US PGA Championship 2024: first round – live

Key events

Rory makes his par putt! That’ll make him feel a whole lot better about himself. He remains at -1 having played the back nine in 35 strokes. Bogey for Jordan Spieth at 17, the result of quitting on a chip coming up the bank; he’s -2. In the meantime, Schauffele rattles his birdie putt into the cup with absurd confidence, the ball battering the back of the cup and dropping with a satisfying death rattle. He’s two clear!

-6: Schauffele (10*)
-4: Finau (7*)
-3: Ghim (13*), Jaeger (12*), MacIntyre (9)

Corrections and clarifications dept. Rory isn’t wedging in from 100 yards. It’s 99. Many apologies. He screeches his fourth shot pin high, spinning it back a little, and will have a look at saving his par from seven feet or so. As he trudges up to the green, it’s hard to work out whether he’s wearing a look of relief at having a chance to escape, or irritation at having got into so much trouble. A study in ambivalence, let’s settle on that.

McIlroy can only whip back out with a 7-iron. He finds the fairway but he’ll need to get up and down from 100 yards if he’s not to card back-to-back bogeys. How quickly things can spin out of control. Meanwhile up on 2, Schauffele is making things look absurdly easy, clacking his approach to five feet. As Rory battles, Xander will have another great look at birdie!

McIlroy tiptoes around the waterfalls as he works out where his ball entered the hazard. Eventually he drops but he’ll surely not be able to take a shy at the green with his third stroke, so par will be some result from here after all. Just as well this didn’t happen with darkness descending a decade ago.

Rory McIlroy is beginning to get a little ragged. When he won here in the gloaming in 2014, he nearly found the water down the right of the hole. Well, this time he’s gone in. It’s a par five, so escaping without dropping a shot is still very possible, but it’s a job of work now, and he’d have fancied himself for a bounceback birdie, so these are testing times for McIlroy all of a sudden.

Xander Schauffele’s drive at 1 finds rough down the right, and his second sails into a big bunker to the left of the green. The calmest of up and downs secures his par. And it’s a fine street-fighting par for Jordan Spieth on 16, as he chips up from the back of the green, 90 feet to six, and knocks in the putt. They remain at -5 and -3 respectively.

Xander Schauffele in action earlier on day one. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Updated at 

Disappointment for Tiger on 18. Two big hits to reach the fringe, but a weak chip up costs him the opportunity of birdie and chance to hit the turn in level par. Disappointment also for Rory back on 17, as he’s unable to get up and down from greenside sand for two holes in a row. He slips back to -1, and a fast start suddenly looks average with Schauffele and Finau going gangbusters.

Bob MacIntyre had a birdie putt lip out on 6. He hasn’t let it affect him. He sends his approach at 7 over the flag to four feet, and mops up without fuss. Meanwhile a third birdie on the bounce for Tony Finau, the latest at 15, and he moves to -4. And also heading in the right direction, Viktor Hovland, who responds to that dropped stroke at 14 with birdie at 16. He rejoins the group at -3.

-5: Schauffele (9*)
-4: Finau (6*)
-3: Ghim (12*), MacIntyre (7), Hovland (7*), Spieth (6*), Finau (5*), Burmester (4*)
-2: Donald (11), Herbert (11*), Fox (10), Jaeger (10*), Hisatsune (9), McIlroy (7*), Matsuyama (6*), Hatton (5*), Moore (4)

Xander Schauffele has been working on his putting after last weekend’s malfunctions. The effort has been worth it. He walks in yet another birdie putt, this time at the par-five 18th, and he’s played the back nine flawlessly, taking just 31 strokes. All of a sudden, a little daylight at the top of the leaderboard.

-5: Schauffele (9*)
-3: Ghim (12*), Spieth (6*), Finau (5*), Burmester (4*)

The big-hitting Dean Burmester will fancy his chances around Valhalla. He’s flown out of the traps, too, having just made his third birdie in four holes at 13. The best of the bunch came at the par-three 11th, bundling in a chip from the side of a bank.

-4: Schauffele (8*)
-3: Ghim (11*), Spieth (6*), Finau (5*), Burmester (4*)

Max Homa holes out from greenside sand at 16, and that’s his third birdie in four holes! He’s -2, having dropped a stroke at 11. Meanwhile on 2, Doug Ghim makes a big par saver from the fringe to remain at -3. Rory saves the day too, getting up and down from sand at 16; he’s still -2. And back-to-back par saves from ten feet, at 16 and 17, for Tiger, who is hanging on at +1.

