SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest from the opening round of the PGA Championship:
Major champions are starting to populate the leaderboard at the PGA Championship, including some names that haven’t been heard from in a while.
Martin Kaymer, a PGA champion in 2010 and a U.S. Open champion in 2014, was at 5 under through 14 holes at the TPC Harding Park. He was in a four-way tie that included Zach Johnson, whose last major was at St. Andrews five years ago.
Kaymer is No. 128 in the world. Johnson is at No. 210.
What they have in common — aside from a good start — is the last majors they won was the last tournaments they won.
Scottie Scheffler, a PGA Tour rookie from Texas, and Xander Schauffele also were at 5 under.
Another shot back was Jason Day, who won the PGA Championship five years ago. He wasn’t won in two years.
Brooks Koepka was 3 under through 12 holes, just the start he needed. Tiger Woods, after a quick start, was back to even par through 12.
Zach Johnson and Scottie Scheffler are off to an early lead at 4 under at the PGA Championship.
Starting on the back nine, Johnson was through eight holes after three straight birdies at TPC Harding Park. Scheffler was through 12 holes.
Dustin Johnson and Jason Day were at 3 under. Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was tied for fifth at minus-2 through eight holes in the first round on Thursday. Koepka would be the first golfer to win the tournament three times in a row since Walter Hagen won four in a row almost 100 years ago.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka has teed off a TPC Harding Park as he tries to become the first golfer to win three PGA Championships in a row since Walter Hagen.
Koepka teed off on the back nine on Thursday morning and parred his first hole.
Koepka would be the first player ever to win the PGA Championship three straight times in stroke play. Hagen won four in a row from 1924-27, when it was match play.
The threesome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas also teed off from the back nine on Thursday morning.
Brian Harman hit the opening shot at the PGA Championship on Thursday, and it was clear as he looked down the first fairway at TPC Harding Park that it was a historic moment.
The fairway was lined by trees, not people.
The COVID-19 pandemic that forced the PGA Championship to move from May to August also led to this being the first major championship without spectators. That includes family members of the 156 players in the field, and limited media.
A few volunteers took out mobile phones to capture the moment. The starter announced in a microphone, “From Sea Island, Georgia, Brian Harman.” And there was no applause. There was no need for a microphone, either, but old habits die hard.
Harman pulled his tee shot into the rough. At least he found it. There is only one marshal for each hole, down from 12.
This is the first major of the year, with the Masters moved to November, the U.S. Open moved ot September and the British Open moved to 2021.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods were among those playing in the morning.
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