Tiger Woods is the biggest star in the golf world, but in terms of sport, he will probably no longer be at the top in the long term. It is a small miracle that the American is still playing after a devastating accident. The aftermath continues to affect Woods severely.
Golf pro Rory McIlroy took the lead on a tough day for superstar Tiger Woods as the 104th PGA Championship got underway. The Northern Irishman played a round of 65 at the Southern Hills Country Club in the US state of Oklahoma on Thursday (local time), staying five strokes under par.
Woods, who completed the first lap together with the Northern Irishman and Jordan Spieth, stumbled after a very good start and clearly had problems with his operated leg. In his second PGA tournament since the serious car accident, he ended up with a round of 74 and, like Martin Kaymer, who needed 76 shots, has to worry about the cut on Friday. Alex Cejka played a round of 72.
"My leg didn't feel as good as I would have liked," said Woods after the start. Two early birdies had the fans cheering, but after that not much worked out for the 15-time major winner. "I just can't put any weight on it. Weight hurts, pulling the trigger hurts, running hurts, turning hurts," he said with a wry smile. Woods had finished his comeback at the Augusta Masters in a remarkable 47th place under the circumstances and confidently said before the start in Tulsa that he believed he was stronger than he was in April.
McIlroy, on the other hand, was able to give information about day one with satisfaction. "It felt very good," he told US television. "I came here in good form, so I knew my game was there and it was just a matter of putting my game into practice." Going into Friday's second round, McIlroy has a one-shot lead over Americans Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge. Justin Thomas is two strokes behind in tied fourth place. The Masters winner Scottie Scheffler, who was so outstanding recently, stumbled a bit and is one stroke over par in shared 38th place.