A course record from the defending PGA champion. Stumbles from the defending Masters champion. A golf cart (!) from a former PGA champion. They were all part of the story on Thursday at the PGA Championship. Here are 21 numbers (some key, some not-so-key) that help tell the story of what happened on Day 1 at Bethpage Black.
0: Bogeys by leader Brooks Koepka (versus seven birdies) in his 63.
0: Birdies by Koepka on Bethpage’s two par 5s. “And then the second hole today, my 11th hole [a par 4], I missed about a five-footer,” he said. “That would have been nice, to shoot 60.” But, he said of the 63, “It feels good; I’m not gonna lie.”
1: Players using a cart. John Daly shot a 75, more or less matching the number of New York Yankees logos on his pants.
2: Double bogeys by Tiger Woods in a first-round 72, the doubles coming at the par-4 10th (his opening hole) and the par-3 17th.
3: Eagles by the field in the first round, all at the par-5 fourth hole, which played to a scoring average of 4.63 (courtesy of Woods, Max Homa and Tony Finau).
4: Players who have had the solo lead after all four rounds of the PGA (Bobby Nichols at Columbus Country Club in 1964, Jack Nicklaus at PGA National in 1971, Raymond Floyd at Southern Hills in 1982 and Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983).
4.577: Field scoring average at the hardest hole of the first round, the par-4 15th, where there were four birdies, 71 bogeys, 10 double bogeys and one triple.
6: Consecutive PGA Championship rounds in the 60s by Brooks Koepka (69, 69, 63, 66, 66, 63).
8: Best comeback by a winner after 18 holes, by John Mahaffey (T-61 at Oakmont in 1978), Payne Stewart (T-77 at Kemper Lakes in 1989) and Keegan Bradley (T-36 at Atlanta Athletic Club in 2011). After Thursday’s opening round, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau are all nine strokes behind Brooks Koepka.
12: Number of times the first-round leader has gone on to win the PGA in 61 previous stroke-play events.
16: The number of under-par rounds on Day 1. The least under-par rounds in the first round of a PGA was four, at Firestone in 1960 and at Southern Hills in 1970. The most under-par rounds in the first round PGA was 60, at Medinah in 2006.
17: The number of 63s in PGA Championship history. Before Koepka’s 63 on Thursday, the most recent 63s were in last year’s second round at Bellerive by Charl Schwartzel and … Brooks Koepka. Danny Lee’s 64 on Thursday was the 31st in PGA Championship history.
43: Best finish in three previous PGAs by Danny Lee, who shot an eight-birdie, two-bogey 64 Thursday.
63: Lowest first-round score by a PGA winner (seven under par), by Raymond Floyd in 1982 at Southern Hills. Other first-round 63s in the PGA: Michael Bradley (eight under in 1995 at Riviera before finishing T-54), Steve Stricker (seven under in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club before finishing T-12).
68.92: Career scoring average for Koepka in 25 PGA Championship rounds, best among any player with a minimum of 20 rounds.
70: Years since the PGA was last played in May. Sam Snead beat Johnny Palmer, 3 and 2, in the 1949 match-play final at Hermitage (Va.) C.C., adding that to his win at the Masters and a T-2 that year with Clayton Heafner in the U.S. Open, one shot behind Cary Middlecoff at Medinah.
70: Low round by club professionals in the first round, by Jason Caron and Ryan Vermeer.
73.064: Scoring average for the entire field.
75: Highest first-round score by a PGA winner (four over par), by John Mahaffey in 1978 at Oakmont.
81: High scores in the first round, by Brian Gay, who withdrew (knee injury), and Jeffrey Schmid.
99: Number of rounds in the PGA by Phil Mickelson, playing in his 27th PGA. Jack Nicklaus holds the record at 128, followed by Arnold Palmer with 121. Nicklaus and Palmer share the record of 37 appearances.