Live Report -- Thursday

Our on-site writers are filing timely reports throughout the first round of the 92nd PGA Championship. Check back often during the day for more news from Whistling Straits.


9:30 p.m. -- Long Thursday ends, Long Friday on tap

The first round of the 92nd PGA Championship is, well, we can't say in the books, but at least we are done for the day.

Of the 78 players who teed off in the afternoon -- late, after that fog delay of 3 hours, 10 minutes to start the day -- none finished. The first group of the second wave was through 16 holes when the horn sounded to end play at 8:54 p.m. ET.

There was a lot of movement on the leaderboard, too. Ernie Els, who leads the FedExCup standings, had not made a bogey and was tied for the lead with clubhouse leaders Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari at 4 under through 14 holes.

So were Matt Kuchar, who had also played 14 but started on the back, and Nick Watney, who had just eagled the 12th.

Darren Clarke, who was recently named one of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup vice captains, birdied three straight starting at the ninth hole and stands 3 under through 13 holes. Also at 3 under are Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who has completed 16 holes, and Simon Khan, who has played just seven.

And Phil Mickelson will head home happy after making a 2-footer at the 11th hole to move to 1 under. He has five mathematical ways to overtake Tiger Woods for the No. 1 spot in the world. Woods, meanwhile, finished with a solid 71.

And according to video on the GOLF CHANNEL, he was seen on the practice range with instructor Sean Foley, who is widely rumored to be his next swing coach. Foley works with Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair, among others.

Play will resume at 8 a.m. ET on Friday morning. After the first round is completed, the tee times for the second round will be adjusted. -- Helen Ross

8:54 p.m. -- Horn sounds

It's 7:54 p.m. CT and the horn has just sounded to end play on Thursday during the first round of the 92nd PGA Championship.

Players had the option of finishing the hole that they were playing -- as Phil Mickelson did, sinking a 2-footer at the 11th hole to move to 1 under.

None of the 78 players who teed off in the afternoon wave -- after the early morning fog delay of 3 hours, 10 minutes -- were able to complete their rounds. -- Helen Ross

8:50 p.m. -- Long, productive day

Jason Day's wake-up call came at 4 a.m. He's staying about 30 minutes away from Whistling Straits, and he was in the first group off the tee at 8 a.m.

Well, make that 10:10 a.m. after that fog delay.


Day prospered, though, shooting a round of 3 under that left him in the hunt for his second PGA TOUR win of the season. His breakthrough came at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

"It was a long day," said the 22-year-old Aussie, who is playing in his second major championship and first PGA. "I'm very happy with the way it went, though. So I'll take 69 every day.  

"... I just want to do the same things, keep the same routine, keep the same game plan and if the putts end up dropping, they drop. As long as I try to give myself opportunities out there to make some birdies and play some smart golf, I think I'll hopefully be up there on the leaderboard come Sunday."

Day did admit to feeling a bit fatigued, though. "I ate maybe six or seven Cliff bars out there today and I drank maybe 10 bottles of water," he said. "I would go maybe every couple of holes and get a little shaky again, I felt light-headed out there but I try to not make that an excuse. I want to focus on playing well. Even though it's a little frustrating out there, I guess that's the way it is." -- Helen Ross

8:43 p.m. -- Molinari making a case

Players hoping to make Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup team have two more tournaments after the PGA Championship to earn one of the nine automatic spots.

He's got some potentially tough choices with players like Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey and Justin Rose, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this year, not currently among the top nine.

And Francesco Molinari is trying to add to Montgomerie's dilemma.

The Italian currently ranks 10th on the Ryder Cup World Points List and seventh on the European Tour Points List. Not to mention, he's tied for the lead with Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar during the first round of the PGA Championship.

Molinari, whose older brother Edoardo is currently among the nine qualifiers, says he is trying not to think about the Ryder Cup implications. 

"I obviously know we are really close to the Ryder Cup, so at the end of every week you go and you watch the rankings and you see if something is changed," Molinari said. "But then ... the practice round I was playing really well, so I just said to myself, try and focus on doing as good as you can in this tournament and then see what happens." -- Helen Ross

8:17 p.m. -- Tidbits from the press room

* Bubba Watson has played eight rounds in three previous PGA Championships starts and his 4-under 68 marks the first time he's posted a sub-par round. In his only made cut, Watson, who owns a share of the lead on Thursday, finished 70th.

