Jason Day in the mix after the opening round of the PGA Championship

David Lord Columnist

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    Jason Day of Australia lines up a putt on the 17th hole at Quail Hollow. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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    Australian Jason Day appeared to be heading for trouble when he was three-over after 13 holes during the opening round of the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

    He didn’t look happy, and maybe it was his chronic back that was giving him the yips, but suddenly the real Jason Day surfaced.

    A birdie at his 14th hole, an eagle at 16, and another birdie at 17, and the Australian was in the red.

    His strong finish means he’s in top company at one-under 70 with Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood, and Louis Oosthuizen.

    But they are all three strokes off the pace set by Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and American Kevin Kisner who both carded six birdies and two bogeys.

    This is a tough course, but the conditions were perfect, so if the forecasts are right with rain an wind over the next three days, Quail Hollow could become a nightmare.

    So it was critical the “heavies” made the most of the opening round.

    Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy didn’t, both recording 72s.

    Spieth, attempting to become the youngest to win a career grand slam of majors, was well off his game requiring 32 putts – with three birdies and four bogeys – while McIlroy had four birdies, three bogeys and a double in an unlikely round.

    Chris Stroud and Rickie Fowler had contrasting rounds.

    Stroud carded the only flawless round with three birdies, while Fowler had six birdies, three bogeys, and a triple in his 70.

    Milestones for 47-year-old veterans Phil Mickelson, and Ernie Els playing their 100th major.

    Both would happily forget the day.

    Mickelson failing to card one birdie for the first time in 25 PGAs on his way to a 79, while Els managed one birdie, but four bogeys and three doubles in his 80.

    The PGA Championship leaderboard

    Par 71

    67 – Thorbjorn Olesen, Kevin Kisner.
    68 – Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, Grayson Murray, DA Points, Chris Stroud.
    69 – Paul Casey, Rickie Fowler, Brian Harman, Jim Herman, Patrick Reed, Bud Cauley, Tony Finau
    70 – Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Graham Delaet, Hideki Matsuyama, Louis Oosthuizen, Tommy Fleetwood, Sung Hoon Kang, Pat Perez, Jordan Smith

    Australians

    72 – Adam Scott, Scott Hend.
    75 – Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith.
    77 – Rod Pampling.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

    The Club Roar Awards have been run and won! Olympic Gold Medallist and all-round legend Steven Bradbury has announced who's getting a share in $10,000! Check out the winners HERE!