Koepka battles to share of early lead at PGA Championship
- Updated: May 21, 2021
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina: Four-times major winner Brooks Koepka recovered from a shaky start to grab a share of the early first-round lead at the PGA Championship on Thursday with defending champion Collin Morikawa lurking one back.
Playing the more difficult back nine first at the windswept Ocean course, Koepka got his day off to a stumbling start with a double bogey but gathered himself to card a stellar three-under 69 and join Keegan Bradley and Norwegian Viktor Hovland atop the leaderboard.
“It wasn’t ideal, the start,” said Koepka, winner of back-to-back PGA Championships in 2018-19. “It was nice to get it back to even before I turned back into the wind.
“At the same time, you can’t do that stuff if you want to win. You’ve just got to be more focused.
“I don’t know if that’s a lack of not playing or what. I don’t know, it was just stupid.”
Morikawa had looked poised to make it a foursome with a share of the clubhouse lead but a bogey at his last left the young American one off the early pace at two-under.
Potentially the longest course in major championship history at 7,876 yards, the seaside monster layout was shortened to 7,660 yards but was nonetheless presenting a challenge to the world’s top golfers.