Tour Confidential Daily: What was the biggest surprise of Day 1 at the PGA Championship?

August 9, 2018

GOLF.com conducts a weekly roundtable with its staff to break down the game’s hottest topics every Sunday evening. This week for the PGA Championship we are answering one burning question each night. Check back for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.

Gary Woodland is your 18-hole leader, Rickie Fowler played a strong round and Tiger Woods salvaged a rough start, and that was just a small sample of what happened Thursday at Bellerive. What was the biggest surprise of Day 1 of the PGA Championship?

Jessica Marksbury: The sheer number of red numbers on the leaderboard was a pleasant surprise. Rickie, ZJ, DJ, JDay, all in the mix on the first page. That’s all we want in a major championship, isn’t it? Well, that, and Tiger contending. But even he isn’t so far off that it’s out of the question.

Jeff Ritter: I’m surprised by the variety of big and short hitters at the top. DJ, Rickie, Woodland, Day … and ZJ, Gay and Kisner? Looks like Bellerive is more than a bomb-and-gouge setup, which is what you want at a major.

Michael Bamberger: Zach Johnson. Sneaky long. Tiger Woods, post-round, with reporters, ready to talk golf till the cows come home. The town. St. Louis is the greatest baseball town in the country. But the enthusiasm for this event is off the rails.

Zach Johnson jumped in the mix with an opening-round 66 on Thursday at Bellerive.
Zach Johnson jumped in the mix with an opening-round 66 on Thursday at Bellerive.
Getty Images

Dylan Dethier: The biggest surprise is just how few surprises there were! The leaderboard seems to be going according to plan. The top 7 players in the world are all under par, in stark contrast to the superstar carnage at the U.S. and British Opens. The best players appear to be playing the best. Bring on the weekend!

Alan Bastable: Oh, it’s that 65 by Rickie, who’s been awfully quiet since his run at Augusta. As ever with Rick, it’s going to be fascinating to see how he holds up in the literal and figurative heat of being in the hunt at a major. Lotsa golf to play but, for now, all eyes are on Le Grand Orange.

Josh Sens: I’m surprised anyone was watching, what with the live stream coverage of Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour.

Alan Shipnuck: I’m actually surprised scoring wasn’t *lower*. Conditions were perfect. Looks like Bellerive will offer a bit more of a test than we thought, which is a welcome development.