PGA Championship: Defending champion Koepka makes flying start

After his famous Masters meltdown on the back nine of the final round in 2011, he won the U.S. Open.

New Zealand's unheralded Danny Lee, one shot off the overnight lead of defending champion Brooks Koepka, teed off Friday morning in hopes of an early charge at the PGA Championship. Koepka is hunting for his fourth major win, but he's in the shadow of Tiger Woods, who is shooting for his second straight major after taking the Masters.

"I didn't feel like I hit that bad (of) shots, maybe I made bad decisions".

"I can't imagine it will [cross my mind], because I haven't been in contention on a Sunday since The Open past year", Spieth said after completing 36 holes at 135, 5 under par - 2 strokes behind leader Brooks Koepka, who had yet to tee off. You have to plan on traffic that's not there when Tiger plays in events.

It was not, however, a period that saw Woods hit a competitive golf shot as the 43-year-old elected to rest a body that will need more and more breaks as time goes on.

Koepka didn't have any of those Thursday, even though he had some wayward tee shots to overcome. He missed just one putt out of 11 between 5 and 10 feet.

He got on a roll after the turn, birdieing the first and second holes and making a 30-foot eagle putt at the fourth.

A victory would tie Woods for the record of 82 US PGA Tour titles held by Sam Snead, and move him within two of matching the all-time major record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.

In addition, he is just the third golfer with multiple rounds of 63 in major championship history, joining Greg Norman and Vijay Singh.

"The course is not easy, but Brooks obviously made it look real easy", Perez said.

Finding the fairways will be crucial over the 7,549-yard, par-70 layout as sloping greens harden after earlier rain that made dense rough tougher.

"Koepka comes out just goes birdie on the first hole, nearly birdies the second hole", Kanell said. After Cook finished, he was 58th with many golfers still on the course. "I'm going to be somewhere around it or close enough to where with 36 holes left, I'm OK".

"Big-time players are going to show up in the majors and that's where you want to give yourself a chance to win it - with nine holes to go". "I just didn't take care of my opportunities there". "I saw that on Tuesday when I played with him". He could easily have been a couple better. There's a fine line between five, six-over and a couple under out here.

"Fought my way back and got it under par for the day", Woods said. Woods, who skipped practice on Wednesday because he "felt a little bit sick", said he was fine on Thursday. But he lipped the right edge on his bogey putt to make double bogey.

Koepka held off Woods to win last year's PGA at Bellerive before Woods turned the tables at the Masters, completing an wonderful comeback after 2017 spinal fusion surgery that ended years of back woes.



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