Walker Leads PGA; Stenson 2 Strokes Back
Jimmy Walker leads the PGA Championship by a stroke after one round at Baltusrol Golf Course in Springfield, New Jersey, with a host of international players trailing him including Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson, who sits two strokes back.
Players from seven different countries – US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Korea, Argentina, and Australia – are in the top 10, with Walker surging to the top by shooting the last six holes 4-under with a quartet of birdies.
Walker’s best shot was a 42-foot birdie from just off the green on No. 7, erasing the stroke lost with his bogey on No. 6. His best-ever finish at a Major was a tie for seventh at the PGA Championship two years ago.
Three players trail Walker by a stroke – Ross Fisher, Emiliano Grillo, and two-time Major winner and former No. 1 Martin Kaymer. Like Walker, Kaymer finished fast, with three birdies in his final five holes.
Stenson is one of four players tied for fifth at 3-under. Playing for the first time since Royal Troon, Stenson was just even par through 11, then picked up three birdies down the stretch.
An even dozen players are bunched together tied for ninth at 2-under including world No. 1 Jason Day, the defending champion, and American Rickie Fowler. Day started quickly enough, two birdies in his first four holes, but played even par the rest of the way. Day is trying to become the first man to win the PGA in consecutive year since Tiger Woods did so in 2006-2007.
Stenson is seeking to join the rare fraternity of men who have won The Open Championship and the PGA Championship in the same year. The only players to have done so previously are: Rory McIlroy (2014), Padraig Harrington (2008); Tiger Woods (2000, 2006); Nick Price (1994); Walter Hagen (1924).