Canada’s David Hearn fired a four-under par 66 to seize the clubhouse lead yesterday at the PGA Championship while top-ranked Tiger Woods struggled to stay under par at Oak Hill.
Hearn, who grew up five blocks from ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s home, opened with a bogey but responded with birdies at the second, the par-5 fourth and the par-3 sixth holes, began the back nine birdie-birdie and added another at the par-4 16th before closing with a bogey.
Hearn achieved his best US PGA Tour finish last month, losing a playoff at the John Deere Classic on the fifth extra hole to US teen Jordan Spieth, who became the tour’s youngest winner since 1931.
Jim Furyk was on five under with four holes to play in the first round of the year’s final major tournament. England’s Paul Casey and American Robert Garrigus were in the clubhouse on three-under 67 with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Americans Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner finishing on 68.
Woods, a 14-time major winner seeking his first major title since the 2008 US Open, was one-under par with four holes remaining. Woods, seeking a record-tying fifth PGA Championship crown, began on the back nine and birdied the par-5 13th and sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and saved pars at 17 and 18 after missing the green.
But Woods found trouble on the front side, missing a four-footer for birdie at the second and finding rough and a bunker on his way to a bogey at the par-5 fourth. He made a motion after his second shot as if to throw his club before holding onto it and his temper.