Rochester, NY – Lee Westwood is in anyone's top five of players that have never won a major. He might even top that list depend on who you talk to.
The Englishman has been close before, but not that close at the PGA Championship, where he owns only two top-10 finishes. He shared third in 2009 and tied for eighth in 2011.
In the other three majors, he has four top 10s at the Masters and five each at the U.S. and British Open. He has eight top-three finishes in the majors, the most since 1934 without winning a major.
Westwood opened with a bogey-free, 4-under 66 and was one stroke off the lead. In his 63rd major championship start, this is just the 13th time he has ranked in the top 10 after the opening round.
"After the British Open, you know, I could have looked upon it as disappointing, but as a golfer you try to take the positives out of it and carry on," said Westwood. "I think there was a bit of a backlash at last week's tournament, the World Golf Championship. I struggled to get into it. I managed to get focused again this week and I felt very calm out there and in control."
It was a solid start for Westwood. Let's see if he can keep it up going forward through the next three rounds.
Here's what other players said after the first round of The PGA Championship:
- TIGER WOODS, explaining some of the things that went wrong in his round: "I hit some good shots there, stuffed it at two, tricky little putt. Probably should have taken a little bit longer, but we were on the clock and had to get going, so ended up blocking the putt. Hit a good shot at three, 2-putted there. And four was just one of those holes where I laid up and caught the tree. It was supposed to be way down there and it just happened to get through there, but it didn't and stuck a nine iron into the ground."
- DAVID LUNN, who shared second place in his first start last year and opened with a 1-under 69 on Thursday: "A nice birdie down the first and then I had a few chances, but my game wasn't feeling great to be honest. I was still hitting some nice shots, but sort of hanging around. My game started to feel a bit better when I changed to my black rain glove because it was a bit humid out there. Maybe that's the thing to use it all the way around."
- KEEGAN BRADLEY, the 2011 champion scrambled to an up-and-down 69 in round one: "I felt really good. I didn't play particularly well and shot 69, which is a really good sign. I'm going to hit the range here after lunch and get some stuff worked out."
- STEVE STRICKER, who mixed five birdies and three bogeys in a round of 68: "Good start, couple under around here, trying to get a feel for what's going on. You never know what to expect the first round and as the tournament goes on. But a good feel, birdied the last, always a good feel, just keep plugging."
- HENRIK STENSON, who had the same inconsistent round as Stricker, but had two bogeys and two birdies in his last four holes: "I didn't play my best. I missed too many fairways, but still keeping it together starting out the first three holes and had a bad spell, where I was hanging on for dear life and had a good run and made five birdies my last ten holes. Unfortunately, two bogeys in the last three coming in, so, yeah, I didn't make a par the last four holes, two birdies and two bogeys. Overall, I'll take it. A quick lunch and I'll go and practice."
- HUNTER MAHAN, on how he played in his first event since withdrawing from the Canadian Open while leading so he could get home for the birth of his first child: "Not very good. Didn't hit it very good. Drove it terrible. Just didn't hit it very good. Not what you're going to need to play this course well."