In the first round of the year’s last golf major,
By the time this 99th
While it may not be Augusta National, Quail Hollow was reconstructed before the tournament, some of the holes lengthened, and the greens replanted with a new version of Bermuda that given the number of three-putts seemed more glass than grass.
"With some of the pin locations, these greens are the fastest I've ever played," Koepka said. "You never felt the ball was ever going to stop."
Unless it was in the bottom of the cup, where Koepka had it often enough Thursday, with five birdies, to shoot a three-under par 68.
It put him one shot behind Olesen and Kisner, who birdied 18 to tie. Also a shot back were Grayson Murray—who grew up in Raleigh, a three-hour drive from Charlotte —
Herman, Tony Finau,
When Herman in April 2016 won the
Spieth wasn't in the top 30 and yet felt grateful compared to what might have been. He had consecutive three-putts at the fifth and sixth holes, which were his 14th and 15th. Then three over, Spieth birdied seven and eight.
He was playing with Koepka and
"If I had finished par-par-par, I might have thrown myself out of the tournament," Spieth said.
"Easier holes," he said of seven and eight. "Two or three of the four easiest holes on the golf course, as long as you hit your tee shot in the right place. Good tee shots, which is important, but from there I hit two difficult but extremely solid shots that led to short birdies."
Spieth, looking to complete the career Grand Slam, took 32 putts and didn't sink anything longer than six feet.
"It was just the putter," Spieth said. "Everything else was fine."
Olympic swim champion Michael Phelps, a competent golfer, was in Spieth's large gallery. "It was great, he's followed us before." Spieth said.
Olesen, 27, born in Fureso, Denmark, is a member of the European Tou, but has played in the United States now and then, including last weekend's Bridgestone, where he tied for 10th. This is his fifth PGA Championship.
"I've had a couple of top 10s in majors," Olesen said. "I've learned a lot."
What others have learned is that Thorbjorn is Olesen's middle name.
"In school, when I started, there were three Jacobs, my first name, so everybody called me Thorbjorn, and then it just hanged on from there. I thought, why not? I'll still use it as a professional golfer."