* Italy's Francesco Molinari also shot 68 in the first round of the PGA Championship. Should Molinari hang on for the win, he would become the first player since Shaun Micheel in 2003 to make the PGA Championship his first win on the PGA TOUR.

* Playing in just his fourth career major championship, Michael Sim, the 2009 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, posted a 2-under 70 in round one. He previously finished T18 in last year's U.S. Open and T51 in the PGA Championship. This year, he missed the cut at the U.S. Open.

* Thanks to a 3-hour, 10-minute fog delay, the first round of the 92nd PGA Championship will be finished on Friday morning. This marks the 13th tournament on the PGA TOUR this year that has a round that didn't finish on the scheduled day. -- Doug Milne

 7:30 p.m. -- Tough go for Paddy

After finishing runner-up at the 3 Irish Open and tying for ninth at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Padraig Harrington appeared ready to take on Whistling Straits.

He's a three-time major champion, after all, and one of those came in the 2008 PGA Championship.

Harrington, though, made three birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey at the 17th hole, which was his eighth of the difficult day. 

"I was very confident going out," Harrington said. "I kept playing aggressive shots tentatively whereas playing conservative shots aggressively would have been better. I was feeling good and overplayed a few shots. It's disappointing as I was very happy going out there.

"I missed a putt on the seventh for birdie and got on my eighth hole, the 17th and it is a tough hole and John came up short with a four iron first. I thought I had to hit my four iron and draw it in and got to think other times hit to the right and get down in two putts but that is golf and I was too aggressive."

Harrington admitted he might have been trying a little too hard , given his success the last few weeks.

"That is a possibility, no doubt about it," the Irishman said. "I was in great stead going out there coming off the last two weeks. I was hitting the ball well and looking forward to it. I probably wasn't that patient. "The first two holes were very simple birdie chances and I played them one over. It was a disappointing start and then maybe holes like 17 I would have played more conservatively if I was a couple under par." -- Helen Ross

6:55 p.m. -- Great year continues for Els

Ernie Els has been eagerly anticipating this final run through the PGA Championship to the end of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.


And why not? A two-time winner already this season, Els leads the FedExCup standings, as well as the money list. He's among the prime candidates to win his PGA TOUR Player of the Year award, too.

Els, who already has the middle two legs of the career Grand Slam, is off to a good start at the PGA Championship, too.

He birdied No. 1 and he's just made two more at the fourth and fifth holes to pull within a shot of the lead. Not to mention, Whistling Straits owes Els one. He bogeyed the 72nd hole in 2004 to finish one stroke out of the playoff won by Vijay Singh. -- Helen Ross

6:40 p.m. -- Good experience for Moore

Ryan Moore doesn't exactly have what you'd call a wealth of experience when it comes to major championships -- this year's PGA Championship is just the 14th of his career.

That said, he's had some pretty good results with three career top-10s, and he could be on his way to another one after a 3-under 69 that leaves him just one stroke off the current lead.

And it's certainly better than Moore's last major experience. Playing in his first British Open last month at St. Andrews, he shot a second-round 84 -- a 14-shot swing for the worse from his opening round -- to miss the cut.

Moore's best finish in the PGA, by the way, was a tie for ninth in 2006 at Medinah. -- Brian Wacker

6:20 p.m. -- Improvement for Tiger

Tiger Woods' day ended the way it began -- with a birdie.

That's something that hasn't happened in a while for Woods, obviously, as he rolled in what was his fourth birdie of the day at the par-4 ninth for a 1-under 71.


Afterward, Woods clutched hands with caddie Steve Williams in a show of excitement that he hadn't shown for much of his previous 12 holes, which were littered with three bogeys.

"I hit the ball pretty good and felt like I had control of the ball most of the day, especially the trajectory," Woods told TNT afterward. "I haven't had that in a while."

Woods, who opened with three birdies in his first four holes, added that even though he left a few putts short, he felt his speed on the greens was also improved. Thursday also marked the first time Woods has broken par since the opening round of the British Open. -- Brian Wacker

5:40 p.m. -- Beware the Elk

Steve Elkington may be 20 years older than the current leader, Ryan Moore, and he was 16 when Bubba Watson, who is one shot behind, was born.

But make no mistake. The 47-year-old Aussie can play -- and the 1995 PGA champ fired a 1-under 71 in the first round of the 92nd renewal of the season's final major.

