Jason Day and Brendon Todd share a one-stroke lead on a congested leaderboard after the first round of the US PGA Championship on Thursday.

Day, the 2015 champion, carded a bogey-free five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

The Australian capitalised on favourable early conditions and made five birdies to sit a stroke clear of nine players, alongside Todd.

Todd produced the best round of those in action later in the day, although he mixed seven birdies with two bogeys.

Bidding to win a third straight US PGA title, Brooks Koepka is among that group after shooting a four-under 66.

Koepka mixed six birdies with two bogeys as the American continued to grow in confidence after a runner-up finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Martin Kaymer, the 2010 champion, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Bud Cauley, Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Brendan Steele and Mike Lorenzo-Vera are also in a tie for third.

Rose was just one under with six holes to play in his round, but the Englishman managed three birdies to be in contention.

In action for just the second time since the PGA Tour season restarted in June, 15-time major champion Tiger Woods opened with a two-under 68.

The American was even through his first 12 holes before a strong finish saw him birdie three of four holes prior to dropping another shot.

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally broke his driver during his first round and was twice four under, but finished with a 68.

Dustin Johnson carded a one-under 69 to be tied for 33rd, a shot better off than four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who battled to his 70.

Jon Rahm also struggled to get going on his way to a 70, while 2017 champion Justin Thomas fired a 71.

Jordan Spieth's hopes of completing a career Grand Slam this year took a hit, the American again battling as he opened with a 73 that included five bogeys. Rickie Fowler also shot an opening-round 73.

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally snapped the head off his driver during the opening round of the US PGA Championship.

American golfer DeChambeau broke his driver after hitting a tee shot on the seventh hole at TPC Harding Park on Thursday.

One of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau was leaning on the club as he attempted to pick up the tee when the head became detached in San Francisco.

DeChambeau – a six-time Tour champion – was able to replace the driver as it was not damaged through anger or abuse.

"The head is fine, it's just the shaft. That was weird, swinging too hard. I guess it's all those swings I put in. Glad I can replace it, that's awesome. That’s a nice break," DeChambeau said on course.

"I think it is so funny. It was bound to break. I've been using it for a long time. Got a lot of good use out of it."

Bryson DeChambeau has quite literally been a big talking point after mixing swinging irons with pumping iron during lockdown.

It was very evident the eccentric American had not been putting his feet up when the PGA Tour resumed in June following a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeChambeau teed off at the Charles Schwab Challenge with a substantially bulked-up frame after dedicating himself to an intensive daily training schedule while in quarantine.

The world number seven also put his new appearance down to a diet that includes seven protein shakes a day and a 2,000-calorie breakfast, consuming two big meals daily and "munching" inbetween.

DeChambeau has long since given his rivals food for thought with such an alternative approach to the game that earned him the 'mad scientist' nickname.

If the 26-year-old Californian can come up with a recipe for success this week, he could be a major force at the US PGA Championship.

The six-time PGA Tour champion's extra power would have drawn gasps from the galleries if spectators had been allowed in to see the distances he has been hitting the ball since the restart.

His average drive of 324.4 yards is the highest on the PGA Tour this year and can be a huge weapon, but some believe his new-found strength combined with technical adjustments may have impacted his touch game.

He returned with three consecutive top-10 finishes before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but suffered a meltdown as he missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament a fortnight later.

DeChambeau was there for the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but finished in a tie for 30th as Justin Thomas won the title on Sunday.

Slow play and on-course tantrums have ensured DeChambeau is unlikely to ever be the most popular player on the circuit, but his drive for success has to be admired.

As does his optimism judging by a recent interview with GQ magazine.

"My goal is to live to 130 or 140. I really think that's possible now with today's technology," he said.

"I think somebody's going to do it in the next 30 or 40 years. I want humans to be better. I want them to succeed. I want to say, 'Hey, this is all of the stuff I've experienced… if it helps you, great. If it doesn't, well, let's keep working on it. Let's keep figuring stuff out."

