One round down at the PGA Championship, and we now know how to pronounce Thorbjorn. But there’s so much left to learn. Here are five things we’re eager to find out.
1. Will Spieth keep the dream alive?
You can’t win the PGA Championship on Thursday, but you can lose it. The good news for Jordan Spieth: he did neither. The only man in the field with a chance to complete the career grand slam at Quail Hollow shot a not-great but not-disastrous one-over par 72, leaving him five strokes off the lead. A solid round tomorrow keeps him right in the mix. But a stumble could send him plunging below the cut line. Spieth’s historic quest is the most compelling plot line of the week. By late day Friday, which way will the story turn?
2. Another first for Rickie?
Rickie Fowler captured his first Tour victory at Quail Hollow in 2012, but he’s still searching for his first you-know-what. Despite a triple bogey on the 5th hole, Fowler posted an impressive two-under 69 to put himself squarely in the conversation. Then again, it seems like we’re always talking about Rickie at the majors. Is this the week he gets the final say?
3. Can Lefty right himself?
At 47 and playing in his 100th career major, Phil Mickelson looked weary Thursday on his way to an 8-over 79. Having missed the cut at Royal Birkdale, Mickelson will need an electric round on Friday to avoid an early exit at a second consecutive major. Does Phil have enough left in his tank to thrill?
4. Another great day for the Dane?
His name makes him sound like a Marvel hero, and on Thursday, Thorbjorn Olesen put the hammer down, with a 4-under 67 that left him tied for the lead. Will the young Danish star continue to pound the course into submission? Or will his time at the top go by in a, um, flash?
5. Will an A-list leaderboard emerge?
There was some grumbling Thursday that Quail Hollow looked too much like just another Tour stop, rather than a major venue. The names atop the leaderboard probably didn’t help. No disrespect to the likes of Grayson Murray, Gary Woodland, D.A. Points and Kevin Kisner, but they don’t exactly set Q-ratings soaring. Several major stars are lurking. Will they shine by Friday evening? Or will the leaderboard be overrun by lesser lights?