Pettersson leads low scoring at PGA
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 US PGA Championship | Round One | 10 Aug 2012
Sweden’s Carl Pettersson leads the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina after an opening round of 66 gave him a one shot lead over Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Alexander Noren.
The opening day probably best described as a day of two halves. Those blessed with morning tee times had the most perfect of conditions and many would take advantage. The scoring overall was surprsingly low with more than 40 players breaking par on day one.
Tiger Woods, who opened with a solid round of 69, perhaps summed it up best when he described with some amazement the quality of the early scoring and the change in conditions as the round progressed.
“Well, I mean, geez, I’m playing with Keegan (Bradley) and he’s 3 under through two, and you look up on the board, some guys 4 under through six; a bunch of guys 3 under through five; a couple of them were 3 under through three.
“So it’s one of those days where everyone’s going to shoot 6 , 7 , 8 under par, but the wind kicked up a little bit and it changed things quite a bit. If it had stayed pretty benign, I’m sure you would have had to have probably shot 5 under par to be in the Top 10.
“But things have changed. The wind has kicked up, and it’s actually changed directions, too. When it first kicked up it was off the land and now it’s off the ocean. Much different golf course now.
Pettersson was bogey free in his round of 66 which began at 8.50am. He reached to the turn in 32 but as the breezes kicked in the birdie rush slowed a little. He birdied the 10th and 16th but importantly did not drop a shot.
“Obviously I played well today,” said Pettersson. “You know, it’s a little bit softer so that makes the fairways wider, and the wind really hasn’t blown, and the greens are still a little bit soft. Under the right conditions, if it got really firm and fast and you had the wind, it would be very difficult. I think we’ve seen it about as easy as it can get today this morning. It still is a very good and very tough golf course, but I think we had it under some of the easiest conditions you could probably get.”
Geoff Ogilvy was amongst three Australians at 4 under and had been happy enough with his game coming into the event. "I played well at The Open. I kind of scored not very well Thursday and Saturday at The Open, but played really well all week. Ended up kind of sneaking into a Top 10 feeling like I could have done really well there.
“And then last week is a frustrating course. Played really, really well and just didn’t make many putts and kind of just finished under par but felt like I was playing pretty well coming in here.
“So it was nice to get out there, like you said, obviously on the better half of the day and actually have a decent score. You still have to play well and it’s easy to go out and not play well. So it’s nice to have a reasonable score when other guys are having good scores. Hopefully that is a good start with three more to go.”
Also at 4 under are Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott whose rounds of 68 were made all the better for that fact that they played late in the day. Both get the chance to play early tomorrow and hopefully experience the same conditions that those out early on day one enjoyed.
Greg Chalmers was the next best of the Australians with a round of 70 after a brilliant start had him at 4 under and in the lead early in the day.
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