Tony Finau makes the first birdie at 14 today! He knocks his tee shot at the 257-yard par-three to five feet, and rolls in the putt. That follows birdies at 10 and 13, and the genial giant moves to -3. Ten top-ten finishes in the majors without ever getting really close. It’s about time?

One of the pre-tournament favourites is having a difficult day. Ludvig Aberg has bogeyed 14 and 16 to drop off the pace at +2. To be fair, it’s his PGA debut and only his second start in a major. But that runner-up spot at Augusta ensured expectation would be high. A decent start for Tommy Fleetwood, meanwhile, as he birdies 13 to move into the red.

Some bother for Doug Ghim on 2. He finds sand front and right of the green, and though his splash out nearly hits the flagstick, the ball rolls 15 feet past. And a wee bit of trouble for Rory McIlroy on 16, as his drive finds semi-rough down the right; blocked out by overhanging branches, his second dunks into the sand front and left. A big putt for Ghim and a big up-and-down for Rory coming up.

A farcical double bogey for Dustin Johnson on 15. He yanks a wild tee shot deep into trouble down the left, and requires two shots to get back out of the trees and onto the fairway. The subsequent approach is decent; the bogey putt from 15 feet is not. He’s +3, and hasn’t been the same since his LIV defection. A no-fuss par for his playing partner Rory McIlroy, who remains at -2.

-4: Schauffele (7*)
-3: Ghim (10*), Spieth (5*)

The long par-three 14th – 254 yards! – is causing quite a few problems today. It’s currently playing to an average of 3.67. No birdies yet. Seven pars. Ten bogeys. Hideki Matsuyama manages to get up and down from sand; Viktor Hovland, from a similar position, cannot. Both are now -2.

Xander Schauffele keeps on keepin’ on. He sends his second at 16 from the best part of 200 yards to seven feet. In goes the putt, and this is some way to get over the frustrations of last week’s Wells Fargo. He’s out on his own at -4.

Doug Ghim sends his second at the par-five 18th over the back, then carefully bundles the chip up to three feet. He tidies up for birdie, turns in 33, and joins Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland and Jordan Spieth in the lead at -3. Meanwhile bogey for Tiger at 15 drops him back to +1.

You’ll have noticed Tyrrell Hatton’s name popping up on the leaderboard. That’s the result of his draining a monster birdie putt from the fringe at 12. Meanwhile a cool up-and-down from the side of the par-three 14th by Rory McIlroy, who does well to dink a delicate chip from thick rough to five feet, then confidently rolls in the par saver. His short game, something that’s let him down so often in the big championships, looks in decent nick right now. Field watch out if he can keep it all together.

They’re pouring in now. Xander Schauffele strokes in his third birdie of the day from 20 feet on 15. Meanwhile back on 13, Jordan Spieth’s unexpected hot streak continues apace, as he screeches his wedge from 100 yards to a couple of feet. In goes the putt, and this is quite the leading group, when you consider Schauffele is coming off the disappointment of being blown away by Rory last weekend, Hovland is piecing together his game after needlessly buggering around with his swing, and Spieth has been way off the boil for a while. Great to see them all back! This is fun.

-3: Schauffele (6*), Hovland (4*), Spieth (4*)
-2: Ghim (8*), McIlroy (4*), Matsuyama (4*), MacIntyre (4), Hatton (3*)


Updated at 

Another birdie for Bob MacIntyre, who dribbles in a 15-footer on 4 to join the leaders at -2. But he’s not in a share of the lead for long. Doug Ghim should move to -3 but misses a five-footer on 17 and has to settle for par. But Viktor Hovland, who has reunited with his old swing coach having made some questionable changes earlier in the season, makes it three birdies in his first four holes, at 13, and this championship is beginning to bubble up nicely. We’re only a couple of hours in!

-3: Hovland (4*)
-2: Ghim (8*), Schauffele (5*), McIlroy (4*), Matsuyama (4*), MacIntyre (4), Spieth (3*), Theegala (2*)

Sahith Theegala is going around today with Tyrrell Hatton … who replicates his partner’s wedge heroics from the back of 11! He’s -1. Meanwhile career-slam-chasing Jordan Spieth cracks a big drive down 12, then lands his second from 185 yards to ten feet, before stroking in the birdie putt. He joins the ever-expanding group at -2, and this PGA Championship is already brimming with promise.

