Brooks Koepka continues dominance in golf's majors

John Daly enjoys a cigarette during Wednesday's practice round

Stronger than ever less than two years after tearing a ligament in his spinal column, Lee was 6 under, one stroke behind defending champion Brooks Koepka.

It was the first PGA Championship played in May since 1949, moving from August this year in a revamp of the global golf schedule.

And it was Woods who said Thursday that the 63 by Koepka "was the worst he could have shot. I don't see them cutting the rough down, so it's just going to place another premium on driving the ball".

Johnson played alongside Spieth and reached 5 under for the tournament approaching the 18th, only to miss the fairway and go over the green.

Of those who have completed their second rounds at the Long Island course in NY state, three-time major victor Jordan Spieth shot a four-under 66 to set the clubhouse target on five under, still two behind Koepka. Jordan Spieth overcame a double bogey on the 10th hole for a 69 and was in a group that included Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day.

The 28-year-old Englishman continued his NY success with a stellar 3-under 67 in the opening round of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Thursday morning, putting him in second place, four shots back of leader Brooks Koepka. "I got a little sick so I made a decision to stay home".

"Bethpage kicked my *** on the back nine", Lee said.

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"When I had a few opportunities there with short irons, I played aggressively and was able to get them in there, where I had makeable putts".

Scoring conditions were about as good as they can get at the extremely hard course on Long Island, about 45 minutes from Manhattan.

CBS Sports golf analyst Dottie Pepper, a victor 17 times on the ladies tour, says everything changes when Tiger's roaring. Only Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Woods have career victories in the Masters, U.S. Open, (British) Open Championship and PGA. And in each of his three major wins, he was in the 60s on the first two days.

Third-ranked Koepka closed with a 33-foot birdie putt to set a course record and match the lowest round in tournament history. "I feel like I'm striking it really well, putting it really well, especially the putts coming down the stretch".

Woods, however, struggled in his first competitive round since winning his 15th major title at last month's Masters, snapping an 11-year major win drought. Woods hit over the green, then faced a downhill chip that left him with an 8-foot putt for bogey. "I think I'm still learning, understandably, my game, and I've figured it out".

"I believe in our team enough to know that we're working on the right things", he said. "I guess that would have been pretty good".

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