The Latest: Thorbjorn _ or is it Jacob? _ Olesen leads PGA
Aug. 10, 2017
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club (all times local):
Thorbjorn Olesen is the early first-round leader at the PGA Championship after shooting a 4-under 67. Or is he?
It turns out Thorbjorn isn't actually his first name. It's Jacob.
Olesen says that when he started school in Demark, there were three boys named Jacob in his class, so everyone started calling him by his middle name, Thorbjorn, to avoid confusion. The name stuck, and he's been known to the golf world as Thorbjorn Olesen ever since.
"I thought, why not, I'll still use it as a professional golfer," said Olesen, who has won four times in the European Tour but never on American soil. "I think it's only really my mom that calls me Jacob. But everybody else calls me Thorbjorn."
Rickie Fowler ran off four birdies on the front nine of the PGA Championship to help overcome a triple bogey.
The star attraction for the afternoon has Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Fowler, and all three have made the turn under par. Rahm made dropped only one shot, at the par-3 fourth hole, and was at 2 under. McIlroy bogeyed both par 3s and followed with back-to-back birdies. He was at 1 under. Fowler birdied the ninth hole and was 1 under
Thorbjorn Olesen has the lead. He shot a 4-under 67 in the morning. If it stands, it will be the highest score to lead the PGA Championship after the opening round since Matt Kuchar shot a 67 at Whistling Straits in 2010.
As John Daly played his final hole Thursday, maybe he needed Hootie to hold his hand.
Daly went from contender to curmudgeon after a triple bogey on No. 18 capped an eventful 24-hour period that included singing onstage with Darius Rucker.
Daly tweeted a video taken Wednesday night showing himself and the Hootie & the Blowfish frontman-turned-country soloist singing Prince's "Purple Rain."
The good times kept rolling through Daly's 8:20 a.m. tee time; he was at even par through 17 holes.
Then came the meltdown on No. 18. He struggled with his chipping, then three-putted for a seven.
Daly left Quail Hollow without speaking to reporters but did tell his fiancee that he wanted to "get out of here," using a profanity to express his frustration with the course.
Jordan Spieth says he didn't feel as "free rolling" as he thought he would be on Thursday. He still managed a 72 for a reasonable start to the PGA Championship and his quest for the career Grand Slam.
The greens were rolling just fine.
The putting surfaces at Quail Hollow are so firm and fast that players had a hard time holing putts early in the opening round. Spieth says he was putting defensively. U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka missed a half-dozen putts from 12 feet or closer and still shot 68. He was happy with his round because it was hard to make putts.
Sergio Garcia is the first big name tripped up by Quail Hollow Club's "Green Mile."
The Masters champion struggled on the course's challenging three-hole finishing stretch during his opening round Thursday.
Garcia, who started his round on No. 10, made the turn after double bogeys on a pair of par-4 holes — Nos. 16 and 18 — sandwiched around a bogey on the par-3 17th.
By noon, nobody shot better than par on the 16th. Charley Hoffman had the lone birdie on the 18th, and the only two birdies on the 17th belonged to Ernie Els and Tommy Fleetwood.
The "Green Mile" at Quail Hollow Club has been tough on everyone at the PGA Championship — even a course marshal.
A briefly scary moment unfolded during Thursday's early rounds when Brooks Koepka's drive on No. 16 hit the marshal. The shot sailed wide right and struck the marshal near the ropes.
Video posted on the PGA of America's Twitter feed showed Koepka checking on the marshal and signing a glove for him as he laid on the ground. The man smiled and appeared to thank the U.S. Open champion for the gesture.
The ball wound up in the fairway, and Koepka went on to bogey the par-4 hole — the first of the course's challenging "Green Mile" finishing stretch of three holes.
A PGA of America official said later that the course marshal was fine but went home for the day.
South Africa's Ernie Els was hoping to make a splash in his 100th major championship, but the "Big Easy" is off to a rocky start at the PGA Championship.
The 47-year-old Els shot 4 over on the front nine and was tied for 70th — or in second-to-last place — among the early golfers on the course as he made the turn.
Els started on the back nine and played the first seven holes in 5 over, including a double bogey on the difficult par-4 16th hole. He made birdie on the par-3 17th hole.
Paul Casey and Gary Woodland are the early leaders at 3 under. Jordan Speith was 1 under through six holes.
Jordan Spieth begins his pursuit of the final leg of the career Grand Slam under a surprisingly blue sky at the PGA Championship.
Scattered storms are in the forecast all week at Quail Hollow Club, which is likely to make the 7,600-yard course feel even longer. Spieth, needing only the PGA Championship to have all four majors, at least begins his round on the par-5 10th hole.
One of the most significant changes was combining the opening two holes into one at 524 yards and a sharp dogleg. But with soft conditions and no wind Thursday morning, the 524-yard hole wasn't a problem for the first group.
Grayson Murray, who grew up in North Carolina, Peter Uihlein and club pro Rich Berberian Jr. all hit the green and made par.