Jordan Spieth bangs one down the 12th. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Updated at 

Rory McIlroy appears to have taken last week’s form into this one. He wedges from 100 yards to ten feet at 13, and joins the chaps in the lead at -2. As does Sahith Theegala, who follows up an opening birdie at 10 with an outrageous one at the par-three 11th. Over the back and down a hill smothered in thick rough, the extremely popular Californian whips high into the air, landing his ball softly on the green above and sending it rolling straight into the cup. That’s sensational. This week’s winner will have to work some magic around the greens with their wedges; McIlroy and Theegala already have it all going on!

-2: Ghim (7*), Schauffele (4*), McIlroy (4*), Hovland (3*), Theegala (2*)

Hideki Matsuyama pours one in from distance at 12, and the 2021 Masters champion moves into the red. Meanwhile an absurd up and down by Matt Wallace on 6. He’s over the back of the green in two, the rough halfway up to his knees. He requires his caddie to help him find the ball. All he can do is gouge out, and he does exceptionally well to hold his ball on the green, 40 feet from the hole. Then in goes the lengthy par saver! He remains -1, a shot off the lead now also shared by Viktor Hovland, who makes a 20-footer on 12.

-2: Ghim (7*), Schauffele (4*), Hovland (3*)

Having scrambled his par on 12, Tiger follows up by ramming home a 15-foot birdie putt on 13. He’s back on terms at level par. And some fine scrambling from Doug Ghim on the monster par-four 16th, playing at 503 yards today. He nearly holes out from off the front, a crisp chip from 55 feet to five inches. He remains at -2 alongside Xander Schauffele.

There were no Scottish players at the Masters last month. But Bob MacIntyre is here to represent the old country this week, and the 27-year-old from Oban has started well, with birdie at the long par-four 2nd. He’s -1, alongside the 2022 Open champion Cameron Smith, who picks up his first stroke of the week at 11.

Xander Schauffele has bounced back as well, from disappointment at Quail Hollow last Sunday, when he was left in Rory McIlroy’s dust. Birdie at 11 and now another at 13, the latest the reward for a fine wedge landed pin high and spun back to 12 feet, leaving an uphill putt that’s drained with supreme confidence. He joins Doug Ghim in the lead at -2.

A huge roar on 12 as Tiger rolls in a straight 25-footer. But it’s just to save his par. The 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 winner remains at +1. Meanwhile the man looking to join him on the career-slam roll of honour, Jordan Spieth, crashes his second at 10 into the heart of the green, then nearly drains his 30-foot eagle effort. An opening birdie will suffice. And it’s a bounce-back birdie for Doug Ghim at 15, who grabs back sole ownership of the early lead at -2.

-2: Ghim (6*)
-1: Donald (6), Wallace (4), Schauffele (3*), Hadwin (3), McIlroy (2*), Hovland (1*), Spieth (1*)

Opening birdie for Viktor Hovland at 10. Last year’s runner-up – the Norwegian was in contention until plugging his ball in the face of a fairway bunker at 16 – has himself a share of the lead, with Doug Ghim missing the green at the par-three 14th and dropping his first shot of the day. Meanwhile a fine up and down by Rory from the side of 11. An early sign that his newly rediscovered confidence with his occasionally recalcitrant wedge is not misplaced.

-1: Donald (5), Ghim (5*), Wallace (4), Schauffele (3*), Hadwin (2), McIlroy (2*), Hovland (1*)

Jordan Spieth is looking to complete the career slam this week. Only five players have previously managed to collect the full set: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. If Spieth’s to become the sixth member of this exclusive club, he’ll need to up his game this week, having missed the cut at both the Players and Masters. The 2015 Masters, 2015 US Open and 2017 Open champion starts well by cracking his opening drive down the middle of the 10th fairway.

Tiger’s tee shot at the par-three 11th is long and to the right. He can’t get anywhere close with his wedge out of the thick cabbage, and drops to +1. Meanwhile a slow start for another former champion, Shaun Micheel. Three bogeys in the opening five holes and the 2003 winner (and 2006 runner-up) is +3 in short order.

