The first day of the PGA Championship provided a lot of low scores and impressive performances, setting fans up for an exciting final three days of action.
Adam Scott and Jim Furyk are the co-leaders after the first round at Oak Hill Country Club. They will battle for three more rounds to try to win the final major of the year.
Of course, there is plenty of competition at the top. Here is a look at the updated standings after Day 1.
The players in the afternoon also had to deal with a rain delay in the middle of their rounds:
Fortunately, they were able to get back to work after a one-hour-and-10-minute break.
In a tournament featuring over 150 competitors, there is a lot to keep track of. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the highlights from Thursday's action.
Jim Furyk Sets the Pace Early
Most major championships do not start with too many low scores, but Jim Furyk changed things up with an impressive 65 in the morning session.
The veteran took advantage of the narrow fairways with his incredible accuracy off the tee, and he showed why he should never be counted out in big tournaments.
Then again, ESPN's Justin Ray explains why this performance was so surprising:
Before today's score of -5, Jim Furyk was a combined +28 in majors in 2013. His 65 is his lowest career 1st round in a major.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) August 8, 2013
Furyk finished with six birdies on the day and said in his interview following the round that he "felt good with the putter," which you can watch here:
While it is hard to sustain this level of play for four rounds, the veteran is certainly capable of contending throughout the event.
Featured Group Doesn't Disappoint
Heading into the day, there is no question that the most interesting group was the one that included Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose.
These three players represent the winners of all three majors in 2013, and each of them had an impressive showing in Round 1.
Scott was obviously the headliner with his opening-round score of 65 to take a share of the lead. This putt on No. 8 was his fifth straight birdie early on:
Rose is not too far behind at two under. He had four birdies with a bogey on the front nine and then finished one over on the back to remain in contention.
As for Mickelson, this describes his performance perfectly:
Phil Mickelson is putting together a very "Phil" round: +3 through 4, he's birdied 4 of the last 6 to get to -1 through 14. #PGATOUR— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 8, 2013
Unfortunately, a double bogey on the 18th hole gave him a 71 for the day. Still, this is not a bad showing after an awkward moment in which he wasn't sure where the first hole was, via CBS Sports:
These three were expected to do well, and they all lived up to expectations in the first day of action.
Tiger Woods came into the PGA Championship as the favorite. He is coming off his fifth tournament win of the year with a dominant showing at the Bridgestone Invitational...and besides, he is Tiger Woods.
Still, the superstar has not won a major since 2008 and is under a lot of pressure to end that drought.
Things started off great for Woods, who began on the 10th hole. After three consecutive pars, he made this terrific approach shot on No. 13 to set up a birdie putt:
He then sunk another birdie to start two under on his first nine holes. At that point, ESPN was ready to declare him the winner:
Tiger Woods has begun his PGA Championship the way he ended his Bridgestone Invitational victory. That's trouble for the rest of the field.— ESPN (@espn) August 8, 2013
Unfortunately, he bogeyed the par-five No. 4 hole and then had a miserable finish on No. 9 thanks in part to this shot into the bunker:
Woods ended up with a double bogey on his final hole, ending one stroke over par for the day. He played well for the most part, but the bad finish will hurt his momentum.
Other Impressive Performances
Kohki Idoki turned heads early in his round with four birdies in a row after a par on his first hole. This long birdie putt on No. 3 was among the most impressive shots:
Unfortunately, he could not sustain the momentum and ended up with a 72 on the day.
Lee Westwood is once again contending for a major title, a position he is very familiar with. While he has never won, he has 16 top-10 finishes at majors, including two this year. He did not have a single hole over par Thursday and ended with a 66.
Martin Kaymer, meanwhile, might have had the best single shot of the day. After an up-and-down round, the 2010 PGA Championship winner took this shot from the fairway on No. 13:
He holed out from 153 yards away for an eagle. He eventually finished at two under on the day.
David Hearn also remains in contention after posting a 66 that featured six birdies.
Additionally, defending champion Rory McIlroy got off to a good start at one stroke under par. The former No. 1 has had a terrible season, but he can redeem himself if he can make up four strokes over the next few days to get a win.
The cut rule at the PGA Championship is similar to most events, as only the top 70 golfers, plus ties, remain after two days. If the scores hold steady, that would be at about two strokes over par, although this is certain to change after Round 2.
Still, there are some big names already in jeopardy of missing this line. Ernie Els (plus four), Stewart Cink (plus five), Padraig Harrington (plus six) and others will need a much better showing on Friday in order to stay in the competition.
Even players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should be cautious at one stroke over par.