On Thursday, Rory McIlroy made his best starting round in a major tournament in 11 years to take the lead in the PGA Championship, and Tiger Woods struggled in his second round after a severe leg injury.

McIlroy, who is in seventh place, chasing his first major title since the 2014 PGA, scored 5 points below 65 to beat Americans Will Zalataris and Tom Hodge with Americans Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar and Abraham Anser of Mexico at 67th. .

Two strokes away, Dean Bermester was the best of the 11-man South African contingent in the first round. He shot 69 and finished 16th in a draw.

Sean Norris, Justin Harding and Charles Schwarzel were a draw for the 38th, two more shots from the pace of one more.

Encouraged by four birds in a row, which matched his longest such race in a major competition, McIlroy held his best starting round in a major tournament at 65 at the 2011 US Open, which he won for his first major title.

“It was a great start to the tournament,” McIlroy said. “It was nice to start this good start and kind of continue it.”

Four-time grand winner McIlroy started in the back nine with 15-time grand winners Woods and Jordan Spit in front of a huge crowd.

Woods, who returned last month to the Masters 14 months after a car crash that left him unable to walk for months, looked at birds on the 10th and Par 3 on the 14th, but made boogie on six of the last 10 holes to shoot 74, while Spit chased victory for a Grand Slam career, stumbled to 72.

“Start well,” Woods said. “I learned a lot of bad iron blows. I just never got to the ball to have good bird strikes. I kept putting it in bad places.

“It was a difficult day.”

McIlroy, who last led a major round at the 2014 PGA, had poor starts but finished second in the Masters, hitting four birds in a row from the 12th to the 15th hole.

A 33-year-old man from Northern Ireland approached the cup in inches and picked up a par-4 on the 12th, escaped from an underwater bird bunker on par-5 13th and made a 26-foot bird on par-5. -3 14th.

“If your game feels that way, it’s just a matter of going out and really sticking to your game plan, performing as best you can,” McIlroy said.

McIlroy lowered the nine-foot bird to 15 to take the lead in solitude, and saved it with a nominal save of 16 thanks to a two-foot chip and a six-foot hit of 18.

McIlroy drowned a 14-foot bird on the second and an 11-foot bird on the fifth par-5, but missed the green and made whips on the sixth par-3 and eighth holes of par-3 before closing on the ninth with a birdie putt inside 19 feet.

Zalatoris with four efforts in the top eight in seven major starts made the career-best 150-foot shots, including birds with 30 feet on the ninth, 23 feet on the 12th, 26 feet on the 13th and 24 feet on the seventh.

“It’s a lot of fun when you have days like that,” said Zolataris. “It was some weird day.”

Hoge, the February winner at Pebble Beach, was also pleased with his 66.

“I climbed pretty well and took on all of them,” Hodge said. “It really gave me the impetus to move on.”

Thomas, the 2017 PGA winner, drowned a 20-foot bird at age 18 to get closer to McIlroy.

“I would call any bird at 18 a theft,” Thomas said. “Finishing the day with a top three was a great bonus.”

The tiger has a sore leg

The former number one in the world Woods, who now ranks 818th, admitted that his surgically repaired right leg “hurts”.

“My leg doesn’t feel as good as I’d like,” Woods said.

The three-time Spieth main winner made three pools in four holes, starting with 15 on the way to 72.

The three best golfers in the world played along with the highest scores.

World number one Masters champion Scotty Scheffler finished fifth in the par-5 but made five scarecrows on the last 10 holes to shoot 71.

Second-ranked Spaniard John Ram, winner of the 2021 U.S. Open, scored 73 shots, and third-placed American Colin Morikov, the reigning British Open champion, had only one bird with 72 shots.

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