Photos: Rory McIlroy starts fast at PGA Championship as Tiger Woods falters


Tiger Woods made it sound as though Rory McIlroy played a brand of golf with which he wasn’t familiar with Thursday in the PGA Championship.

McIlroy looked free and easy and saw only opportunity at Southern Hills. He blasted his driver over trees and into fairways, setting up some of his seven birdies that carried him to a five-under 65 and an early one-shot lead.

Woods picked his spots and was never terribly crisp on a right leg he said felt worse than it did at the Masters last month. He fell apart in the middle of his round and at the end, finishing with two bogeys for a 74 and his worst start to a PGA since 2015.

It was just what McIlroy needed as he tries to end nearly eight years without a major, many of those chances doomed by bad starts. This was his lowest start to par since a five-under 66 when he won the PGA at Valhalla in 2014, the last of his four majors.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy walk on the 13th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship in Tulsa, Okla.

(Matt York / Associated Press)

John Daly plays his second shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills

John Daly plays his second shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

(David Cannon/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods walks from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

Tiger Woods walks from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

(Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods reacts after his shot from the eighth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship

Tiger Woods reacts after his shot from the eighth tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Rickie Fowler hits from the bunker on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Rickie Fowler hits from the bunker on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

(Matt York/Associated Press)

Ryan Vermeer searches for his golf ball on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship

Ryan Vermeer searches for his golf ball on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

(Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

Tiger Woods walks from the ninth green after finishing his round during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship .

Tiger Woods walks from the ninth green after finishing his round during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship .

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Viktor Hovland, of Norway, watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship.

Viktor Hovland, of Norway, watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship.

(Matt York/Associated Press)

Jordan Spieth reacts after missing a putt on the sixth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship.

Jordan Spieth reacts after missing a putt on the sixth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship.

(Matt York/Associated Press)

Tiger Woods reacts on the 14th green during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods reacts on the 14th green during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship.

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth signs autographs at the 2022 PGA Championship.

Jordan Spieth signs autographs at the 2022 PGA Championship.

(Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

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