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2022 PGA Championship: Tiger Woods struggles, as Rory McIlroy sets the pace in opening round

Tiger Woods had a rough showing in the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Woods got off to a strong start through the first five holes. However, from there as he carded seven bogeys and just one more birdie to close out the first round, finishing four-over 74 and toward the bottom of the leaderboard. More concerning on the 18th tee was Woods limping after hitting a tee shot; the 46-year-old sustained significant leg injuries in a February 2021 car crash. Speaking with reporters, Woods said his leg “is not feeling as good as I’d like it to be. I just can’t load it. Loading hurts. Pressing off it hurts. Walking hurts. Twisting hurts. It’s just golf. If I don’t do that, I’ll be OK.”

Rory McIlroy set the pace with a a five-under 65, taking a one-shot lead on Thursday.  A run of four consecutive birdies for the 33-year-old McIlroy on his opening nine holes helped propel him to the top of the leaderboard. McIlroy said to reporters that it was a “great start to the tournament” for him, adding: “I’ve been playing well coming in here. I’ve been carrying some good form. Obviously that took a lot from that last round at Augusta, played well up in D.C. at the Wells Fargo there, and played good in the practice rounds earlier this week. I think when your game is feeling like that, it’s just a matter of going out there and really sticking to your game plan, executing as well as you possibly can, and just sort of staying in your own little world. I did that really well today. It was nice to get off to that good start and sorta keep it going. I feel like this course, it lets you be pretty aggressive off the tee if you want to be, so I hit quite a lot of drivers out there and took advantage of my length and finished that off with some nice iron play and some nice putting.”

Editorial credit: Gary Yee / Shutterstock.com

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