PGA Championship 2022 live updates: Rory McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods off to solid start at Southern Hills

PGA Championship 2022 live updates: Rory McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods off to solid start at Southern Hills

Published May 19, 2022
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Live Blog

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The year’s second major is here, and we’re as excited for the PGA Championship as any other major of 2022. Southern Hills is as intriguing of a venue as there is. The classic Perry Maxwell design was restored a few years ago by Gil Hanse and his team, and if conditions are firm and fast (they should be until Friday rains anyway)—we should be in for a challenging, treat of a test in Tulsa.

(Scroll down for the latest updates)

RELATED: PGA Championship 2022: YouTube, taped TV and a yardage book—how players are dealing with flying blind at Southern Hills

One of the biggest storylines to track early in the week: Of the past seven major champions at Southern Hills, all seven players led after 36 holes. The difficulty, historically, makes it a tough place to make up ground quickly. This is a different Southern Hills than in recent major history, plus as we mentioned, there is forecasts for Friday afternoon storms—so will the course play softer on the weekend and make it easier to come from behind? We’ll have to see.

For now, let’s enjoy one of the best weeks of the year for golf fans: the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

PGA Championship 2022 live updates (all times eastern time):

12:06 p.m.: After hitting his drive behind a tree at the first, Tiger Woods has to punch out and try to get up and down for par, which he fails to do. Back-to-back bogeys drop the 15-time major champ to one over, killing all the buzz his first five holes provided. Dagger. 

11:52 a.m.: McIlroy makes the turn in four-under 31, which has him one clear of the red-hot Davis Riley, who just hit another approach shot close at the 17th. Woods goes on to make bogey at 18 and turns in 35. Spieth makes bogey as well, his third in the last four holes, to fall to two over. Bit of an unexpected slow start for Spieth, who won and finished runner-up in his last two starts on tour. 

11:43 a.m.: Things have taken an unfortunate turn in the last 20 minutes. Will Zalatoris, a par away from turning in three under, misses a shorty for par at the 18th and drops back to two under. The putter continues to plague him, even on days when he’s seemingly putting well. Right behind his group, Tiger Woods is in a bit of trouble at the 18th, finding the back bunker with his approach and hitting it out to about 20 feet. Staring bogey in the face, which would see him fall to even par on the day. 

11:25 a.m.: Rory and Tiger juuuuuust miss their birdie attempts from the fringe on No. 17. Spieth makes par as well. The marquee group has cooled off a little, but McIlroy remains in front at four under and Woods stays at one under. Max Homa and Will Zalatoris are still at three under and they have been joined by Justin Rose and Davis Riley. On the flip side, Cameron Smith is off to a surprisingly slow start at two over through eight holes. But again, it’s early. Very, very early.

11:07 a.m.: Rory couldn’t make a fifth consecutive birdie at No. 16, but he’ll gladly settle for par at the 532-yard par 4. McIlroy found a fairway bunker, then missed the green short, but chipped to two feet to keep from dropping a shot. Jordan Spieth isn’t so fortunate as he makes a second straight bogey to fall to one over. Woods remains at one under after a very solid par.

10:47 a.m.: Rory McIlroy held his daughter on the eve of the tournament in front of a mural of himself and said, “That was when daddy was good.” Well, Poppy, your daddy is still really, really good. Rory just ripped off a fourth consecutive birdie to grab the lead at four under. And he made up two shots on both his playing partners as Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth bogeyed the par-4 15th.

10:33 a.m.: BANG! Tiger rolls in a 15-footer for birdie on the 221-yard, par 3 14th. Woods moves to two under with his second birdie of the day, but he trails playing partner Rory McIlroy, who also birdies the hole from a similar spot. Jordan Spieth settles for par on the difficult par 3 to remain at one under. So far, so good for this marquee group.

10:16 a.m.: Turns out, Spieth and Rory were fine in that front bunker, but it was Woods who wound up with the toughest shot of all after air-mailing the green from 88 yards into the back bunker. From an awkward lie, though, Tiger cozied one up to three feet to save par and remain at one under. Spieth missed his birdie effort from 10 feet and Rory converted his birdie after a nice bunker shot to get to two under. He’s one behind Max Homa and Will Zalatoris. And can you imagine Golf Twitter if all of its favorite sons keep this up?

10:08 a.m.: We’ve heard a lot about how long Southern Hills’ pair of par 5s are, but after booming drives on No. 13, both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth had easy decisions to go for the green in two. However, both came up short in a greenside bunker that also features a bush. We’ll have to see what kind of lies they draw. Meanwhile, Tiger laid up down the left side of the fairway and will have less than 100 yards in.

9:52 a.m.: Spieth rolls in his nine-footer for birdie, too, to join Rory and Tiger at 1-under through their first three holes. The vibes are strong with the morning’s featured group.

9:39 a.m.: What a tale of three tee shots on the 12th. Tiger Woods hit the controlled stinger iron off the tee to find the fairway rather easily. Jordan Spieth thought he lost his tee shot way left … but the hole doglegs left and his ball bounced into the fairway. Then Rory McIlroy took on the dogleg and bombed it way down about 330-plus yards down the fairway. Multiple ways to do it!

