PDT Sports Editor
With the opening round of the PGA Championship in the books, PGA course professional and former Minford Falcon Bob Sowards has some work to do.
The 44-year-old Sowards, who has been a professional since 1991 and is playing in his seventh PGA Championship, had four bogeys and one eagle to finish 3-over par with an opening round score of 75.
With a 12:30 p.m. tee time Thursday, Sowards began the first round at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. on the back nine.
“There wasn’t any wind in the morning but we had some when we got started,” Sowards said. “I was consistently hitting everything 10 or 15 yards to the right and I think that was because of my hitting on the range. I made an adjustment on it.”
Sowards shot par through his first three holes but ran into trouble on the his fourth, lucky No. 13. He bogeyed the 497-yard par-4 before bouncing back with a par on No. 15.
“Thirteen is the hardest hole on the course,” Sowards said.
Sowards’ sixth hole of the day proved challenging as he bogeyed but bounced back with an eagle on No. 16.
The 223-yard par-3 of No. 17 gave players fits all day long and Sowards managed to escape with only a bogey.
“It’s a difficult hole for sure, but it’s playable,” Sowards said.
The professional from New Albany Country Club had a smoother ride on the front nine, keeping par on every hole but No. 5, where he bogeyed.
“My short game was good, I just kept hitting it to the right,” Sowards said.
Sowards will tee off at 7:20 a.m. today from No. 1 with Bryce Molder and Matt Every. According to Sowards, the earlier time will give him an advantage by getting ahead of the weather, which has been a nuisance for the golfers all week.
“The wind was blowing for us in the afternoon,” Sowards said. “I’d always prefer going out there earlier because there wouldn’t be as much wind.”
The leader at the time of publication was Carl Pettersson who was 6-under at 66. Gary Woodland, Rory McIlroy, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano each were tied for second at 5-under.
Coverage of the PGA Championship will continue at 1 p.m. today on TNT.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.
At Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course)
Kiawah Island, S.C.
All Times EDT
Purse: $8 million
Yardage: 7,776; Par: 72
7:20 a.m. — Bryce Molder, Matt Every, Bob Sowards
7:30 a.m. — Sang Moon Bae, Darrell Kestner, David Lynn
7:40 a.m. — Marcus Fraser, Jamie Donaldson, Doug Wade
7:50 a.m. — Jonathan Byrd, Anders Hansen, Aaron Baddeley
8 a.m. — Thorbjorn Olesen, Fredrik Jacobson, Jimmy Walker
8:10 a.m. — Miguel Angel Jimenez, K.T. Kim, Bo Van Pelt
8:20 a.m. — Y.E. Yang, Rich Beem, Vijay Singh
8:30 a.m. — Charlie Wi, Pablo Larrazabal, Chez Reavie
8:40 a.m. — Retief Goosen, Mark Brooks, Roger Chapman
8:50 a.m. — Alex Noren, Mark Wilson, George Coetzee
9 a.m. — Marc Leishman, Ted Potter Jr., Brian Gaffney
9:10 a.m. — Michael Hoey, Kevin Na, Rod Perry
9:20 a.m. — Brendan Jones, Bill Murchison, J.J. Henry
12:30 p.m. — Matteo Manassero, Charles Howell III, Mark Brown
12:40 p.m. — Pat Perez, Corey Prugh, Martin Laird
12:50 p.m. — Toru Taniguchi, Rory Sabbatini, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
1 p.m. — Jose Maria Olazabal, Branden Grace, Matt Dobyns
1:10 p.m. — Darren Clarke, Ryo Ishikawa, Gary Woodland
1:20 p.m. — Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk
1:30 p.m. — Jason Dufner, Paul Casey, Geoff Ogilvy
1:40 p.m. — Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods
1:50 p.m. — Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker
2 p.m. — Lee Westwood, Bill Haas, Angel Cabrera
2:10 p.m. — Stewart Cink, Peter Hanson, Tim Clark
2:20 p.m. — Jeff Coston, Bud Cauley, Robert Rock
2:30 p.m. — Joost Luiten, Alan Morin, Thomas Aiken
7:20 a.m. — Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, George McNeill, Frank Bensel
7:30 a.m. — Brendon de Jonge, Danny Balin, Hiroyuki Fujita
7:40 a.m. — John Rollins, Kyle Stanley, Francesco Molinari
7:50 a.m. — Charl Schwartzel, Rickie Fowler, Nicolas Colsaerts
8 a.m. — Hunter Mahan, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia
8:10 a.m. — Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els
8:20 a.m. — Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson
8:30 a.m. — Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III
8:40 a.m. — Scott Piercy, Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar
8:50 a.m. — Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Nick Watney
9 a.m. — K.J. Choi, Simon Dyson, Scott Verplank
9:10 a.m. — Mitch Lowe, Jeff Overton, Blake Adams
9:20 a.m. — William McGirt, Paul Scaletta, Robert Allenby
12:30 p.m. — Kelly Mitchum, D.A. Points, Marcel Siem
12:40 p.m. — John Senden, Ken Duke, Michael Frye
12:50 p.m. — Greg Chalmers, Spencer Levin, Michael Thompson
1 p.m. — Thomas Bjorn, Robert Garrigus, Charley Hoffman
1:10 p.m. — Lucas Glover, Ben Curtis, Trevor Immelman
1:20 p.m. — Scott Stallings, Jeev Milkha Singh, Johnson Wagner
1:30 p.m. — Shaun Micheel, David Toms, John Daly
1:40 p.m. — Bernd Wiesberger, Ryan Palmer, Robert Karlsson
1:50 p.m. — Alvaro Quiros, Cameron Tringale, Ryan Moore
2 p.m. — Tommy Gainey, Jason Day, Carl Pettersson
2:10 p.m. — Mike Small, Brian Davis, John Huh
2:20 p.m. — Sean O’Hair, Brian Cairns, Seung-yul Noh
2:30 p.m. — Chris Stroud, Marty Jertson, Thongchai Jaidee