It was a strange first day at Baltusrol in the first round of the 2016 PGA Championship. Only one of the top four players is under par and there are more big names at the bottom of the leaderboard than at the top. It got started early with an ugly 74 from Rory McIlroy which was bookended by an even uglier 77 from Dustin Johnson.
In between all of that was some disinterested, sometimes boring golf. We have a leader in Jimmy Walker at 5 under who isn't a no-name but doesn't exactly inspire you to pick up the clubs and go play 36. Walker played quite well on Thursday with just one bogey and was part of a morning wave that sent out 25 of the 35 under par scores in Round 1.
Rain could be coming overnight, which means scores should be much lower on Friday. Hopefully we'll see some fireworks from the big boys, though, because they were pretty disappointing with the way they played over the first 18 holes. Even Jason Day's 68 was a bore as he couldn't hole any putts and was just grinding the hell out of the course all day to that 2 under score. He's just three back of Walker after the first round.
Here's a look at your current top 10 on the leaderboard and what they did on Thursday at Baltusrol.
1. Jimmy Walker (-5): Walker finished T29 at the Masters and missed the cut at the U.S. Open and Open Championship, so of course he's leading after the first day. Only one bogey on his card and he followed it up with a bounce-back birdie on the next hole. I'm not sure if he can keep putting out of his mind like this, but he's not a one-hit wonder like some of these other leaders.
T2. Emiliano Grillo (-4): I love Grillo. He's the new Angel Cabrera. Just hits it for days and on Thursday he was No. 1 in the field in strokes gained putting. Beast.
T2. Ross Fisher (-4): If you had "Ross Fisher will lead the field in strokes gained off the tee in Round 1 of the PGA Championship" just book the next direct flight to Las Vegas and start throwing dice all over the place. Made birdie at the last to join the three some at 2 under.
T2. Martin Kaymer (-4): Can you imagine a world in which Kaymer has more majors than Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler combined? If he wins the PGA Championship this week for the second time in seven years, that will be a reality. When he's on he's usually on, so we could be in for a big week from the German.
T5. Henrik Stenson (-3): Have a month, Henrik! I did not see the Big Swede bouncing back from his crazy 63 to win The Open Championship two weeks ago with a 67 in Round 1 at Baltusrol. He has now made 14 birdies in his last 36 holes of major championship golf, which is incredible.
T5. Andy Sullivan (-3): If you're an American golf fan, you'll be cursing his name come September at the Ryder Cup. Sullivan is for real, and I would not be at all surprised to see him in one of the final three groups on Sunday afternoon.
T5. James Hahn (-3): Hahn missed eight straight cuts earlier this year before winning Quail Hollow. He hasn't finished in the top 40 since then. Now he's fifth at the PGA Championship. Golf.
T5 Harris English (-3): English doesn't get talked about enough as one of the better young American golfers, but he hits it like a boss. It would be fun to see him throw some punches on the weekend at this tournament.
T9. Jason Day (-2): Day could not pour a putt in. He was almost as bad as playing partner Rory McIlroy with the flat stick but held together a 68 because he hit it beautifully. That's exactly what he needed to do for a chance to successfully defend his PGA Championship title.
T9. Brooks Koepka (-2): Koepka finished in the top 10 at last year's PGA Championship and has had an underrated year. He missed The Open but clearly hasn't missed a beat.
Brooks Koepka, playing first full round since USOpen due to ankle injury, shoots 68.— Mike McAllister (@PGATOUR_mikemc) July 28, 2016
"I feel like I'm picking up right where I left off"
T9. Rickie Fowler (-2): Fowler got lost a little in the hubbub of Rory's early 74 on Thursday, but he put together a solid round. One of the few players outside that top five I can see mounting a real charge into the weekend. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III also has to be breathing a sigh of relief that Fowler looks like he's going to play himself into one of the eight automatic qualifying spots.
Others at T9: K.J. Choi, David Lingmerth, Scott Hend, Robert Streb, Vaughn Taylor, Jhonattan Vegas, John Senden, Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen
T21. Hideki Matsuyama (-1)
T36. Adam Scott (E)
T36. Jordan Spieth (E)
T36. Justin Rose (E)
T55. Phil Mickelson (+1)
T55. Sergio Garcia (+1)
T55. Bubba Watson (+1)
T120. Rory McIlroy (+4)
T143. Dustin Johnson (+7)
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