DeChambeau must hope it is a case of the bigger, the better when he starts his quest to claim a first major title at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco on Thursday.

It may not be quite what we are used to but major golf is finally back as Brooks Koepka defends his US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California this week.

The global coronavirus pandemic completely wiped out The Open Championship for 2020, while each of the other three majors had to be rescheduled.

A three-month enforced break of the PGA Tour perhaps came at an opportune moment for some, while halting the momentum of others.

As golf gears up for its first major of 2020, behind closed doors of course, we take a look at the players we expect to be competing in California.


WEBB SIMPSON

It has been some return to form over the past couple of years for 2012 U.S. Open victor Webb Simpson, who slipped as low as 90th in the rankings following the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship before his triumph at the Players Championship a couple of years ago kick-started a career that looked in danger of stagnating. Even more promisingly, Simpson has wins either side of lockdown at the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage. Throw in top-10s at the Sony Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic and he certainly has the form to contend.

JUSTIN THOMAS

Since winning the 2017 PGA Championship, it has not quite happened in the majors for Justin Thomas, whose only other top-10 in golf's big four since came at the same tournament a year later. But this guy is a serial contender on Tour and has four wins to his name in the past year, the most recent of course coming at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday. Thomas is now back at world number one thanks to his triumph in Memphis and has three other top-10s since golf's hiatus was lifted so do not be surprised to see him in contention come Sunday.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

He is a man who splits opinion but one thing that cannot be argued is how supremely talented Bryson DeChambeau is. After bulking up during lockdown, he now appears to have even more weapons to his arsenal. Prior to missing the cut at the Memorial, DeChambeau made eight top-10s in nine starts, which included a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has the game to win a major.

COLLIN MORIKAWA

A name perhaps not too familiar with the casual golf fan, but since turning pro in 2019 Collin Morikawa has climbed from 1039th in the world to 12th. After finishing second at the season-restarting Charles Schwab, he won the Workday Charity Open by beating Thomas in a play-off. His other results have admittedly been mixed but for those who like an outside bet the 23-year-old may take your fancy.

JON RAHM

Admittedly, tipping the man who was world number one until Thomas' win at the weekend to be a contender does not exactly scream imagination. But the talented Spaniard was not exactly in peak form prior to winning the Memorial last month, which crowned his ascension to the top of the rankings. Prior to that he had gone CUT, T33, T37, T27 at his four previous events post-lockdown. But surely Jon Rahm will eventually break his major duck and this weekend can be the time.

KOEPKA, RORY, WOODS AND THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Some players you just expect to see involved at the majors. Koepka is aiming to be the first man in 64 years to win the same major three years running and showed plenty of promise in Memphis over the weekend, where he finished runner-up to Thomas. Rory McIlroy has lost his number one status after struggling to rediscover his excellent form prior to golf's suspension but the Northern Irishman has previous at Harding Park, where he won the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Tiger Woods really has not played enough golf in 2020 to judge where his form and fitness is at – he has played just once since the season restarted – but never, ever write off the 15-time major winner. Dustin Johnson's form has been a little erratic, though he did win the Travelers Championship at the end of June.

Ryan Palmer and Tony Finau are tied for the lead at the halfway stage of the Memorial Tournament, where 15-time major champion Tiger Woods narrowly made the cut.

Palmer carded a four-under-par 68 to join fellow American Finau in a share of the one-stroke lead following Friday's second round in Dublin, Ohio.

Finau was the outright leader when day two started, but a second-round 69 saw him head into the weekend with company at nine under through 36 holes at Muirfield Village.

Spanish star Jon Rahm is a shot off the pace after a five-under-par 67, while Gary Woodland (70), Chez Reavie (67) and Luke List (68) are tied for fourth at six under.

After opening with a 73, former world number one Jason Day posted a 66 to catapult himself into outright seventh position – four shots behind Palmer and Finau.

