PGA Championship 2020: Jason Day, Brendon Todd Tied for Lead After Round 1

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

Jason Day of Australia, watches his tee shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The field is tight after the opening round of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. 

How tight? A total of 30 players are within three strokes of leaders Jason Day and Brendon Todd, who are setting the pace after shooting five-under 65s Thursday. 

Day was off to the races after shooting three under par on the front nine. He finished with five birdies and zero bogeys while averaging a driving distance of 294.5 yards. He also had a driving accuracy of 64.3 percent, hit 72.2 percent of greens in regulation and gained 1.776 strokes putting, per PGATour.com


The current solo leader in San Francisco. @JDayGolf impressed in Round 1 at the #PGAChamp. https://t.co/xyiEi2TvNb

"I got off to a great start," Day told reporters after the round. "I got a little bit lucky between the bunkers on 10. You got to take the luck when it comes by. Today, I drove it really nicely. When I was out of position and I left myself on the right side of the fairway to at least get somewhere around the green. If did miss the green, I left it in the right spot."

Todd, meanwhile, continues his extremely impressive 2020 season:

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

From the start of the 2015-16 season through the 2017-18 season, Todd missed the cut in 39 of 44 starts on TOUR. He began this season with a missed cut in each of his first four starts before winning the Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic back-to-back in November.

Amanda Balionis @Amanda_Balionis

Can’t be stressed enough. A year & a half ago Brendon Todd was trying to qualify for the freaking Korn Ferry Tour. This season he has 2 wins + has put himself in contention in half of his starts since the return (including a WGC last week) & is tied for the lead @PGAChampionship

Day and Todd have some pretty big names chasing them, including two-time defending PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka (-4), who was level with players like Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson and Xander Schauffele.

Kyle Porter @KylePorterCBS

Koepka's position on the leaderboard after his last eight PGA Championship rounds. 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 (currently)

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

"I think there's, what, six guys that have ever won three in a row. Yeah, not a bad list to be on. That's the whole goal every time we tee it up in a major is to win them. The whole year is spent prepping for these four." FYI, Brooks Koepka kinda likes majors.

"It's only 18 holes right now," Koepka told reporters. "I feel good. I feel confident. I'm excited for the next three days. I think I can definitely play a lot better. Just need to tidy a few things up, and we'll be there come Sunday on the back nine."

Bryson DeChambeau (-2) had an interesting day, at one point breaking his driver on No. 7.


Don't see that everyday. https://t.co/NFZ1UPYQab

Because he broke it in the act of playing and not by slamming it onto the ground in reaction to a bad shot, he was allowed to replace the club. 

"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 the course, per Ben Everill of PGATour.com. "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."

Among the players at three strokes behind Day was Tiger Woods, who is adjusting to life without spectators, telling reporters "the energy is different."

PGA Championship @PGAChampionship

The only thing missing was the roars 🗣 #PGAChamp https://t.co/cIl6vlQz4Y

"It's just different. That's probably the only way to say it," Woods noted. "This is what we're going to have to get used to in the near future and for probably for a while."

For a household name like Woods, who generally has a large crowd following him throughout the course at most tournaments, it's a bigger adjustment than it might be for other players. But he handled the change in atmosphere well, at least through one round. 


From 33 feet to move to 2-under. @TigerWoods is the co-leader @PGAChampionship.https://t.co/25jjeibTy8

Shane Bacon @shanebacon

You fire anything under par on a Thursday at a major, you're happy. For Tiger, he has to feel ecstatic. He played fine & was able to get it in at -2, his sweet spot in terms of opening-round scoring (5 of his 15 major wins opened with -2) on the day he had to play early.

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Tiger Woods’ opening round scores in his 15 major wins: 70 70 65 67 66 70 70 67 74 66 67 69 71 72 70 Scoring average of 68.93 in those rounds. He shoots 68 today.

Ryan Lavner @RyanLavnerGC

Tiger's 68 at the PGA is his lowest opening-round score in a major since … the 2012 Open?!

Other golfers of note Thursday included Dustin Johnson (-1), Rory McIlroy (even), Patrick Reed (even), Bubba Watson (even), World No. 1 Justin Thomas (+1), Phil Mickelson (+2), Rickie Fowler (+3) and Jordan Spieth (+3). 

But for now, all eyes are on Day and Todd, who will head into Friday with a tenuous lead over a serious field of contenders.