Thursday, 09 August 2012
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Thomas Björn were amongst those making hay while the sun shone as the US PGA Championship – the final Major of the year - began at Kiawah Island.

After a build-up disrupted by thunderstorms it was dry and calm - and very hot - when the action got under way and first to take advantage were 20 year old Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa and Australian left-hander Greg Chalmers.

Ishikawa kicked off with a hat-trick of birdies on the back nine, while Chalmers started with three in four holes playing the Pete Dye-designed course - scene of the 1991 "War on the Shore" Ryder Cup - in the conventional order.

McIlroy also picked up a stroke at the 447 yard tenth, before paring the long next, while four-time winner Tiger Woods, without a Major since the 2008 US Open, missed a 12 foot birdie chance on the tenth.

Dane Björn started with two birdies, but then bogeyed the 390 yard third, while 2010 winner Martin Kaymer three-putted the tenth for bogey and last year's Open Champion Darren Clarke ran up a seven at the 593 yard 11th to be two over.

McIlroy went to two under and joint second with a two on the 238 yard 14th, his fifth, and was only one behind Chalmers, who made it four birdies in a row before bogeying the 480 yard sixth.

Defending champion Keegan Bradley, winner of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, joined him with an eagle at the 11th, but bogeyed two holes later.

Woods made a ten footer for birdie on the 412 yard 12th, but followed with a bogey - and did well to drop only one stroke there.

After driving into the sand - none of it is actually called a bunker on the Ocean Course - he pulled his second into the crowd, chipped into more sand, but splashed out to a foot.

Lee Westwood birdied the 11th, while Martin Laird and Ian Poulter were level after eight and three holes respectively.

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