This years PGA Championship in Kiawah Island at The Ocean Course has had more talk about bunkers, and belly putters and the weather (the weather almost seems to be more of a star than it was at the Open Championship). The Golf Course has come out with its teeth bared and the players have had a few struggles and a few victories. This is the first time that the state of South Carolina has had a major championship, and they are bringing out all the stops.
Keegan Bradley our defending champion and our winner last week at the Bridgestone, played in the morning marquee group with the ever stoic Tiger Woods, and Martin Kaymer. Keegan started off hotter than a (insert weird hot likeness such as a cat on a hot tin roof…but use your imagination) with a birdie eagle start. -3 under after 2 not a bad way to get the tournament off for our 2011 PGA Championship Winner. Keegan played the rest of the day -1 under to finish in the clubhouse with a 68 -4 under par. Tiger Woods had a slow start to his first round, not much fireworks for Tiger early on. He got hot in the middle of his round with three birdies in a row, a couple of nice par saves and then carded a -3 under 69 to keep himself very much in the mix. Martin Kaymer on the other hand had a rough day with an opening round of 79 +7.
Early on in the day Ken Duke was atop the leader board for some time with a score of -4 under par. With 5 birdies early on with only one bogey (albiet on the par 5 7th) Ken was the talk of the town. He did stumble from the top and ended up with three more bogeys coming in to finish the day at -1 under par. The next big story of the leader board came from the Netherlands Josst Luiten. With a game that was similar to the on fire days of NBA Jam video game (remember you would make three in a row in NBA Jam and then your players head was on fire, and he could steal any ball and make half court jump shots like it was nothing until someone else managed to score…which was damn near impossible). Joost was -8 under par through 14 holes with 6 birdies and an eagle on the par five 16th only to come screaming back to reality with a four hole finish of bogey bogey bogey bogey. -4 under par is still only one of the lead, but the story would have been heroic and someone unbelievable for the European tour player if he could have managed a few pars coming in.
The official round one leader of the 2012 PGA Championship is none other than Sweden’s leading PGA Tour winner Carl Pettersson. The blonde haired stout long putter open stanced smooth swinger was up to his old antics again. Somewhat of a staple on the 2012 PGA Tour and not a stranger to the spot light Carl had a smooth round one with 6 birdies and no bogeys to find himself in a familiar spot in a big tournament (he has never lead a major, but some of the larger tournaments on the PGA Tour) at the top of the leader board. Oh man will the USGA, PGA and the R&A have a sh!t fit if Carl wins with that long putter. What am I going to do with my belly putter…don’t panic yet Chicago Golf Guy the ruling bodies of golf have not said anything definitive yet.
Other notables from round one: Rory McIlroy finally showed up for a major championship first round since his US Open victory last year, and hopefully I do not have to bump him from my fantasy league. With a opening round of -3 under par, Rory looked a little more like his old self then the tennis star toting Irish wildman that he has been of old. Sorry Rorrs I love ya but you have been killing me in my fantasy league. Keep up the momentum and give the non believers something to talk about.
World #1 Luke Donald has another opening round over par with a double bogey on the 17th hole and a par at the last. His mediocre first round of level par turned into a +2 LUKE bash fest with the media, after his tee shot on the par three 17th sailed right into the water. Luke is one of my favorite players, and I love his swing, he loves Chicago, he is a fantastic player, but he does not want to be lumped in with the likes of Collin Montgomery and Lee Westwood…the best players never to win a major championship. So please Luke find a way to compete in a major and get that monkey off your back.
We will end the round one recap of the PGA Championship with the likes of the Social Caddie. If you are not a fan of Twitter and Instagram and Facebook (0r you have no idea what the hell those things are), the social caddie is a great way to be a part of that social media without looking through everything on each individual site. I like the the PGA is getting involved with social media, and trying to bring the younger fans of golf to the front, and catering to those of us who live on Twitter and other social media sites. Great job PGA, and for all the youthful twitter fans out there, please start hash tagging the #pgachampionship