Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot during the first round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.Reuters

Rory McIlroy started strongly in the US PGA Championship, while Tiger Woods struggled in the first round of the tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday.

However, it was Lee Westwood who was in the lead at six under par, along with Americans Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer. Westwood had a terrible start as he doubled bogeyed in the first hole but the Englishman scored seven birdies before toiling again in the 15th; otherwise he would have been leading the charts alone.

McIlroy, who is chasing back-to-back major titles, is just one stroke behind Westwood, tied fourth. The Irishman made things looked easy all afternoon and stated off in fine fashion but he double bogeyed in the tenth and bogeyed on the following hole.

The 2012 champion recovered from a tremble and hit four consecutive birdies to finish five under par along with American Jim Furyk, Edoardo Molinari, Henrik Stenson and Chris Wood.

"I think one of the big things for me, especially in major championships, is getting off to good starts and being right up there at the start," McIlroy said. "Walking on to 12th tee, I was muttering a few things to myself."

"It was great just to hit that second shot the way I did," he added. "Hit it in close. It's one of the toughest par 4s on the course."

Meanwhile, Woods had a terrible outing in the first round. The four-time winner finished the opening round three over par on a disappointing 109th place. Woods only managed one birdie in the 16th hole and struck four bogeys.

The 14-time major winner finished on 69th position in the Open Championship but he is heading for an even worse finish here as he now requires a great second round to make a cut at Louisville.

"It wasn't very good," Wood pointed out. "A lot of bad shots, and I never got a putt to the hole. I hit them all on my lines, just for some reason I thought they were going to be a little quicker, and I didn't make the adjustment well enough. I had plenty of looks to turn my round around."

The only Indian competing in the US PGA, Anirban Lahiri, also had a disappointing first round as he finished on 79th place at one over par. This is Lahiri's first tournament since playing at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

"I have to admit that I was a little rusty not having played a full round since the Friday of British Open," Lahiri said. "I fell ill and weak and have only just recovered. Here also I played only nine holes on each of the practice days. I wanted to conserve energy and I felt fine out there."

"I am happy I kept it in check, but am not too upset, though I would have been happier if I had managed to convert some of the chances I created," he added.

Where to Watch Live

The second round action will start at 10:30 pm IST (1:00 pm ET, 5:00 pm GMT and 6:00 pm BST) with live coverage on Neo Sports in India and catch the live updates HERE or HERE. The Tournament will be available live on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland with online streaming option HERE, catch the live updates HERE or HERE.

TNT will telecast the tournament live in the United States with live streaming option HERE. Watch the tournament in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport with online streaming option HERE.

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