First tee: US PGA Championship gets underway at Kiawah Island

8/9/2012 12:53:34 PM
A welcome message to fans at Kiawah....  (EuropeanTour)
A welcome message to fans at Kiawah.... (EuropeanTour)

Italy’s Matteo Manassero struck the opening tee shot from the tenth tee to officially launch the first morning of the 94th US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The 19 year old Verona man clipped a smooth three wood down the left hand side of the fairway on a very pleasant morning in South Carolina, with just a hint of a breeze toying with the foliage that lines the huge alligator lake adjacent to the 447-yard par four opener.

Under mostly pastel-blue skies tinged with streaks of white cloud, Manassero – the youngest man in the 156-strong field this week – got going precisely at 0720 alongside Americans Charles Howell III and Mark Brown who selected driver and three wood respectively for their introductory salvos as all of the inaugural threesome found the left hand reaches of the tenth’s fairway.

And it was pars all round for the starters at ten, while over on the first Americans Kelly Mitchum, D.A Points and Germany’s Marcel Siem initiated proceedings on the alternate starting point.

With a touch of humidity already lingering in the air there were still forecasts of electrical storms for the afternoon portions of the day, but with no sign of inclement weather first thing crowds were already flocking to the Ocean Course as the likes of Tiger Woods prepared to commence his bid to win a fifth US PGA Championship at 0830 alongside the last two winners of the event, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer.