Koepka's 63 ties PGA mark, sets course record



Couple that bit of par-5 futility with his strokes gained at 9.875 after the morning wave, and Koepka's round figures to hold up as one of the greatest in PGA and major championship history.

Friday is cutdown day at the PGA Championship. Tiger was sick and stayed in bed Wednesday rather than play his scheduled nine practice holes, leaving him with only nine holes of work all week and 18 the week before. "It doesn't always go right, but I enjoy the toughest courses, and I enjoy getting in a dogfight out there [on] the toughest courses in the world". "They were in my favor, and I always consider myself pretty lucky wherever I go that I get really good support".

McIlroy, whose victory in the 2014 US PGA at Valhalla is his last major title to date, stopped the rot with a birdie on the par-five 13th but at six over par was two shots outside the early projected cut mark.

Woods teed off on the 10th hole, where he immediately got into trouble with a double-bogey.

Third-ranked Koepka, a two-time US Open champion who opened with a bogey-free course-record 63, was set for a late afternoon start alongside Masters victor Tiger Woods and 2018 British Open champion Francesco Molinari, who both opened on 72 to stand nine strokes adrift.

"I parred two par-fives and missed about a five-footer on number 11 so it could've been a hell of a round", he said. "There is no way I can walk it, but I feel like I belong to play because I am a past champion".

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"I've never been this confident", he said. Woods, a four-time victor of the Wanamaker Trophy, will have his work cut out for him on one of the toughest, longest courses there is.

But Woods sank a 30-foot eagle putt at the fourth, a 15-footer for birdie at 15, and used his irons to help his inconsistent putting.

Four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, who closed with his lone birdie to open on 72 is another early starter.

Bethpage may also be a good omen for Woods, who won the US Open here in 2002.

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Whether due to illness or inactivity, Tiger Woods was not sharp in his return to competitive golf Thursday. "You can't get away with anything 40 yards offline". He became the first player to shoot 63 twice in the same major. I'm happy with where I'm at no matter what the lead is after today. Woods was paired with Koepka and Francesco Molinari (also +2) in the first round and will be with the same group on Friday. Of the last eight, only two have gone on to win the tournament, Jack Nicklaus at the 1980 US Open, and Ray Floyd at the 1982 PGA.

The 43-year-old quickly recovered from the setback, though, as he carded pars at his next two holes to remain at two over par. I'm still trying to get the strength back in my legs.

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