Back-to-back 70s has Jordan Spieth four under at the halfway point, one stroke ahead of another American star – Justin Thomas, who used a five-under-par 67 to climb 43 positions into a tie for 16th.

World number one Rory McIlroy's struggles continued after an even-par 72 saw him slip seven shots off the pace.

McIlroy is yet to finish in the top 10 of a PGA Tour tournament since golf resumed in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, and a double bogey and four bogeys left the Northern Irishman tied for 21st.

As for Woods, the American superstar barely survived to prolong his PGA comeback into the weekend on Friday.

Woods – in action for the first time since February – made a decent start but his second round was far more concerning amid back problems.

The 44-year-old, who opened the event with a 71, signed for a four-over-par 76 to close the day three over, just one stroke above the cut line.

Three bogeys from his first nine holes left Woods in trouble, but the five-time Memorial Tournament winner rallied after the turn by birdieing two of his final three holes.

While the likes of Brooks Koepka (75), Patrick Reed (76) and Phil Mickelson (74) managed to make the cut, Rickie Fowler (68), Justin Rose (76) and Bryson DeChambeau (76) failed to qualify for the weekend.

Tiger Woods might be at the centre of attention, but big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau was impossible to ignore ahead of the opening round of the Memorial Tournament.

Superstar Woods and the newly bulked-up DeChambeau practised together on the eve of the tournament, which marks the former's return to the PGA Tour for the first time since its coronavirus suspension.

While Woods has been away, DeChambeau has been hard at play, the new power generation leader stretching his run of top-10 finishes to seven tournaments, including a win at the Rocket Mortgate Classic in Detroit earlier this month.

Tackling the Muirfield Village course this week is the latest challenge for DeChambeau, who has bulked up physically in recent months to greatly improve his distance off the tee. Many bookmakers make him the favourite for this week, given his recent consistency.

Where Woods was once the biggest hitter on tour, DeChambeau is now setting the standards in length, but with extra yardage comes the need for greater subtlety with the short irons, and that is an area where DeChambeau knows he needs to tune up.

"I haven't really worked that hard on it because I've been working so hard on the driving and on the putting, and it showed in Detroit," DeChambeau said.

"That's the next step for us and for my team ... how to become like a Steve Stricker or like a Tiger with his wedges, or JT, Justin Thomas. He's unbelievable with his wedges. If I could gain a little bit of that magic, that's just another edge that we're trying to get at.

"I have worked on it a little bit. I know where we're going to be heading to try and test some stuff."

DeChambeau, who will begin in a group with Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay,has long lived in awe of 44-year-old Woods, the 15-time major winner.

"Even now, he's hitting it pretty long. There was a couple of holes he hit 320, 325 [yards]. That's pretty good for his age. It's amazing for his age," DeChambeau said.

"I'd say that he inspired a whole new group of golfers to do new and amazing things, to not be afraid of hazards, to not be afraid of tough golf courses and go after it and just play without fear.

"I never imagined that I'd be even hitting it this far. That was never my game. It wasn't a thought until this last fall, until I started saying, you know what, maybe there's something here. Maybe I can gain a little bit of yardage if I go down this route, and lo and behold, there was a lot of yardage to be gained that I never thought I would have done when I was a kid."

Jack Nicklaus, the founder of Muirfield Village, said he is relishing seeing DeChambeau close up this week.

"I've seen him on television, and he's a much bigger man. But he was tall to start with, but if he's carrying 250 pounds, that's a lot of weight for Bryson," Nicklaus said.

"But Bryson, he doesn't look heavy, he just looks big. I want to watch a little bit, watch him play a little bit. I'd like to see what he does and how he's actually doing that because he's obviously doing something right. The ball is going a long way. And he's playing well with it."

As for DeChambeau, he would love to impress Nicklaus, golf's greatest champion.

