Dustin Johnson struggles, Corey Conners leads after tough first round
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort proved to be a challenge for some of the top golfers in the world. In a statement after his first round, Bryson Dechambeau said that “This was the hardest golf course he has ever played on tour.”
This statement proved true after shooting a score of even-par (72) after the first 18 holes on Thursday and had a stretch of 4 holes with a score of bogey. Dechambeau played in a featured group including Collin Morikawa and recent Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama. Morikawa settled in nicely with a final-round score of 2 under par (70), while groupmate Hideki Matsuyama struggled the most out of the 3 with a score of 1 over par (73).
Hole number 3 was arguably the biggest challenge for the field on day 1 of this weekend tournament. A par 4 that sits just 384 yards away from the tips, it’s the only par 4 on the entire course that lays under 400 yards long. There are no greenside bunkers, but the green is on an 8-foot elevated surface, almost like a lifted island.
The #1 golfer in the world Dustin Johnson continues to struggle. Playing in a featured group with Shane Lowry and Sergio Garcia, all three golfers struggled to find their stroke. Garcia ended his first day 5 over par (79) while DJ was just one stroke better with a 78. Shane Lowry proved the strongest round out of the three with a score of 73, one over par.
At the top of the leaderboard sits Corey Conners with a score of 5 under par (67). A strong start is what helped Conners stay focused by scoring 3 birdies through the first seven holes. His back 9 was even more impressive with another 3 birdie performance and no bogeys. With his best career start, Corey Conners looks to continue his impressive play with a 7:38 am tee time today.
The 2nd day of the PGA Championship kicked off this morning as the players look to chase down Conners’ lead. Phil Mickelson is currently one stroke off the lead, so that will be an interesting story to follow as the weekend moves on. Be sure to come back for more updates on the scores as the winner is crowned come Sunday afternoon.