Woods stumbles early, but Thomas starts fast at US PGA

Ten years after his last major victory and five years since his last triumph, Tiger Woods is back on the prowl and a new generation of rivals couldn't be more thrilled.

Tiger Woods, defending champion Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are getting most of the attention from the morning side of the draw.

The 14-time major victor had a bad weekend in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, but Woods has been playing good golf of late with a sixth place finish at the British Open and fourth place finish at the Quicken Loans National in his two previous events. It's really cool to be a part of that conversation, and I think you have to embrace it, you have to relish it, you have to just go at it and know that, if you do win this week, you're going to join a very, very elite club. It is why he was asked repeatedly about inflammation Tuesday at Bellerive Country Club.

"I've had a good run of putting myself in contention in a lot of events and a lot of the big events, and it just so far hasn't happened", Fleetwood said.

The American is a four-time PGA Championship victor in the past has not won the title since 2007 and it is now more than 10 years since he picked up his last major.

"Well, it's not easy to win major championships", Woods said.

World number one Dustin Johnson, Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA champion, Briton Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open victor and Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champ were among the group of 11 players on 67.

Just over two weeks ago, Woods had full control of his shots and moved into the lead during the middle of the final round at the British Open. "So, yeah, I mean I can probably relate a little bit".

"I'm trying to work a few kinks out of my swing". He's not a insane popular pick among the analysts, but he's proven at the U.S. Open to not be discounted. "It's been a slightly different preparation for me this week because of it, but I think it's all been about trying to get to Thursday and be ready for Thursday".

Masters champion Patrick Reed has already had a great year and said he was also raring to go on a course where many holes should favour a right-hander who hits a draw (a shot that curves from right-to-left).

"I've been blessed to play this long", Love said. "It is their major championship". Now he just has to figure out how to get through Saturday.

Long hitters should enjoy a decided advantage at the PGA Championship at Bellerive, where plasticine-like greens and wide fairways will allow for attacking golf and a blitz of birdies.

  • Stacy Allen