Elkington, who hasn't won since 1999, made two birdies and a bogey on Thursday. He was solid off the tee, hitting 12 fairways, and managed to find all but five greens in regulation. -- Helen Ross

5:25 p.m. -- Thriving through a long day

Stephen Gallacher got to Whistling Straits at 5:45 a.m. CT and had breakfast, then went to the range to prepare for his first round in the 92nd PGA Championship.


He was scheduled to be in the second group off the tee at 8:10 a.m., but the fog delay set him back 3 hours and 10 minutes -- and prompted a few more trips to the buffet.

Once he got on the course, though, the Scotsman stayed patient and fought back from an early double bogey to turn in a solid round of 71.

"Even though it was foggy you have to prepare as it could lift so quickly," Gallacher said. "So I did my warmup and then it just came right in. Back in, another breakfast, back out for some chipping, back in for another breakfast of some toast and fruit, back out in earnest.

"Teed off and there was a slight delay and it never really picked up. I didn't see the ball land until the fifth hole.This is a great venue, brilliant setting and very picturesque. And if I have four rounds under par, I will be happy at the end of the week." -- Helen Ross

5:01 p.m. -- Nearly joining the Club

Only a double-bogey finish prevented club professional Rob Labritz from joining the best players in the world on the leaderboard at the PGA Championship.

Labritz posted a six on the 18th hole and completed his first round at 73, the best early showing from the 20 PGA club professionals in the field.

The stumble at the finish line dropped Labritz from a tie for 15th to a tie for 43rd in the morning wave. He had four birdies, one bogey and two double bogeys on his card at Whistling Straits.

It was the best score posted by Labritz, who is playing in his third PGA Championship. His previous best was a 75, which he's accomplished twice.

Labritz is the PGA director of golf at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y. He earned his way into the field with a tie for 15th at the Professional National Championship.

Labritz is a former winner of the New York State Open and the New York State PGA Championship. -- Stan Awtrey

4:41 p.m. -- Bourdy joins the party

Gregory Bourdy has just joined the group at 4 under at the top of the leaderboard with a lengthy putt at the second hole, his 11th of the day.


The Frenchman has been very solid on Thursday. He hasn't made a bogey and he's hit all nine fairways and 10 of 11 greens. He's used 11 putts, as well.

Bourdy is playing in his first PGA Championship and only his third major after two appearances at the British Open. This is his first tournament in the United States. -- Helen Ross

4:30 p.m. -- Better late than never

Michael Sim had to decline his first invitations to the Masters Tournament and PLAYERS Championship this year during a two-month layoff with a shoulder injury.

The 25-year-old Aussie then missed the cut at the U.S. Open and British Open. But Sim is making up for lost time at the 92nd PGA Championship where he has made four birdies and dropped just one shot to par -- placing him one shot off the lead at 3 under through 14 holes.

Sim gained valuable momentum with that tie for third last week at the Turning Stone Resort Championship where he shot 67-66 on the weekend. He had played in the final group on Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open, too, before posting a career-high tie for second. -- Helen Ross

4:07 p.m. -- Tweet, Tweet

Looks like the Twitter boys on TOUR were busy during the fog delay on Thursday morning.

Ian Poulter posted photographs of him and Paul Casey wearing Wisconsin's favorite headgear, an orange cheesehead. He had another of Martin Kaymer, Alvaro Quiros and Camilo Villegas mugging for the camera with him.

Bubba Watson, meanwhile, took a photo of Rickie Fowler, laying on the floor and catching a few Zs, during the delay. -- Helen Ross

3:52 p.m. -- Moore, Moore, Moore

Ryan Moore, who defends his title at the Wyndham Championship next week, must like this time of year.


Moore has just made a birdie putt on the first hole, his 10th of the day, to move to 3 under and one shot off the lead. He's tied with John Merrick, Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman and Gregory Bourdy, who just birdied No. 18, which was his ninth of the day.

Moore has been playing well this year with eight top-20 finishes, including a tie for second at the AT&T National where he closed with a 65. The former UNLV standout is currently ranked No. 44 in the world.

Moore's major record this season has been mixed. He tied for 14th at the Masters and 33rd at the U.S. Open before missing the cut at the British Open. That missed cut is his only performance worse than a tie for 16th in his last four starts. -- Helen Ross

3:27 p.m. -- Beautiful Day

Jason Day, one of the first guys on the course this morning, has birdied fifth hole (his 14th of the day) to move to 4-under and grab a share of the lead.