Tiger was nearly 100 yards further from the hole than Rory, but he still puts it to 20-or-so feet at the 12th. Rory, from just about 95 yards, sticks his approach to about 3 feet for a chance to join Tiger at 1-under.

Meanwhile we have a new co-leader at the top of the board. Will Zalatoris just looped in a long birdie at the par-4 12th hole to get to 2-under, tieing Robert MacIntyre, Y.E. Yang and John Daly atop the leaderboard.

Daly has had quite the morning. He nearly dunked his approach on the first hole … hit the flag on another approach at 3, then just hit the hole with his chip at the seventh hole. What a start for the 1991 PGA champ.

9:34 a.m.: Good runs for birdie for Tiger, Rory and Spieth … they’ll settle for pars at the par-3 11th. Rory’s birdie bid actually hopped over the ball-marker of Spieth … which is the second time we’ve seen someone do that this morning on the coverage. Kind of odd…

9:26 a.m.: Tiger, Spieth and Rory all find the green at the par-3 11th hole. It looked like the wind is starting to pick up (maybe) a little bit … but it’s still very benign out there, and with the stronger winds projected for most of the week, this is the time to take advantage.

9:21 a.m.: That was a DART from Tiger Woods at his opening hole (the 10th). He hits the perfect knockdown wedge to about 3 feet … giving him a great look at a birdie to start Day 1.

We’re used to Tiger’s somewhat rocky starts at majors on the first hole … so that’s an impressive way to begin his day. By the way, when he won the 2007 PGA here, Tiger started on the 10th hole … and also birdied the first hole.

Tiger’s one back of … John Daly and Y.E. Yang. What year is this?! Yang just chipped in for birdie at the par-3 sixth hole … JD rolled in a birdie at the par-5 fifth. It’s a throwback type of Thursday at Southern Hills.

9:11 a.m.: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are all in the fairway on the 10th hole … let’s have a morning folks!

Observers on Wednesday at Southern Hills noticed that Tiger was moving a little slower than Monday or Tuesday … we’ll see how the 15-time major champion holds up on Thursday morning.

8:50 a.m.: The birdies are flying in now! Sam Horsfield rolls in a birdie at the first; Ryan Palmer buries a putt at the 12th to get to 1-under. And California club pro Michael Block started with a birdie at the 10th.

Xander Schauffele joins that group at 1-under after one of the best shots we’ll see all week at the 10th hole. His wedge spun perfectly to within two feet … and the X-Man keeps his hot stretch going from the weekend in Dallas. We now have seven players atop the leaderboard at -1.

8:39 a.m.: One of the featured groups of the morning are now on the tee! Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau all find the fairway with less than driver on the 10th hole.

8:24 a.m.: Let’s give our due to Matt Bouchert, a club pro at Isleworth C.C. in Windermere, Fla., who joins John Daly and Robert MacIntyre atop the early leaderboard on Day 1.

8:17 a.m.: JD!!! John Daly nearly dunked his wedge from 133 yards out … then he holed the 5-footer for birdie. The 1991 PGA champion is at the top of the leaderboard at age 56! I mean, last year we had a 50-year-old win … OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But really impressive start from the long-hitting, popular past champion.

And Bobby Mac also started his opening round with a birdie … that one at the par-4 10th hole. We have a tie atop the board early.

8:05 a.m.: The action is off the 10th tee as well! Ryan Palmer, Robert MacIntyre and Alex Noren all find the fairway, too.

8:00 a.m.: We’re officially underway at Southern Hills! All three former PGA champions, John Daly, Shaun Micheel and Y.E. Yang find the fairway at the downhill par-4 opener.

In fact, Long John just drove it 343 yards to start the day … the 56-year-old is loose and warmed up early!

The players will be off two tees (1 and 10) starting at 7 a.m. local time (which is 8 a.m. eastern time). The past champions group of John Daly, Shaun Micheel and Y.E. Yang will start things off on the first tee shortly.

Here are all the first-round pin positions … it doesn’t look like the PGA of America put many pins toward the middle of these sloped Maxwell greens. We are excited at players being faced with really controlling their approaches and short-game shots around these green complexes.

For a quick preview of the course, we highly recommend our “Every Hole At: Southern Hills” video, which features drone footage and analysis. By the way, Rory McIlroy cited this video in his own research of Southern Hills … need we say more?

MORE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE FROM GOLF DIGEST:

PGA Championship 101—Everything you need to know about this year’s event at Southern Hills

The top 100 players competing at Southern Hills, ranked

Viewer’s Guide: How to watch the PGA Championship on TV and streaming

Our 13 best bets to win the 2022 PGA at Southern Hills

The 2022 PGA Championship’s curious journey from Trump National to Oklahoma

‘Nothing short of amazing’: An oral history of Phil Mickelson’s improbably 2021 PGA win

Why Southern Hills will play nothing like the tree-lined brute of the past

The 2007 PGA at Southern Hills, the hottest major in memory, still has players sweating

(Not) too short to fail—why pros miss gimmie putts

Why fans tend to forgive and forget with Phil Mickelson