Tiger Woods tees off in the 10th. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Updated at 

Another birdie for Doug Ghim! He rattles in a 30-footer across 13 and the 28-year-old from Illinois, making his PGA debut this week, hits the front of his own. That’s because Luke Donald visits a native area down the left side of 5, and ends up looking at a 60-footer to save his par. He does pretty well to limit the damage to bogey. But up on 10, the in-form Rory McIlroy opens with birdie, that aforementioned loose tee shot worrying him not one jot.

-2: Ghim (4*)
-1: Donald (5), Schauffele (2*), Kaymer (2), McIlroy (1)

An opening par for Tiger Woods at 10. He looks slightly disappointed, having gotten a bit too aggressive with a six-foot birdie effort, the pace cancelling out the right-to-left break. Meanwhile back down the hole – named after the famous racehorse Secretariat – another thoroughbred, Rory McIlroy, sends his first shot of the week into rough down the left.

It was a misty morning in Louisville, Kentucky. Like the clouds above the storm just had to cry. But that’s clearing up now, and the weather is expected to be fine and dandy for the rest of the day. There is some rain expected tomorrow, mind, which if nothing else should ensure the course doesn’t get too firm and out of hand over the entire piece. Meanwhile Matt Wallace has made his bounce-back birdie at 3, and he joins Doug Ghim in second spot at -1.

Another birdie for Luke Donald! He knocks his second at 4 to three feet, and tidies up to move to -2. Bogey for Matt Wallace at 2, though … but he’ll be moving back into red figures soon enough, as he’s just swished his tee shot at the par-three 3rd to a couple of feet.

-2: Donald (4)
-1: Ghim (3*)

Ludvig Aberg’s first hole in a PGA Championship should have ended with birdie. He sends his approach at the par-five 10th to eight feet. But he misreads what looks like a fairly simple putt and his ball dies away on the low side. No damage done, though, and he moves on with par.

Only one Englishman has ever won the PGA … and that happened a long time ago. Jim Barnes was the inaugural winner back in 1916, and he followed that up with a second victory in 1919. Since then, nothing. Zilch. Nix. Nada. In fact, there have only been three other European winners in the entire history of the competition: Padraig Harrington (2008), Martin Kaymer (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2012 and 2014). But along with the aforementioned Luke Donald, the English charge is ON! Matt Wallace rolls in a 20-footer on 1 to join his compatriot at the top of the leaderboard, for what that’s worth after less than an hour of play. But it’s something, and you’ve got to start chipping away at history from somewhere.

-1: Donald (3), Ghim (2*), Wallace (1)
+5: Block (3)

The first shot of this year’s tournament was hit by Michael Block. You’ll remember the California club pro’s antics last year, when at the age of 46 he shot 70 in the third round, then made a hole-in-one with Rory McIlroy standing next to him on Sunday. He finished the week in a tie for 15th, as sensational a story as LIV returnee Brooks Koepka winning the whole thing. Fairytale-infused lightning doesn’t look like striking twice, sadly. Block sent his opening drive into the rough en route to bogey, and has followed that up with a disastrous quadruple-bogey eight on the 2nd, after a short-game zig-zaggy meltdown around the green. He’s +5 already, and a year’s a long time in major-championship golf.

Here we go, then … and the first birdie of the week has been made by one of golf’s nearly men. If you can call a former world number one a nearly man, of course. All hail Luke Donald, who drains a 25-footer on the 1st to become the first player to move into red figures this week. Europe’s current Ryder Cup captain jointly led this tournament after 54 holes at Medinah in 2006 … but on the Sunday, he slipped to a two-over 74 while eventual winner Tiger Woods carded 68. Donald’s tie for third remains his best-ever finish at a major; he also tied for third at the Masters in 2005, though arguably came closest to winning a major when eventually tying for fourth at Augusta six years later. Could this be the time for the 46-year-old to finally make the breakthrough we always thought he would, but never did? Well, almost certainly not. But it’d be lovely, wouldn’t it? We’re allowed to dream.


The PGA Championship likes to throw up a leftfield winner every now and then – Mark Brooks won here at Valhalla in 1996, to pluck one example from the ether – so why not this year? The usual suspects are the favourites to succeed, but consider: Scottie Scheffler has just become a dad, Rory McIlroy has just announced his divorce, Jon Rahm is going through a tour-based existential crisis, and defending champ Brooks Koepka has put himself through some “punishment workouts” in the hope of resharpening his competitive edge. So maybe it’s major breakout time for, say, Xander Schauffele, Ludvig Aberg, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay or Tommy Fleetwood? Could be, could be.

