PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Jon Rahm is off to another rough start in a major — not one hole, like in the Masters, but a lot of them in the PGA Championship.
The Masters champion was 1 under for the round when he made five bogeys in a six-hole stretch at Oak Hill. His bad run began with errant tee shots — the rough on the 16th, the rough on the 17th and a deep bunker on the 18th, all leading to bogeys.
He went long of the green at No. 2 and didn’t get his chip up the hill to the green, and then failed to save par from a bunker on the par-3 third.
Rahm was 4 over through 13 holes.
At the Masters, he four-putted the first hole of the tournament for a double bogey, and then recovered for a 65. He wound up winning the green jacket by four shots.
Corey Conners of Canada already had six birdies and was at 3 under with two holes to play.
Let the sun shine — and Kazuki Higa, as well.
The 28-year-old from Japan made the turn at 3 under for an early one-shot lead on the opening day of the weather-delayed PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
With the temperature warming to 55 and under a cloudless sky, Higa enjoyed a four-birdie run through Nos. 11-14 as a a member of the first threesome to tee off on the back nine. After saving par with an up-and-down out of the bunker on No. 16, Higa gave a shot back on the par-4 17th.
The opening round was delayed by nearly two hours with the temperature at near freezing at dawn.
The PGA Championship is Higa’s second career major after he missed the cut at The Masters last month.
Among the other notable players on the course, defending tournament champion Justin Thomas and Masters champion Jon Rahm are tied at 1 under.
Shaun Micheel, who won the 2003 PGA Championship played at Oak Hill, was 3 over through 11 holes after being part of the threesome to open the tournament teeing off from No. 1.
The afternoon group, which is scheduled to begin at 2:20 (EDT) includes defending U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau.
The PGA Championship is officially underway at Oak Hill.
Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA champion, kicked off golf’s second major of the year with the opening tee shot following a frost delay of nearly two hours.
The delay likely means the groups in the 156-player field teeing off later in the day may have trouble finishing their rounds on the East Course before darkness.
Defending champion Justin Thomas begins his bid for a third PGA championship a little after 10 a.m. EDT. Thomas is playing with two-time PGA champion Rory McIlroy and 2020 PGA champion Collin Morikawa.
Masters champion and No. 1 Jon Rahm is playing with British Open champion Cameron Smith and U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. Scottie Scheffler, the world’s second-ranked player, is in a group that includes two-time PGA champion Brooks Koepka.
Thick rough and chilly temps in the morning will make the par-70 layout even more difficult for the early starters. Temperatures are expected to rise throughout the day, topping out in the mid-60s in the afternoon.
This is what everyone feared about Oak Hill hosting the PGA Championship in May.
Baby, it’s cold.
The opening round is being delayed by frost and everyone is being ordered to stay off the lawns. Fairways were covered by a thin layer of frost. Temperatures were right around freezing as dawn broke.
The good news for the PGA Championship is it won’t last long. The PGA of America said the first tee time would be 1 hour, 15 minutes after the practice facilities are open. And the weather is expected to get warmer each day the rest of the week.
Shaun Micheel is to hit the opening tee shot, an honor afforded the oldest former champion in the field. He won the PGA at Oak Hill in 2003. That was his only PGA Tour win.
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