Today at the PGA Championship: Late slump leaves McIlroy off the pace

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NCG rounds up the best of day one from Quail Hollow, including camouflage polos, strange chants and an unlikely first-round...

Pre-tournament, everyone was expecting Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth to go shot-for-shot at the PGA Championship. So how did they get on? Craig Middleton wraps up the best of day one from Quail Hollow…

So what happened?

While everyone was talking about the BBC coverage, there was some golf being played.

There are a few surprising names at the top of the leaderboard. Thorbjorn Olesen finds himself leading at 4-under after a solid round of 67. He leads by one from Grayson Murray, who has made more of a name for himself on social media than the course. Chris Stroud, who only got in last week thanks to his win at the Barracuda Championship, Gary Woodland and US Open champion Brooks Koepka are alongside Murray at 3-under.

All eyes, though, are on Rory McIlroy – a two-time winner at Quail Hollow, of course. And it started so well. He was 2-under through 12, but then a bogey at the par-3 13th was followed by a double-bogey six at 14. He finished with a 1-over par 72.

Elsewhere, Jordan Spieth is looking to become the youngest ever player to win the Grand Slam. My colleague Alex Perry has written all about that here.

McIlroy and Spieth will start the second round five back – which is nowhere near disastrous, but what might have been.

Stroud was the only player in the field who was bogey free today. Fast greens and thick rough meant there were a lot of struggles out there. Twelve players shot rounds in the 80s, including Ernie Els.

Best shots of the day

Hole in one on day one of a major? Go on then…

It doesn’t get much closer than this Jon…

Stop it Rory…

Danny Lee showing us just how fast these greens are…

Worst shot of the day

Sorry Rickie, but that bunker shot on the 5th was pretty dreadful…

It was not even close to making the lip and resulted in a triple-bogey seven.

Spare a thought for…

Phil Mickelson just hasn’t been the same without Bones. Not only did he card an 8-over 79, he also did this…

Elsewhere, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston was forced to pull out with a shoulder injury.

Chant of the day

Our American friends are known for their extravagant chants on the golf course. Here is our favourite one of the day.

“Taste the rainbow”

No it was not a Skittles employee.

Best dressed

Modern, stylish and a classic pick from Rory. Ditched the collar-less polo and immediately went up in our estimation.

Got dressed in the dark

I don’t think there’s any real explanation for these two polos is there? Just awful boys.

Quotes of the day: A BBC special

On JB Holmes: “He looks like he should be driving a truck with big logs on the back.”

On Lucas Glover: “Ironically he doesn’t wear a glove.”

On Bryson DeChambeau’s clubs being the same length: “Do you think he insists on having the same length cutlery when eating dinner.”

Stat of the day

Betting update

I’m happy to be on Rickie Fowler at 22s pre-tournament and his impressive opening round, despite a triple bogey seven at the fifth, has seen that price cut by two thirds.

My position on his chances have not changed but 7/1 – with three rounds to go – doesn’t feel like value on a player who has shown some frailties contending in major championships.

Jason Day made a remarkable comeback – two birdies and an eagle in his last five holes pulling him back from three over to red figures.

He’s three off the lead and 25/1 seems disrespectful for a player who’s shown pockets of form in recent weeks and, importantly, the ability to get hot.

Brooks Koepka’s in contention again and his opening 68 has made him the favourite with some bookies. 15/2 might look massive if he repeats his US Open heroics.

Koepka, tied sixth at the Open and in a similarly strong position after day one at Birkdale, should be thereabouts and you might want to look at firms offering a quarter of the odds if you feel confident enough about his each-way chances.

Keep up to date with all the latest from Quail Hollow on our dedicated PGA Championship site

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