"Anytime you get to play Muirfield Village and play in front of Jack, it's a special honour," said the 26-year-old.

"It's definitely a challenge no matter how you look at it with this added length, and I appreciate it, and look forward to using it to my advantage hopefully a few times this week."

Bryson DeChambeau believes he can carry strong momentum into the majors this year after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

DeChambeau secured a three-stroke victory at the Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Sunday to continue his good run of form.

The American had six top-10 results heading into the Rocket Mortgage Classic and appears set to contend with three majors to be held before the year's end.

DeChambeau said he was gaining confidence and it would give him momentum ahead of the majors, where he is without a top-10 finish in his career.

"The most important thing is that I played on a golf course that required unbelievable wedging and that's not one of the strong suits of my game, and I was able to win and win by a few, so that's really positive," he said.

"It means my wedge play isn't up to the best in the world, but it's definitely good enough to still compete on Tour. My driving's still good enough to compete on Tour.

"It's really exciting to be able to get the job done here and it's a lot of momentum for the majors. I feel like it's a good test run for me hitting drives in some tight areas. Number seven wasn't easy this week and I hit great drives there all week. I've been hitting a great job at 18 when I had to, absolutely had to. If I hit it in the water or a little left or a little right, I'm struggling to make par, but I was able to give myself a little wedge shot in there.

"It gives me a lot of confidence going forward that I'm heading in the right direction with my driving and my game."

DeChambeau carded a seven-under 65 in the final round on his way to a sixth PGA Tour victory.

The 26-year-old said he was happy with the way he played as he carded the best round on Sunday.

"It's funny, I was kind of in my own world the whole day, I never really thought much about anything outside of me," DeChambeau said.

"Man, I was just focusing on my game, trying to execute every shot to the best of my ability and I did that for quite most of the day."

Bryson DeChambeau eclipsed Matthew Wolff to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes and claim his sixth PGA Tour title.

Wolff was the player to beat in Sunday's final round, teeing off with a commanding three-shot lead at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan.

However, Wolff faltered and shot a 71 as fellow American DeChambeau rose to the top with a seven-under-par 65 to mark his fourth successive season with a victory.

DeChambeau was almost flawless on day four, holing eight birdies and just one bogey – finishing with an exclamation point after birdieing the last three holes to end on 23 under.

The 26-year-old, who had top-10 finishes in his past six starts heading into the tournament, signed off for four successive rounds in the 60s.

Wolff walked away with the runners-up cheque after mixing five bogeys and six birdies, two strokes ahead of countryman Kevin Kisner (66).

Danny Willett (66) – the 2016 Masters champion, Adam Hadwin (67), Tyrell Hatton (68) and Ryan Armour (72) finished tied for fourth, seven shots behind DeChambeau.

Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler climbed 28 places into a tie for 12th on 14 under thanks to his final-round 67.

Matthew Wolff carded a second successive eight-under-par 64 to move to the top of the leaderboard after the third round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 

Wolff surged to a three-stroke lead through 54 holes thanks to another low round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Saturday. 

The 21-year-old is eyeing his second PGA Tour title after winning last year's 3M Open and the American is on track to add the Rocket Mortgage Classic trophy to his collection. 

A shot off the pace at the start of day three, Wolff posted six birdies and two bogeys on the front nine to make the turn in 32. 

After another bogey at the 10th, Wolff caught fire with two birdies and an eagle before another gain at the 17th moved him to 19 under overall – ahead of countrymen Ryan Armour (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (67). 

Troy Merritt (67), Mark Hubbard (69), Seamus Power and Chris Kirk (70) are five strokes behind Wolff heading into the final round. 

Kirk shared a one-shot lead with 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson following Friday's second round, but the former saw his advantage evaporate. 

Simpson is one stroke further back in a tie for eighth after signing for a one-under-par 71 – his first round in the 70s this week. 

Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler ended the day 10 strokes off the pace after shooting a third-round 69.