Then again, Scheffler has won four of the last five tournaments he’s entered, coming tied for second in the other, a run that’s landed him the Players and the Masters; Rory has won on his last two outings; Rahm’s year-long tournament drought can’t last forever; and Koepka is also coming off the back of a victory, and he’s lifted the Wanamaker Trophy three times in the last six years. So, y’know.

Here are the first-round tee times (USA unless stated, all times BST) starting at hole 1 …

1215 Michael Block, Luke Donald (Eng), Shaun Micheel
1226 Jeffrey Kellen, Ben Kohles, Alex Smalley
1237 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Josh Speight, Matt Wallace (Eng)
1248 Ryo Hisatsune (Jpn), Zac Oakley, Adam Svensson (Can)
1259 Adam Hadwin (Can), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Taylor Pendrith (Can)
1310 Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Eric Cole
1321 Corey Conners (Can), Nick Dunlap, Adam Schenk
1332 John Daly, Lee Hodges, Robert MacIntyre (Sco)
1343 Kurt Kitayama, Peter Malnati, Victor Perez (Fra)
1354 Zachary Blair, Ben Polland, Ryan van Velzen (Rsa)
1405 Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor), Sami Valimaki (Fin), Jeremy Wells
1416 Jared Jones, Taylor Moore, Patrick Rodgers
1427 Kyle Mendoza, Andy Ogletree, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa)
1745 Matt Dobyns, Thriston Lawrence (Rsa), David Puig (Spa)
1756 Denny McCarthy, Keita Nakajima (Jpn), Tracy Phillips
1807 Cameron Davis (Aus), Harris English, Talor Gooch
1818 Jason Day (Aus), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den), Shane Lowry (Irl)
1829 Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Min-Woo Lee (Aus)
1840 Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor), Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Gary Woodland
1851 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa
1902 Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm (Spa), Cameron Young
1913 Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Scottie Scheffler
1924 Patrick Cantlay, Camilo Villegas (Col), Will Zalatoris
1935 Sam Burns, Padraig Harrington (Irl), Patrick Reed
1946 Mark Hubbard, Brad Marek, Maverick McNealy
1957 Seong-Hyeon Kim (Kor), Braden Shattuck, Chengtsung Pan (Tai)

… and starting at hole 10 …

1220 Tyler Collet, Doug Ghim, Adrian Meronk (Pol)
1231 Larkin Gross, Lucas Herbert (Aus), Grayson Murray
1242 Lucas Glover, Russell Henley, Stephan Jaeger (Ger)
1253 Ludvig Aaberg (Swe), Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas
1304 Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott (Aus), Tiger Woods
1315 Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Justin Rose (Eng)
1326 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Cameron Smith (Aus)
1337 Max Homa, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth
1348 Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Sahith Theegala
1359 Akshay Bhatia, Bryson DeChambeau, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng)
1410 Takumi Kanaya (Jpn), Sepp Straka (Aut), Nick Taylor (Can)
1421 Dean Burmester (Rsa), Ben Griffin, Andrew Svoboda
1432 Preston Cole, Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Tim Widing (Swe)
1740 Rich Beem, Kazuma Kobori (Jpn), Sebastian Soederberg (Swe)
1751 Josh Bevell, Aaron Rai (Eng), Jordan Smith (Eng)
1802 Charley Hoffman, Jesse Mueller, Andrew Putnam
1813 Tom Hoge, Si-Woo Kim (Kor), Alexander Noren (Swe)
1824 Matthieu Pavon (Fra), J. T. Poston, Yong-Eun Yang (Kor)
1835 Jason Dufner, Jake Knapp, Francesco Molinari (Ita)
1846 Thomas Detry (Bel), Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den), Jimmy Walker
1857 Austin Eckroat, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Luke List
1908 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Beau Hossler, Sung-Jae Im (Kor)
1919 Keith Mitchell, Thorbjoern Olesen (Den), Brendon Todd
1930 Brice Garnett, John Somers, Jesper Svensson (Swe)
1941 Evan Bowser, Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Alejandro Tosti (Arg)
1952 Chris Gotterup, Vincent Norrman (Swe), Wyatt Worthington II

It’s on!

Source link