close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
August 10, 2018

Thomas shares lead as Tiger struggles

Sports

AFP
August 10, 2018

ST LOUIS: Defending champion Justin Thomas birdied three of his first six holes Thursday to seize a share of the lead in the 100th PGA Championship while playing partners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy stumbled early at the year’s final major showdown.

The superstar trio began off the 10th tee at Bellerive Country Club with thousands of spectators lining the fairway, standing 10 deep in spots just to glimpse the master shotmakers.Instead, Woods endured an early horror show, McIlroy was grinding and only Thomas was showing major champion form.

Second-ranked Thomas, coming off a WGC victory Sunday, sank birdie putts from five feet at 11 and seven feet at 12, rescued par from a bunker at the par-3 13th and added another birdie at 15 to share the lead after his first nine holes. Fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and Stewart Cink and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello were also at three-under par.Thomas, 25, could become the first player since McIlroy in 2014 to make the PGA his second win in back-to-back weeks and join Woods as the only men since 1937 to win consecutive PGAs.

Woods, a 14-time major champion in a comeback season after spinal fusion surgery, struggled from the start, finding right rough off the 10th tee and making a nervy five-foot bogey putt. The 42-year-old former world number one found water with his second shot on the way to a double-bogey six at 11 but dropped his approach to two feet and birdied the 12th. He was undone again at the par-3 16th, needing two chips to escape the rough and tapping in for bogey, but birdied 18 to stand two-over for nine holes.

Woods briefly led in the final round of last month’s British Open, but he hasn’t won a major since the 2008 US Open or any title since 2013. Four-time major champion McIlroy, whose last major triumph came in 2014, found a bunker at 10 and made bogey, then sank birdie putts from eight feet at 11 and 12 feet at the par-3 13th only to close his first nine with a bogey to stand on level par. Cink, the 2009 British Open champion, started on the back nine and birdied three of his first four holes in search of his first victory since defeating Tom Watson in a playoff at Turnberry for his first major title.

Fowler and Cabrera Bello seek their first major titles. Many players teed off with a heavy heart after Wednesday’s death of Australian Jarrod Lyle, a former tour player who lost his battle with leukemia at age 36. Italy’s Molinari was set for an afternoon start over the 7,316-yard, par-70 layout alongside this year’s other two major winners — Americans Patrick Reed from the Masters and Brooks Koepka from the US Open. Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA Championship winner, started on the back nine alongside five-time major winner Phil Mickelson and 2011 PGA winner Keegan Bradley. Day and Bradley were each one-under through nine while Mickelson, trying to qualify on points for a 12th consecutive US Ryder Cup squad, was two-over through nine holes, needing four shots to reach the green on the way to a double bogey at 15 and finding a greenside bunker to bogey the par-4 18th.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus