Corey Conners withstood hammering winds to claim a two-stroke lead following the opening round at the US PGA Championship as Brooks Koepka impressed but Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson struggled.

Prior to Thursday's first round in South Carolina, Conners' best position after any round of a major was equal sixth through 54 holes at this year's Masters at Augusta.

Conners bettered that at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, where the Canadian defied the wind to set the early pace with a five-under-par 67.

Without a victory since his solitary PGA Tour triumph at the 2019 Texas Open, Conners was almost flawless in gusty conditions, holing six birdies with just one bogey.

Conners' lead marks his third career 18-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA Tour (0-for-two to date) and first at a major. Earlier this season, the 29-year-old was tied for the first-round lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and finished third – his best result of the season.

Koepka ended day one in a share of second position alongside Keegan Bradley, Viktor Hovland, Aaron Wise, Sam Horsfield and Cam Davis.

Koepka has been plagued by injuries since winning back-to-back PGA Championships in 2019 and a fourth major title in three years – the American star underwent knee surgery in March before missing the cut at last month's Masters.

But Koepka impressed on Thursday, overcoming a slow start to shoot a three-under-par 69.

Koepka double-bogeyed his opening hole on the back nine, however, the four-time major champion only dropped one shot after that as he tallied six birdies.

He has opened the PGA Championship with a score in the 60s in each of the last six years, the longest such streak at any major in the modern era (since 1934), eclipsing Jack Nicklaus (five – 1972-1976 Masters).

Defending champion Collin Morikawa is a stroke further back alongside the likes of five-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

Big-hitting American and reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau signed for an even-par 72 at the close of the first round, level with Jon Rahm and Justin Rose, while Masters holder Hideki Matsuyama, former world number one Jordan Spieth – eyeing a career Grand Slam – and Xander Schauffele shot 73s.

Jason Day and Patrick Reed were also further down the leaderboard as two-time PGA Championship winner McIlroy and world number one Johnson were powerless in the wind.

McIlroy – seeking a first major trophy since 2014 – recorded a three-over-par 75, which included six bogeys and just three birdies.

Justin Thomas also went three over for the day, while Johnson finished with two double-bogeys and a bogey in a forgettable four-over-par 76 display.

Rory McIlroy struggled on his return to Kiawah Island with a three-over-par 75 in the opening round at the US PGA Championship as playing partner Brooks Koepka impressed.

McIlroy won by eight shots the last time the PGA Championship was staged at Ocean Course in South Carolina in 2012 and was installed as the favourite of many after ending a winless streak of almost two years at the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago.

However, the four-time major champion – seeking a first major title since 2014 – landed his very first shot into the water on a windswept morning before recovering somewhat with back-to-back birdies on Thursday.

McIlroy – a two-time PGA Championship winner – was level par at the turn after dropping another shot on the par-five 16th, but he managed just one more birdie compared to five bogeys as he closed for 75, eight shots behind Corey Conners.

Koepka played down expectations heading into the tournament due to a knee injury and he started slowly with a double-bogey on his first hole, though the two-time PGA Championship winner recovered well with two birdies in the next three holes.

After turning in 36, Koepka picked up three shots in four holes on the front nine to complete an impressive turnaround that saw him earn a share of the lead before Conners soared to the summit as he aims to add to his successes in this event in 2018 and 2019.

"I felt like an idiot," he told Sky Sports Golf when reflecting on his cagey start. "It was probably a poor club choice off 10. I thought three-wood would have carried, but it didn't. I also didn't find the face, it barely hit the face!

"The first rule is, if you're in trouble, get the hell out. I couldn't reach the green and it was a bad lie, so I didn't know where I was going. I just tried to hit a sand-wedge up by the green instead of just chopping it out.

"So it was a mental mistake there, and I deserved every bit of that double-bogey. But it kind of helped me refocus. I can't play with any mistakes, maybe one a day, and that was my one, and I got it out of the way on the first hole."

Koepka is joined on three-under par by former champion Keegan Bradley, Viktor Hovland. Aaron Wise and Sam Horsfield.

Bradley's opening round included four birdies and just one dropped shot, coming on the par-four 13th, while Hovland bounced back from an opening bogey with four birdies.

Collin Morikawa is one shot further back after bogeying his final hole, the defending champion joined on a first-round 70 by Martin Laird, who was also let down by a couple of dropped shots on his final two holes.

Justin Thomas finds himself way down the standings, meanwhile, after carding a three over that included a double-bogey on the 18th, while US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau had a mixed first day as he posted a level-par 72.

World number one Dustin is among the late starters, along with Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose.

Brooks Koepka said he can play through the pain in his bid for a third US PGA Championship but a full recovery from a knee injury remains months away.

Koepka has been plagued by injuries since winning back-to-back PGA Championships in 2019 and a fourth major title in three years.

The American star underwent knee surgery in March, having won the Phoenix Open, and he has missed the cut in his past two events, including last month's Masters.

As Koepka gears up for Thursday's opening round at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, the 31-year-old acknowledged his knee is still problematic but he is ready to play.

"I feel like I can hit every shot. It's not like Augusta where I'm trying to figure out what's the best line to walk instead of figuring out. Now I can actually hit golf shots and understand what's going on," Koepka, who has been paired alongside Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy told reporters on Tuesday.

"For a while it was just I neglected putting just to see if I could hit shots, because if I can't hit shots I can't play. No point in that. No, I got everything under control and know what I'm doing. Last week was a good test just to see where I'm at for two days.

"I thought if I got four, it would be nice, but two days of rest didn't hurt me."

Asked for a timeline for him to be fully healthy, Koepka replied: "We're talking probably another six months."

"If I beat that, I'm doing something good," he continued. "I mean, I can play. You're never 100 per cent, that's the thing. For two straight years it's been left knee, right knee, herniated a disc in my neck, played in Tampa or wherever we were, played through that. I dealt with that all the way through Palm Springs.

"I can deal with the pain. That's not an issue. It's just a matter of being able to hit shots that I want to hit and do things I want to do, and I'm starting to be able to do that. Even though I'm not 100 per cent, I can still hit the shots."

Koepka added: "Every day has been a long day. Starting from just the training to the rehab, everything seems to take an hour, hour and a half longer, more attention to detail of what I'm doing off the golf course, make sure I'm doing -- I seem to get hurt in a bunch of freaky instances.

"It's just one of those things where you've just got to move past it and take it one day at a time."

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy all missed the cut at the Masters on Friday, while Justin Rose remains in the lead.

Johnson, who won the Masters for the first time in November, shot a three-over 75 on the second day to be five over overall and miss the cut by two strokes.

World number one Johnson made three bogeys on his final four holes to miss out, having previously impressed at Augusta, with top-10 finishes in his past five appearances.

He made four birdies on the front nine but also had two bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth.

Johnson becomes the third Masters champion in the past 15 years to miss the cut.

"Six three-putts in two rounds, you just can't do that," Johnson said. "Obviously didn't drive it great but drove it good enough.

"I never was really too bad out of position, just the three-putts killed me. You take all the three-putts away, I'm one under. That was kind of the difference."

The 36-year-old was joined by four-time major winner Koepka with a similar round to miss the cut, along with 2017 Masters winner Garcia, who shot an even round of 72 to finish at four over.

Four-time major winner McIlroy (74) and two-time Masters runner-up Lee Westwood (71) also failed to make the cut, with both unable to recover after poor first days at Augusta.

At the other end of the leaderboard, Rose sits one shot clear of Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman after a second-round 72, having led by four shots on the opening day.

Rose bogeyed four of his first seven holes on Friday, before steadying with three birdies on the back nine to salvage his lead.

"I think it was just a classic day at Augusta National when you're just slightly off," Rose said.

"You can be a foot or two out on certain occasions and you end up struggling. I think maybe off the back of yesterday, it starts to feel pretty different pretty quickly. But I told myself going up the eighth hole, you're leading the Masters, your frame of reference is a little bit different to yesterday. Four ahead is something, but you're still leading so like just enjoy it and keep going."

On his Masters debut, 24-year-old Zalatoris moved up the leaderboard swiftly, aided by five birdies on his back nine, including three straight to finish his round as he carded a four-under 68.

Harman also moved into contention after three birdies on his final six holes to finish with a three-under 69.

Australian Marc Leishman and last week's Texas Open winner Jordan Spieth are tied for fourth after both enjoyed strong rounds on Friday.

Bernd Wiesberger and Tony Finau both shot 66s on Friday to storm up the leaderboard into joint sixth alongside four other players, including world number two Justin Thomas.

Brooks Koepka is unsure if he will play again before the US PGA Championship after missing the cut at the Masters on Friday.

Playing for the first time since February after undergoing knee surgery, Koepka carded rounds of 74 and 75 to miss the cut at Augusta.

After back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Masters, it marked the first time the four-time major winner had failed to reach the weekend at the tournament.

With the US PGA due to start at Kiawah Island on May 20, Koepka is unsure if that will be his next competitive event.

"It's tough to say right now. That's, what, five weeks ahead, I think? It's kind of tough to say that," he told a news conference.

"I won't miss it, I know that, but tough to say if I'll play anything before that just for how it feels, how rehab goes and everything."

He added: "I wouldn't have been playing for another month if it wasn't this week. So I'll take a nice long break after this.

"Way I look at it, I have two more days to do rehab that I probably wouldn't get if I was out here, and I'll get ready for the PGA."

Koepka, who was playing just his sixth tournament of the year, lamented his putting performance at the Masters.

"Putter was ice cold, didn't make any putts. I don't want to say the speed was off, maybe the reads a little bit. Maybe the start line. I'm not quite sure," he said.

"A lot of them felt like good putts, and they weren't even hitting the hole. I don't know. It could be any one of those things. They felt good coming off the face, but they didn't even sniff it."

Justin Rose mounted a back-nine recovery to finish his second round with a two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman.

Rose shot a sublime opening round of 65 at Augusta, but relinquished his four-shot advantage on Friday before returning to the top of the leaderboard with three birdies in his space of four holes.

The Englishman was the man to catch on seven under when he signed for a level-par 72, rallying after bogeying four of the first seven holes in his second round.

Gains at the 13th, 14th and 16th holes gave Rose momentum heading into the weekend as he bids to don the green jacket for the first time.

The in-form Spieth surged into a share of second place with Australian Leishman by carding a four-under 68, with birdies proving easier to come by for the field than on the opening day.

Three-time major champion Spieth, on a high after ending a title drought stretching back to 2017 at the Texas Open last weekend, made four of his five birdies after the turn and only dropped one shot at the 12th.

Leishman also made a significant move, setting the tone by starting with three birdies in row and going on to shoot a five-under 67.

Scintillating six-under rounds of 66 from Bernd Wiesberger and Tony Finau put them just three shots adrift of Rose along with Justin Thomas, who shot a 67.

Will Zalatoris, Brian Harman and Si Woo Kim were also well poised on four under, with their rounds still in progress. Defending champion Dustin Johnson had work to do back on three over through 10.

Bryson DeChambeau responded to a poor opening round with a 67 of his own to sit at one over, while Brooks Koepka (+5) and Rory McIlroy (+6) were facing a battle to make the cut 10 and eight holes into their rounds respectively.

Lee Westwood was a couple of shots below the projected cut mark on five over midway through his round.

Justin Rose surged into a four-shot lead as Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau were among the big names to endure first-round struggles at The Masters.

Rose was two over through seven holes in tough scoring conditions, with quicker and firmer Augusta greens proving a much bigger challenge than when Dustin Johnson won the tournament with a record score of 20 under last November.

The Englishman sparked into life with an eagle at the par-five eighth hole and lit up the back nine to card a magnificent seven-under 65, the lowest Masters round of his career, with patrons allowed back in under blue skies.

Rose, eyeing a maiden Masters title, got on a roll with seven birdies in nine holes before finishing with a composed par to retain his four-stroke advantage.

Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama shared the early clubhouse lead with impressive three-under opening rounds of 69 before Rose stormed clear.

Defending champion Johnson shot a two-over 74 following a double bogey at the 18th, having made a bogey-birdie start before getting in the red for the first time at 13.

Masters debutant Will Zalatoris, Webb Simpson, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Patrick Reed will start their second rounds on two under following encouraging starts, while new father Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele are among a clutch of players at level par.

McIlroy suffered a miserable opening round and is back on four over, facing a battle to make the cut rather than fight it out to complete a career Grand Slam, while U.S. Open champion DeChambeau was four over through 15.

Jordan Spieth was left to rue a triple-bogey after launching a wayward tee shot into the trees at the ninth but was in a share of eighth on one under after chipping in for an eagle at 15, while Justin Thomas was a further stroke back through 15.

Brooks Koepka matched Johnson's 74 just a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery and the previously in-form Lee Westwood is languishing on six over.

Tommy Fleetwood generated a roar from those fortunate enough to be at the 16th to see him make a hole-in-one before he signed for a 74.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson failed to hit the ground running in testing conditions when he started the defence of his Masters title on Thursday.

Johnson donned the green jacket for the first time last November, finishing the tournament on a record-breaking 20 under par.

The world number one made only four bogeys as he blew the field away in the 2020 major at Augusta, but he dropped two shots in his opening five holes five months later, with patrons returning under blue skies.

Birdies were at a premium when the tournament got under way on much quicker, firmer greens than those seen in last year's tournament.

Two-time major champion Johnson started by dropping a shot after running through the first green with his second shot. Although he hit straight back with a birdie at the par-five second, Johnson was back at one over after failing to sink a par putt at the fifth.

Hideki Matsuyama led the way on three under through eight holes after draining an eagle putt at the eighth, with Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Si Woo Kim just a shot behind.

New father Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey were among a host of players on one under following early birdies.

The recently in-form Lee Westwood was struggling on three over through six after a double bogey at the third, while Rory McIlroy dropped to one over with a dropped shot at the fifth and Brooks Koepka was level par eight holes into his first round.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from The Players Championship due to a knee injury.

Koepka has struggled with injury problems over the last year and a half and the American has suffered another setback a month before The Masters gets under way at Augusta. 

The 30-year-old will not be among the field when The Players Championship gets under way at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday due to a strained right knee.

Blake Smith, Koepka's manager, said: "Brooks strained his right knee and he is scheduled to further consult with doctors this week to receive a more extensive evaluation and outlook.

"We will be able to provide additional updates and information as we learn more."

Koepka is eighth in the FedExCup standings and claimed his eighth PGA Tour title by winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

He was tied for second when he last teed off on the PGA Tour at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession at the end of last month.

Collin Morikawa added the WGC-Workday Championship to his growing list of achievements after triumphing by three strokes.

Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa used a three-under-par 69 to seal victory at the star-studded World Golf Championships event in Florida ahead of Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel on Sunday.

Morikawa holed four birdies and just one bogey to finish 18 under for his fourth PGA Tour crown – the most by any player currently aged under 25.

He also joins Tiger Woods as the only player to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

Further to that feat, Morikawa is the seventh player to claim four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25, following in the footsteps of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

The overnight leader by two strokes, Morikawa recovered from a slow start after bogeying his second hole of the final round – the 24-year-old American birdieing three of five holes before the turn as he ended the day without dropping another shot.

Norwegian star Hovland mounted a serious title charge following a five-under par 67, but he was unable to stop Morikawa.

Hovland finished tied for second alongside four-time major champion Koepka (70) and Horschel (70) at The Concession Golf Club.

McIlroy's final-round 71 saw the former world number one and four-time major winner slip down into a tie for sixth, six strokes adrift of Morikawa.

Defending champion Patrick Reed (72) ended the co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour tournament a shot further back.

Justin Thomas (71) earned a share of 15th at eight under, a stroke better off than U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (69).

It was a forgettable finish for world number one Dustin Johnson, who closed proceedings with a six-over-par 78.

The two-time tournament winner plummeted 12 positions to T54 at five over the card.

Collin Morikawa's hot putting saw him soar into a two-stroke lead following the third round of the WGC-Workday Championship.

Morikawa went on a birdie blitz, recording seven across an eight-hole stretch and eight in total to surge to the top of the leaderboard at The Concession Golf Club on Saturday.

Despite birdieing his penultimate hole, American golfer Morikawa leads the field at 15 under through 54 holes in Florida, where the star-studded World Golf Championships are taking place.

A three-time PGA Tour champion and winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa leads by two shots after three for the second time on Tour – the 2019 3M Open.

Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel (69) are Morikawa's nearest challengers heading into Sunday's final round.

Koepka carried a one-stroke advantage into the penultimate round, but the four-time major champion saw his lead evaporate following a two-under-par 70.

The American star bogeyed his opening two holes before recovering with four birdies, including a flawless back nine.

Webb Simpson (69) is 12 under, while four-time major winner Rory McIlroy catapulted himself into contention thanks to a six-under-par 66.

McIlroy improved eight positions, moving into a tie for fifth – four shots behind Morikawa – courtesy of an eagle and seven birdies, which outweighed his bogey and double bogey.

Defending champion Patrick Reed is also 11 under alongside McIlroy after his third-round 69.

Hideki Matsuyama (68) – tied for seventh at 10 under – has not recorded a three-putt through 54 holes at the tournament and he extended his tour-leading streak without a three-putt to 221 consecutive holes.

World number one and two-time champion Dustin Johnson recorded back-to-back 69s to move into a tie for 42nd – 16 strokes off the lead.

Brooks Koepka fired a six-under 66 to grab a one-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the WGC-Workday Championship.

The four-time major champion made seven birdies and one bogey at The Concession Golf Club in Florida on Friday to move into 11 under.

Koepka holds a 36-hole lead or co-lead on the PGA Tour for the eighth time in his career as he eyes a second World Golf Championships title.

The American made three straight birdies from the 15th before dropping his only shot of the round at the last.

Koepka is a stroke clear of Collin Morikawa (64), Billy Horschel (67) and Australian Cameron Smith (66).

Morikawa, last year's US PGA Championship winner, produced the equal best round of the day, with Bryson DeChambeau – who is tied for 20th – also shooting a 64.

Overnight leaders Webb Simpson and Matt Fitzpatrick both slipped back into a tie for fifth after firing 69s, sitting at nine under alongside Tony Finau (67).

Defending champion Patrick Reed carded another 68 to be at eight under alongside Kevin Kisner (69).

Rory McIlroy shot a two-under 70 to get to five under and into a tie for 13th, with Justin Thomas (66) also among that group.

A six-time WGC winner, Dustin Johnson improved on his opening-round 77, carding a 69 that sees him sitting at two over.

England's Matt Fitzpatrick and American Webb Simpson took a share of the lead in a star-studded field at the WGC-Workday Championship.

World number 16 Fitzpatrick carded a six-under 66 without dropping a shot on day one at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.

Ninth-ranked Simpson closed a clean back nine with three straight birdies and a par to climb up the leaderboard and match the 26-year-old Englishman's score.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka dropped his only shot at the par-four 16th, but is alongside three others at five under.

Americans Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel also carded 67s and were joined in third place by 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who drained a round-high eight birdies.

World number two Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed were among six players tied in seventh at four under, along with Tony Finau.

Adam Scott saw a potential hole-in-one come back off the flag at the sixth and shot an up-and-down even-par 72, while Justin Thomas recovered from dropping four shots in three holes to close with three birdies in the last four to sign for a one-over 73.

World number one Dustin Johnson posted a pair of double bogeys on his way to a five-over 77. That score was matched by US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who dropped shots on seven holes.

Rory McIlroy made a decent start, shooting a three-under 69 to sit in a tie for 13th.

The first World Golf Championships event of the season kicks off the Florida swing of the tour, heading towards The Players Championship starting on March 11.

Hometown hero Max Homa survived a play-off against countryman Tony Finau to claim the Genesis Invitational.

Los Angeles native Homa clinched his second PGA Tour title after signing for par on the second play-off hole as Finau could only bogey on Sunday.

A play-off was needed after American pair Homa (70) and Finau (70) finished 12 under through 72 holes at Riviera Country Club in California, where overnight leader Sam Burns (69) ended the tournament a stroke adrift.

Homa – who was born in nearby Burbank – still managed to reign supreme, despite a brutal lip-out on the 72nd hole, which would have sealed victory but it sent the event into a play-off instead.

"Been watching this tournament my whole life, it's why I fell in love with golf – wow, didn't think it'd be like this [choking up]," Homa said after winning for the first time since 2019.

"Tiger [Woods] another reason I'm into golf. Had good feelings this week. Been playing great. City of champions, you know – [MLB World Series champions] Dodgers, [NBA champions] Lakers and me now, so it's a weird feeling."

Cameron Smith (67) finished three shots off the pace and outright fourth, two strokes ahead of Spanish star Jon Rahm (66), Viktor Hovland (67) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (71).

World number one Dustin Johnson's title charge faded following a one-over-par 62, which left the American tied for eighth and six shots behind the leaders.

Jordan Spieth (71) – still searching for his first victory since 2017 – closed out the Genesis Invitational tied for 15th, alongside the likes of Xander Schauffele (69) and Patrick Cantlay (72).

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka (69) and defending champion Adam Scott (66) responded after forgettable third rounds to finish tied for 38th at even par.

Sam Burns was two strokes clear at the top of the leaderboard when the Genesis Invitational third round was suspended due to darkness on Saturday.

Overnight leader Burns completed 13 holes before fading light brought a premature end to the penultimate round at Riviera Country Club in California, where 24 players did not finish their rounds following inclement weather earlier in the day.

The third round will resume at 06:45 (local time) in Pacific Palisades on Sunday.

American golfer Burns carried a five-shot lead into the third round of the PGA Tour tournament.

That advantage reduced to just two strokes after going two over through 13 holes, to be 10 under overall at the time of the suspension.

England's Matthew Fitzpatrick (through 17) is the nearest challenger, while world number one Dustin Johnson (through 13), Wyndham Clark (through 15) and Max Homa (through 13) are lurking at seven under.

Jordan Spieth – seeking his first title since the 2017 Open Championship, is through 15 and four under as the three-time major winner and former world number one prepares to return early on Sunday morning.

Spanish star Jon Rahm managed to complete his round, carding a one-over-par 72 to be two under through 54 holes, alongside the likes of Xander Schauffele (71).

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka is two over following his forgettable third-round 77, while defending champion Adam Scott (through 15) is struggling at four over.

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