Bradley burning it up in launch of defence

8/9/2012 2:46:24 PM
Keegan Bradley  (EuropeanTour)
Keegan Bradley (EuropeanTour)

Defending US PGA Champion Keegan Bradley launched his bid to become the first man to successfully retain the Wanamaker Trophy since Tiger Woods with a stunning early run that saw the American on top of the embryonic leaderboard at Kiawah Island.

Bradley, who captured a maiden Major title in his first appearance in one of the four most prestigious titles in golf in 2011, made a birdie at the par four first, before taking advantage of his prodigious length on the following par five 11th, making an eagle to move to three under par alongside Australian Greg Chalmers, who got off to an equally flying start with birdies at each of the opening three holes of his round.

Also amongst the early starters on the Ocean Course in South Carolina was World Number Three Rory McIlroy, making his fourth appearance at the final Major Championship of the year, and the Northern Irishman looked in fine fettle early doors at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, making two birdies over his opening five holes after starting from the tenth tee to sit in a share for second at two under par as Thursday morning progressed.

One further back during the early running was Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood, who were one under par amongst a hoard tied for 11th place.