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PGA Championship Round 1 Live Blog: Brooks Koepka flexes major muscle with 63, leads by 1

Golfweek logo Golfweek 4 days ago Bill Speros
Brooks Koepka with a golf club: USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

The 101st PGA Championship has nearly as many stories as New York itself.

Among the storylines set to unfold at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., in Nassau County Thursday through Sunday include:

Tiger Woods

chasing a 16th major championship

Brooks Koepka

seeking a repeat as champion

Jordan Spieth

aiming for his career Grand Slam

Lefty being Lefty

amid a wild NYC crowd

Francesco Molinari joins Koepka and Woods as the headline pairing at Bethpage Black for the first two rounds. The tournament was moved from August to May this year. The Molinari-Woods-Koepka pairing goes out at 8:24 a.m. ET Thursday from the No. 10 tee.

The field is loaded, with 99 of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings. The 2017 PGA Championship winner and World No. 5 player Justin Thomas withdrew Monday due to a sore wrist and was replace by Kelly Kraft. Vijay Singh, winner of the 1998 and 2004 PGA Championships, also withdrew and was replaced by J.T. Poston.

Follow our live blog and Twitter stream right here all day. We'll be chasing Tiger Woods shot-by-shot with our Tiger Tracker throughout his round, as well.

Updates:

7:45 a.m.: Things are underway. Four players are 1-under early. And Tiger warming up and looking good. He tees off at 8:42 a.m.

http://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/embeded-video/5126

8:45 a.m. : While the golf world convulses over Tiger's double on his first hole of day, we do have 155 others golfers in play today. Defending champion Brooks Koepka, playing with Tiger and Francesco Molinari, is one of 11 golfers who share the early, early lead at 1-under.

8:58 a.m. : Chez Reavie is the solo leader at 2-under after four holes. Only 68 to go.

9:31 a.m.: The back-nine at Bethpage Black is wielding its might on some golfers. But not Charley Hoffman. He's tied for the lead at 2-under after five holes after starting on No. 10.

11:15 a.m.: Koepka has pushed ahead of the pack with the solo lead at 4-under. Given his one-shot loss at Augusta National, he's not yielding anything thus far today.

http://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/embeded-video/5290

11:41 a.m.: Another birdie for Brooks, he's now leading by two shots at 5-under. He's up six shots on Woods and five on Molinari.

12:20 p.m.: Someone looks like he's ready for a repeat. Koepka birdied his 14th hole of the day to move to 6-under, three shots clear of the field. And he continues to fend off Woods, who can't seem to move into firm category under par.

12:44 p.m.: Luke List has settled comfortably into second place at 4-under. He's had two top-five finishes this season but has never won on the PGA Tour. List teed off from No. 1, went out in 32 and has kept his card clean save for a bogey on the third hole.

1:28 p.m.: Koepka finishes with a birdie on his 18th hole of the day to move into the clubhouse at 7-under after a 63 in Round 1. He holds a four-shot lead over Luke List and Tommy Fleetwood. Even more impressive, he leads his playing partner Woods by nine shots.

3 p.m: Jordan Spieth is among the top players in the second wave of Round 1. Spieth is 2-under through six holes in his third bid for the career grand slam. Spieth hasn't won since the 2017 British Open and has yet to finish in the top 20 this year. Danny Lee, meanwhile, has taken sole possession of second place over Tommy Fleetwood by moving to 4-under after 10.

4:19 p.m.: The crowd has been rather un-New-York-like in terms of its low decibel level. There was a healthy gallery around Woods, Molinari and Koepka in the morning, but things are spread out in the afternoon with Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Spieth on the course. In addition to silencing his critics, it appear Koepka has quieted much of the crowd, as well.

4:49 p.m: Lee is edging toward Koepka's mark with a 5-under after 17 holes. Meanwhile, Lefty is finally generating some noise after pulling back to even par with a birdie on 11.

5:05 p.m.: Lee closes out with four birdies on the back nine, including one on No. 18, to move within one shot of the lead at 6-under. Lee, who shot 64 Thursday, has one PGA Tour victory and is perhaps best known for becoming the youngest U.S. Amateur champion in August 2008. He was 18 years and one month old, besting the mark of Tiger Woods set in 1994 by six months.

6:45 p.m.: Rory McIlroy (+2) joins Woods and Molinari as big names who will be fighting to make the cut on Friday. Lefty finished at minus-1 and he's still in long-shot contention for the title.

http://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/embeded-video/5127

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