Day, 22, is playing in his first PGA Championship. He qualified by winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship this spring.

Day has been a model of consistency for the first round. Starting on the back nine, he opened with four pars and made the turn at 34. He birdied No. 3 and No. 5 and was tied with Charles Howell III at 4-under.

Day has yet to make a bogey. This is the second major that the young Australian has competed in this season. He tied for 60th at the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Day and Howell III are one stroke ahead of John Merrick and Kyung-Tae Kim, who are playing together and are through 13 holes. Martin Laird, who is also in that group, is among a big group at 2 under that also includes Tiger Woods.- Stan Awtrey and Helen Ross

3:08 p.m. -- Company up top


Marc Leishman has already had a memorable year. He got married two weeks after he played in his first Masters.

With the exception of a tie for second at the Farmers Insurance Open, the 2009 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year hasn't really contended this season. His only other top-10 came at the AT&T National when he tied for seventh.

Leishman is making up for lost time this week at the 92nd PGA Championship, though. The 26-year-old Aussie just birdied the sixth hole to pull into a tie for Charles Howell III at 4 under. -- Helen Ross

3:01 p.m. -- Brotherly love

The Molinari brothers -- Edoardo and Francesco -- are making Italy proud during the first round of the PGA Championship.

Edoardo, who picked up his first European Tour victory earlier this year, just birdied the par-3 seventh to move to 2 under. Edoardo is called "The Engineer" for the way he picks apart a golf course, and so far he's made the right moves here. You might remember Edoardo had a chance to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard earlier this year. He closed with a 69 and finished second to Ernie Els.

His younger brother Francesco is playing the back nine and he's 2 under, as well, after birdies on 11th and 12th holes. Francesco also has a top-10 in the U.S. this year after finishing ninth at THE PLAYERS Championship. -- Helen Ross

2:35 p.m. -- New leader in Wisconsin

Charles Howell III has just seized sole possession of the lead with four straight birdies starting at the 11th hole. His most recent birdie came courtesy of an 8-foot putt.


The American has had a solid season, one which began with great promise with three top-10s in his first six tournaments. He didn't have another, though, until two weeks ago at The Greenbrier when Howell shot four rounds in the 60s and tied for ninth.

Howell, who is from Augusta, Ga., hasn't qualified for the last two Masters. He could remedy that -- for the next five years, even -- should he go on to win the PGA Championship. -- Helen Ross

2:10 p.m. -- Trouble for Kaymer

Martin Kaymer just tangled with the 15th hole, which played as the toughest in the 2004 PGA Championship.

The young German hit his second shot into the rough to the right side of the green. He chipped on, but he missed a 12-footer to save.

So Kaymer, who won his fifth European Tour event earlier this season, falls back to 2 under and drops out of the tie for the lead. He tied for ninth in last year's PGA. -- Helen Ross

1:41 p.m. -- He may be back

Don't look now, but Tiger Woods is tied for the lead in the 92nd PGA Championship.

He just made an 8-footer for birdie at the 13th hole to pull even with Stuart Appleby and Martin Kaymer.

Looks like Woods is playing like the world No. 1 again. -- Helen Ross

1:38 p.m. -- More good news for Tiger


Tiger Woods has made a short birdie putt on the 11th hole, his second of the day, to move to 2 under for the day. He then missed the green long at the par-3 12th but managed to convert a 4-footer to save par.

So Woods is one stroke off the lead held by Stuart Appleby and Martin Kaymer. He's got plenty of company, too -- among them Jason Day, Soren Kjeldsen, Mark Leishman, Francesco Molinari and club pro Rob Labritz. -- Helen Ross

1:00 p.m. -- Quick start for Tiger

Tiger Woods came to Whistling Straits on the heels of his worst performance ever as a pro. And making that next-to-last finish at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational even more striking is that fact that he had previously won the tournament seven times.

Since coming to Wisconsin, though, Woods has worked hard on the range and on the course. In particular, he wanted to keep his head more still -- hence all those videos of his caddy, Steve Williams, holding a club lightly against the boss' head as he hit balls.

Of course, it's just the first hole but Woods managed to make birdie at No. 10 -- which is a much more positive start than he's had of late as the world No. 1 has failed to break par in his last seven rounds. Woods' playing partners, defending champ Y.E. Yang and Vijay Singh, who won the PGA at Whistling Straits in 2004, both made pars. -- Helen Ross

12:44 p.m. -- Appleby at it again

Golf's latest Mr. 59, Stuart Appleby, is having his way with Whistling Straits -- at least early on.

