Avoiding bogeys all round Thursday at the PGA Championship in San Francisco, former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland opened golf’s first major of 2020 with a 3-under 67 at TPC Harding Park.
The defending U.S. Open champion, Woodland began his first round with a birdie on the 10th hole, setting the 36-year-old from Topeka up for a solid day.
Woodland posted six consecutive pars before moving to 2-under with a birdie on the par-3 17th, sinking a difficult 37-foot putt.
A well-placed approach on hole No. 1, the first hole of Woodland’s back nine, made a third birdie possible, keeping him in or near the top 10 much of the afternoon.
Woodland closed his round with eight pars in a row, and was tied for 10th place upon completion, before much of the field had yet to tee off.
By the end of action on the PGA Championship’s first day, Woodland was tied for twelfth, sitting two strokes back of co-leaders Jason Day and Brendon Todd, who both shot 65 (-5).
Already with four top-10 finishes this calendar year, Woodland is set to tee off the second round of the championship at approximately 3:36 p.m. central time on Friday.
Former KU All-American Ryan Vermeer, a two-time PGA Professionals Player of the Year, finished 9-over, with a 79.