JASON DAY and Matt Jones were just two strokes behind outright leader Dustin Johnson after the first round of the 2015 US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Playing in the mostly more favourable morning conditions, the Aussie pair each returned rounds of 4-under 68 to trail just Johnson, who has made a bit of a habit of getting flying starts in majors before being overrun down the stretch, and Sweden’s David Lingmerth, alone at 5-under.
Starting on the back nine, Day had birdies on his 5th and 7th holes before an eagle on his 11th hole (the par five 2nd hole). A birdie on his 14th hole was unfortunately negated by a bogey on the very next hole.
“The biggest thing is just to be really patient with myself and know that there’s four par-5s out here that you can really attack and take advantage of,” said Day, who made his major debut at this location in 2010 when he finished T10.
“Getting through the front nine with 2-under and then eagling the second hole was really nice to do.”
“I was really trying to think, okay, if I can get 68 or better that would be a good start, considering the wind.”
Also happy with his round was Sydney’s Jones, who got off to a flying start with four birdies in his opening seven holes before a bogey at the 9th. He had a blemish free back nine that included a birdie on the par four 13th.
“Number 9 is just a tough hole, especially with the wind off to the left. There’s nowhere to miss that green. If you miss it — I just couldn’t get up and down,” said Jones.
“Anytime you start off with a good round, especially in a Major Championship, it’s great. There’s not going to be a lot of great scores this afternoon.”
“I see Dustin at 6, I’m at 4. If anyone else shoots 4-under this afternoon, they’ve played a hell of a round.”
The two Aussies were tied along with six others, with the next best Aussie being John Senden, who was sitting at 1-under with a number of others including featured group members Rory McIlroy, showing little physical effect from his month long injury layoff, and Jordan Spieth.
Adam Scott started well with two straight birdies and did the same at the start of his back nine … but also managed a double bogey on the 4th, a triple on the par three 12th, and four other bogeys. At four over he’s probably not out of it but will be hoping for more consistency and better conditions when he resumes in the morning.
US PGA Championship First Round Video Highlights
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