Webb Simpson continued his good form to grab a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The American carded an under-eight 64 in the second round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Friday to climb into 12 under at the PGA Tour event.

Simpson already has two wins in 2020 – including at the RBC Heritage in his last start – and shares a one-stroke lead with Chris Kirk (65).

The 2012 U.S. Open champion, Simpson produced a bogey-free second round that included eight birdies.

Kirk was on track to do likewise before a bogey at the par-four 18th.

It remains a packed leaderboard, with Seamus Power (66), Matthew Wolff (64), Bryson DeChambeau (67), Mark Hubbard (66), Ryan Armour (64) and Richy Werenski (66) a shot back.

The in-form DeChambeau has top-10 finishes in his past six starts and backed up his 66 with a 67.

Kevin Kisner (69) and Sepp Straka (66) are in a tie for ninth at 10 under.

Last year's runner-up, Doc Redman, shared the overnight lead but fell back into a tie for 11th after a two-under 70.

Despite a promising start, Rickie Fowler slipped down the leaderboard after a 71, now sitting at six under.

Jason Day's struggles since the PGA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic continued, with the Australian missing the cut for the third time in four events.

Doc Redman made a fine start to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, carding a seven-under 65 to be in a three-way tie for the lead on Thursday.

Redman, runner-up at the PGA Tour event last year, holed eight birdies and a bogey during a strong opening round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan.

The American, 22, shares the lead with Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner, the latter having produced a bogey-free first round.

Bryson DeChambeau is among a group of seven players a shot back of the leading trio.

DeChambeau has finished in the top 10 in his past six starts and opened with a 66 that included an eagle at the par-five 14th.

Peter Malnati, Emiliano Grillo, Chase Seiffert, J.J. Spaun, Matt Wallace and Chris Stroud are alongside DeChambeau at six under.

Coming off two missed cuts since the PGA Tour season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rickie Fowler made a solid start.

Fowler fired a five-under 67, mixing seven birdies with a double bogey, to be part of a 14-way tie for 11th.

Defending champion Nate Lashley, who won by six strokes last year, opened with a one-under 71.

Phil Mickelson said that realising he cannot out-hit Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau has improved his game after taking the lead at the Travelers Championship.

Mickelson carded a seven-under-par 63 to surge a stroke clear at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament on Friday.

The five-time major champion holed eight birdies and a bogey to be 13 under through 36 holes at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

Eyeing his 45th PGA title, Mickelson – a two-time winner of the event – said: "I made some strides in the sense that I didn't try to go toe-to-toe with two of the longest guys in the game, Bryson [DeChambeau] and Rory [McIlroy].

"I ended up hitting some three-woods on some of those holes because it fit my game better, and fortunately, I made a couple of birdies. I'm thinking about number seven as an example, where they hit driver and I hit three-wood and was still able to make birdie.

"Playing my game and the way the course set up for me was a challenge when you're playing with guys that hit it like that, but it allowed me to play some good golf."

World number one McIlroy dropped down two spots to be four shots off the pace following his second-round 68, which included four birdies and two bogeys.

Xander Schauffele (68), Brendan Steele (62), Brendon Todd (65) and Marc Leishman (65) are also nine under heading into the weekend.

"I know what it feels like to go low out here, so I'll need a couple of good ones over the weekend," McIlroy said. "But the game feels in decent shape, and obviously get out early tomorrow [Saturday] and try to get back in the mix."

Webb Simpson is one of four players in a tie for the lead at the RBC Heritage after the third round on Hilton Head Island.

Former U.S. Open champion Simpson is level at 15 under par through 54 holes alongside Tyrrell Hatton, Abraham Ancer and Ryan Palmer.

Simpson, the 2013 RBC Heritage runner-up, held the outright lead overnight but could only manage a three-under 68 in a round that contained four birdies and one bogey.

His fellow American Palmer shot 66, while Mexican Ancer posted a third-round 65 to join Simpson at the front of the PGA Tour event.