The Aussie, who is playing in his 13th straight tournament, started on the back and has made birdie on his first three holes. No one is suggesting that Whistling Straits, which was the eighth most difficult course on the PGA TOUR in 2004, is vulnerable to the magic number this week but it's still an impressive start.

Appleby is tied for the lead at 3 under with on of his playing partners, Kyle Flinton, the head pro at Quail Creek Golf & Country Club in Oklahoma City.

Appleby was on something of a golfing marathon when he played in The Greenbrier Classic two weeks ago. He was trying to play his way back into form and ended up winning the inaugural event with the final-round 59 -- earning a spot in the following World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship in the process. -- Helen Ross

12:27 p.m. -- Revealing the culprit

The second fog delay was actually due to a situation at the third hole, a 181-yard par 3 that runs alongside Lake Michigan. Players in the first group off the tee could not see the flagstick on that hole. Once they could, the six-minute delay was over -- Helen Ross

11:59 a.m. -- Play resumed

Play has been resumed at Whistling Straits.

11:53 a.m. -- Another suspension

Play was suspended for fog. Players are being told to hold their position on the course.

11:47 a.m. - The birdies are flying

Bo Van Pelt just made the first birdie of the 92nd PGA Championship -- and he was quickly tied by Tim Petrovic, who started on No. 10.


Van Pelt played in his first PGA Championship in 2004 at Whistling Straits. He made the cut and ended up in a tie for 31st at 1 under.

And Van Pelt has even more history in Wisconsin. He made the final U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee last year his first PGA TOUR victory.

The 35-year-old veteran has been playing well this year. He has six top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts, including a tie for third at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

Van Pelt was asked about his memories of Whistling Straits last week when he finished off his fourth straight round in the 60s at Firestone Country Club.

"I remember it was a good golf course," said Van Pelt, who also was first off in 2004 but on the 10th tee.

"I remember I played pretty well on Sunday, kind of moved up the leaderboard a little bit. It's an interesting golf course. I think it's a good track. It's a beautiful setting up there, so obviously happy with how I played the last 27 here and hopefully we can take that form (to Whistling Straits)." -- Helen Ross

11:20 a.m. - The stern test begins

As the first round gets under way -- finally -- here are a few interesting nuggets about the stern test the pros face this week at Whistling Straits.

The Pete Dye creation was the eighth most difficult course on the PGA TOUR in 2004, playing to an average of 73.163 (1.163 strokes over par). The 488-yard, par-4 15th hole was the most difficult that year and the eighth toughest on TOUR, playing to an average of 4.385. The hole claimed 155 bogeys.

The toughest hole on TOUR so far this year is the par-4 17th at St. Andrews. It averaged 4.665 for the week and yielded 174 bogeys. -- Doug Milne

10:40 a.m. - Play to begin shortly

The first round of the PGA Championship is scheduled to begin at 11:10 a.m. ET. This would make the total time of the delay 3 hours and 10 minutes.

That means the final groups of Simon Dyson, Bruce Smith and Kris Blanks off No. 1 and Jimmy Walker, Robert McClellan and Simon Khan off No. 10 can go take in a movie or two. They were originally scheduled to tee off at 3:15 p.m. ET but now are slated for 6:25 p.m. ET.-- Helen Ross

9:45 a.m. - Fog update

The fog that has delayed the first round of the PGA Championship showed no signs of letting up. By 9:30 a.m. the players on the practice tee could only see the first set of flags, but were unable to see the end of the range.

The first and ninth tees remained shrouded in fog. No player was actively hitting balls on the range. Australians Jason Day and Stuart Appleby were having a conversation, while Day simultaneously bounced a golf ball with his wedge. Appleby finally removed his visor, hooked it on his bag and walked to the locker room.

Members of the first pairing were still hanging around waiting for the signal to begin. Vaughn Taylor was talking with his caddie, Scott Herbert was hitting short pitch shots, and Bo Van Pelt walked to a bench at the back of the practice area and had a seat. -- Stan Awtrey

8:10 a.m. - Fog delaying start

Morning fog has delayed the start of the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. The first tee time, scheduled for 8 a.m. EDT, will be 30 minutes after the fog clears. Click here for today's weather report for Whistling Straits.