McIlroy leads the 104th PGA Championship way after the first 24 hours in Tulsa

by | May 20, 2022 | 0 comments

The Wanamaker trophy is seen on the first tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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  • Rory McIlroy leads after the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship.  It is the fifth time in his major championship career that he has held at least a share of the lead at the end of Round 1.  He did that at the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews (finished T-3), 2011 Masters (finished T-15), 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club (Won) and 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club (Won)
  • McIlroy, who shot 64 (-6) in the final round of the 2022 Masters, becomes the first player in history to shoot 65 or better in the last round of a major and then 65 or better in the first round of the next major.
  • His combined score of 129 is tied for the second-best score over two rounds of major championship play.  Only Brooks Koepka (128 over his first two rounds of the 2019 PGA Championship and Bethpage State Park) had a lower total.
  • McIlroy birdied four consecutive holes on Thursday morning (his third-through-sixth holes).  It marked the fourth time in his major championship career that McIlroy had a streak that long, having done so at the 2020 PGA Championship (2nd Round) at TPC Harding, the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Course (1st Round); and at the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews (1st Round). Both times that he did that in the first round, he wound up with monster final results: 1st in 2014 and T-3 in 2010.
  • It is just the second time in the last seven PGA Championships that a player had four consecutive birdies in the first round.  Martin Laird did that at Kiawah Island last year.
  • It is also a first time that McIlroy has shot four-under-par through the first six holes of a major championship. The last player to do that at a PGA Championship was Matt Wallace at Bethpage Black in 2019.   Wallace ended up shooting 69 (-1) in that round and finished the week with a T-3 result.
  • The only two former major champions who find themselves among the top 15 after Thursday’s round are Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.
  • This is the first major since the 2017 U.S. Open in which no more than two former major winners are among the top-15 on the leaderboard after Round 1.  That year at Erin Hills Golf Course, the highest ranking minted major winners after the first round were Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els – all tied for 18th.
  • This is the seventh PGA Championship start of Justin Thomas’s career.  It is the first time that he has ever ranked among the top 20 after the first round.  When he won this championship in 2017, he ranked T-44 after Round 1.  Entering this championship, Thomas ranked outside the top 50 after the first round of each of the last four major championships, including T-77 after the first round at Kiawah Island last year.
  • World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler posted a one-over-par 71 in Round 1.  As disappointing as that may seem for the #1 player in the world, it extended an impressive streak.  He has shot no worse than 72 in each of his last 15 rounds in major championship play.  That is the longest active streak of its kind. In fact, there are no other active streaks that are even half as long as that.
  • Aussie Cam Smith made seven birdies on Thursday after leading the 2022 Masters with 22 par breakers. The only other player in history with that many par-breakers (29) over his first five major championship rounds of a calendar year was Jordan Spieth, who made 32 birdies or better through his first five rounds of 2015. Next highest after Smith: 28, by Phil Mickelson (2001), Brooks Koepka (2019) and Xander Schauffele (2019).
  • Tiger Woods got it to two-under par on Thursday morning before making three consecutive bogeys and finishing his round four-over par (74).  Similarly, Woods got it to -3 during the first round of the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills before finishing the day at one over par (71). Woods bounced back to shoot 63 in Round Two en route to winning the championship.
  • Dating back to the second round of the 2022 Masters, this is the fourth round in a row that Woods has made three consecutive bogeys.  Prior to this year, he had never done that in more than two consecutive major championship rounds.
  • Tiger has shot exactly four-over par in the first round of a major championship seven previous times as a professional. He made the cut in six of the seven instances.  He finished top-20 in five of the seven instances.

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