared to Memphis,″ Wadkins said.
In the star threesome of the day, Tom Watson, still seeking his first PGA title, was 1-under, five-time champion Jack Nicklaus 1-over and Arnold Palmer 2-over through 11 holes. Palmer had an eagle 3 on the 11th.