As with every major there is always plenty of action that may have passed you by. George Cooper keeps you on top of the storylines ticking along in the background
Day one of the 2022 PGA Championship started with Rory McIlroy leading, and ended with Rory McIlroy leading. History is on the Northern Irishman’s side as he finally banished his major first-round demons, but what about the storylines you may have missed? Let us catch you up…
Another week, another Hatton tantrum
Tyrrell Hatton started the week by complaining that the pace of play could be “stupidly slow” at the 104th PGA Championship. In his opening round, Hatton then took offence to the pace of the greens at Southern Hills, letting his temper get the better of him once again by taking two swipes at the putting surface on the 8th following a misjudged effort.
Hatton closed with a birdie to card a round of 70, but we still doubt that was enough to yield a smile from the Englishman.
Harman’s satisfying eagle
While it may not have won shot of the day – we’ll get to that shortly – Brian Harman wins the award for most satisfying approach of the opening round. The lefty dialled in a perfectly hit wedge to the par-4 17th, holing out for eagle from 77 yards to send the crowd into a frenzy.
“This is a strong part of his game,” said Laura Davies, before the ball spun satisfyingly back into the cup. The Dame wasn’t wrong.
Daly sends Twitter bonkers… for 12 holes
More than three decades on from his unlikeliest of PGA Championship victory, John Daly is still capable of producing blockbuster golf which sends fans into hysteria.
Fresh off the back of his bizarre DQ last week, Daly rolled up to Southern Hills 30 minutes before his tee time chugging gallons of diet coke dressed as a mix between Santa Claus and Ian Poulter.
The Wild Thing then ripped it up on the front nine, moving to 2-under to take a share for the lead. And the fans loved it. Social media could hardly handle its excitement, getting behind the unlikely leader as Daly began trending with a series of hilarious tweets aimed in his direction.
Despite the strong start, Daly bogeyed four of his final five holes to drop to T58. But ‘Big John’ still gave fans a day to remember, proving that not all heroes wear capes.
Sometimes they bleach their beards and wear bright green trousers…
Hovland’s hilarious Pettersen story
Stick Viktor Hovland in front of a mic and you’re always guaranteed entertainment. And he didn’t disappoint at Southern Hills, this time delivering a brilliant story about when he met fellow Norwegian and Solheim Cup legend Suzann Peterson as a 13-year-old.
“She was just so tough,” recalls Hovland. “I was scared!”
Here’s the full tale…
College coach’s dream start
Jesse Mueller is one of the 20 PGA professionals playing at Southern Hills, but that didn’t stop him soaring up the leaderboard during the first round to produce one of the day’s great stories.
Winner of last month’s PGA Professional Championship, Mueller stunned fans when he eagled the very first hole. Not bad for a player who earns his trade coaching golf at Grand Canyon University.
Mueller would par the next five holes while briefly holding a share for the lead, before finishing on +2 for the day to sit in T58 alongside our other hero of the day, Mr Daly.
Scheffler isn’t human
Step aside Brian Harman, because we’re now onto the shot of the day, and it comes from the World No 1 himself. Scottie Scheffler had 308 yards in for his second shot at the par-5 5th, but clearly the Masters champion knows no boundaries at the moment, crushing a 3-wood straight onto the green to set up a truly outrageous eagle, which he of course tucked home. Simply not human.
Remarkable score keeper has day to remember
In 2016, promising golfer Traden Karch was involved in a near-fatal car crash and remained in a coma for three weeks after fracturing his skull. Karch’s road to recovery was embraced by the golfing world, with McIlroy reaching out to the teenager and forming a friendship as he made a miraculous return to full health.
Six years on, Karch has returned to golf and was invited by the PGA Championship to be a score keeper at this year’s tournament. And what a group to be assigned to, given a front row seat to watch the mouthwatering trio and witness his hero McIlroy make a serious push towards major number five.
Beard of the year
We’ll let the photo do the talking for this one…