Friday, May 17, 2019

Day One Report
Brooks Koepka’s US PGA Championship title defence got off to a perfect start at Bethpage Black Course as an almost effortless seven under 63 moved the American one clear of Danny Lee, while Tommy Fleetwood was three shots further back in outright third.
Koepka is aiming to make it four victories in eight Major appearances this week and the 29 year old former Challenge Tour graduate made the notoriously difficult Bethpage look like a walk in the park with a bogey-free opening round, which even included several missed birdie opportunities.
New Zealand’s Lee was the closest challenger after carding his best round at a Major thanks to a six under 64, with 2017 Race to Dubai Champion Fleetwood the next best after a three under 67. The Englishman came close to winning the U.S. Open at another Long Island venue, Shinnecock Hills, last year but a final round 63 saw him come up just short of winner Koepka.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera, meanwhile, shares fourth place in just his third Major appearance after the Frenchman signed for a two under par 68, and England's Matt Wallace was the next best European a shot further back on one under.
Player quotes:
Brooks Koepka
“I think it's out there. The only thing you have to do is hit fairways. If you're going to hit fairways, you're going to be able to hit the greens and get the ball close to the hole. I mean, obviously my length is an advantage here. But I mean, the one thing I didn't do is take care of the par-fives. I didn't birdie any of the par-fives.

“So you can definitely shoot a number. Some of these hole locations I think are quite gettable. I wouldn't be surprised if you see another good score in the afternoon.
“It's a whole new day tomorrow. They say that (it’s difficult to follow up a great round), but plenty of people have followed it up with a good round. I mean, tomorrow is a whole new day. Get out here and stick to my normal routine and then go from there. But I'm excited about tomorrow.”
Tommy Fleetwood
“I would say it's a little more forgiving than the practice days have been, like it felt like there was a few chances today, but overall, still a brutal golf course, and as soon as you're out of position, you're going to struggle. Luckily enough, I hit plenty of good golf shots.
“I felt like I putted really well, like I holed out really well, and the par saves that I had, I made, whatever I made, three bogeys or something. But in general, like I didn't really have like a five-, six-footer for par on those holes, so I holed all those putts that you want to hole that are kind of momentum putts. Felt very accepting out there, and just overall had a good day.”
Mike Lorenzo-Vera
“That was really good. I knew that was going to be a huge mental test here, and I was ready - my head was ready to go there. Sometimes my swing was not, but my head was ready. Tough to keep the head where it should be so very proud of what I've done today.
“It's going to be very difficult to maintani. If I continue playing like that, I'm going to sleep less and less, shake more and more. Yeah, I know what's awaiting me the few days coming. First of all, I'm going to have a good rest, speak to my psychologist, I guess, and then here we go again.”
Matt Wallace
“I thought I was going to shoot 59 in the first four holes. I was playing great, and really enjoyed being out there and kind of felt calm and chilled and just happy. And then the middle spell came, it was unexpected where I hit three bad shots, but the bogeys are going to kind of come out there, and when you're not absolutely perfect.

“I’m happy how I dealt with that, stayed calm, made a great birdie on 12 to get it back and give myself really good chances down the last there and just missed it.”



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