PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Tiger Woods made a mess of his final hole at the PGA Championship, hardly looking as though he’s poised to break the longest major drought of his career.
Jim Furyk feels as if his game is finally coming together again.
Even with a bogey on the final hole, Furyk seized the clubhouse lead with a 5-under 65 Thursday before storms halted the opening round at defenseless Oak Hill.
“You’re usually disappointed to end the day with a bogey,” the 43-year-old American said. “But a 65 at the PGA, that’s not so bad.”
Furyk rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt at the 16th — his seventh hole of the round after starting on the back side — and pushed his score to 6 under until that stumble at the ninth left him with his lone bogey. He shook his head after missing a 25-footer to save par, but couldn’t complain much about the way he played on a course that was ripe for the taking, having already been softened by overnight rain.
Canadian David Hearn was one stroke back after starting with a 66. Four players, including Matt Kuchar, were at 67. Another 15 players had scores in the 60s, with more sure to come in prime scoring conditions.
Masters champion Adam Scott, for instance, put together five straight birdies on the front side for a 5-under 30, joining Furyk atop the leaderboard before even making the turn. Japan’s Kohki Idoki, the Senior PGA Championship winner, and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez had runs of four straight birdies, the course playing more like a regular tour event than a major championship.
But the afternoon starters had to deal with an unexpected break. With thunder rumbling nearby and a line of storms bearing down on Oak Hill, play was suspended at 4:25 p.m. EDT. The players hustled to the clubhouse, just ahead of heavy rain.
Woods opened with a disappointing 71, finishing his round with a double bogey.
“The round, realistically, could’ve been under par easily,” said Woods, who came in with five tour victories this season, including a seven-shot runaway last week at the Bridgestone.
Defending PGA champion Rory McIlroy, mired in a slump this season, was 3 under at the turn but dropped back with two straight bogeys before the storms moved in.
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