Englishman Hatton also surged into contention and shares the lead after following up a disappointing opening round of 71 with scores of 64 and 63.

His eight-under effort on Saturday was tied for the best of the day along with five other players.

Similarly to last week's Charles Schwab Challenge, the top of the leaderboard is hugely congested going into the final day.

There are 17 players sitting within three strokes of the four leaders.

Daniel Berger (63) – the winner at Colonial – matched Hatton's total and is one of three men one shot behind on 14 under along with Joel Dahmen (63) and Carlos Ortiz (63).

Ian Poulter (67) – who held a share of the lead after round one – is two strokes off the pace along with Sergio Garcia (65) and a further six competitors.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (68) and former world number one Dustin Johnson (67) remain in contention at 12 under, as does Bryson DeChambeau despite struggling in a third round of 70.

Despite a five-under-par 66, world number one Rory McIlroy has work to do at 10 under heading into the final round.

McIlroy sits five shots behind Simpson, Hatton, Ancer and Palmer in a tie for 28th after holing six birdies and a bogey – eight strokes better off than Jordan Spieth, who struggled in a four-over-par 75.

Meanwhile, the field was a combined 223-under par, the most of any round in this tournament's history, surpassing 178 under in 2015.

Webb Simpson fired another six-under 65 to lead the RBC Heritage, while Brooks Koepka continued his strong start on Friday.

Simpson, the 2013 runner-up at the PGA Tour event, managed nine birdies and three bogeys, shooting a second straight 65 to get to 12 under.

The American holds a one-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau (64) and Corey Conners (63) after the second round, which was suspended for two hours due to dangerous weather.

Conners' bogey-free 63 was the equal best second round, alongside Jhonattan Vegas and Tyler Duncan.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, produced a stunning finish to his round, making six birdies on his final nine holes.

Ryan Palmer (67) and Matt Fitzpatrick (66) are at 10 under, sharing fourth spot on the leaderboard.

Koepka followed up his opening-round 67 with a 66 to be at nine under and in a tie for sixth alongside Abraham Ancer (64), Vegas, Matthew NeSmith (67) and Ian Poulter (69).

Dustin Johnson managed a five-under 66 to be at eight under, two shots better off than Jordan Spieth (70).

World number one Rory McIlroy got going with a six-under 65 that saw the Northern Irishman climb into a tie for 45th at five under.

Rickie Fowler and Jason Day were among the players to miss the cut on a day which saw Nick Watney withdraw after testing positive for coronavirus.

Justin Thomas holds a one-shot lead after an eventful third round at the WGC-Mexico Championship that included Jon Rahm breaking the course record.

After scores of 67 and 66 over the previous two days, Thomas continued going in the right direction by signing for a 65 on Saturday, moving him to 15 under par.

The American started and finished his work with bogeys, yet in between had eight birdies to put himself clear at the top of a high-class leaderboard and in pole position for his third title of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season.

Erik van Rooyen and Patrick Reed head the chasing pack after both signed for 67s at the Club de Golf Chapultepec.

Van Rooyen had moved into contention at the halfway stage with a 62 that tied the course record – but Rahm went one better to climb to 11 under.

The Spaniard made a brilliant start with birdies at six of his first seven holes and following three more after the turn, he produced a stunning hole-in-one at the par-three 17th, his tee shot dropping into the cup on the second bounce.

"With the start I had today, the only thing in mind was trying to get as close as possible to the leaders," Rahm – whose solitary blemish during a spectacular day came at the eighth – said after the lowest score of his professional career.

"If I had a good finish, I was going to have a chance tomorrow, and that's kind of what gave me a second wind on the back nine."

Rahm is tied for fourth alongside Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy (68) and halfway leader Bryson DeChambeau, who followed up Friday's 63 with a 71 that included a double-bogey seven after finding water at the sixth.

Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey are a further shot back on 10 under.

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