Daly amazes on Day 1 of PGA Championship - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Daly amazes on Day 1 of PGA Championship

Wiping off the sunscreen after Thursday's first round...

Today's top three stories:

  • Unless you have the Golf Channel, you probably don't know who in the world is Graeme Storm. He was almost a perfect storm on Thursday with a five-under-par 65 that could have been one better but for a missed six-foot birdie putts on the last hole. The French Open winner is 15th on the European Tour Order of Merit. Five birdies and no bogeys around Southern Hills is no mean feat. It's a far cry from three years ago when Storm worked in a cream cake factory over the winter to make ends meet. Now he's the first-round leader in a major championship. Maybe he can have his cake and eat it, too.

  • John Daly never ceases to amaze. Without a practice round and burning through a pack of cigarettes, he shot a three-under 67 to find himself alone in second. The last time he started a PGA Championship without a practice round was 16 years ago at Crooked Stick and he and his mullet shocked the world with one of the most improbable victories in all of golf. Should he do it again, that would become the new improbable standard.

  • With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees on Thursday, keeping cool was next to impossible. Players paced themselves and drank plenty of water to keep hydrated. The greens weren't so lucky. The Southern Hills superintendent and staff are walking a fine line between keeping the greens firm and keeping them alive. By the end of Thursday, there were some brown patches showing up on a number of holes. By week's end, there could be more brown than green on the putting surfaces.

Biggest surprise: There were only 12 players under par out of a field of 156 after the first round. Some thought that scoring would be better with softer greens, but the brutal bermuda grass rough kept everyone from going too low.

Biggest disappointment: On a day where the course could be had to an extent, Woods let a good round fall through his fingers. He was three-under-par through his first six holes and wound up with a one-over 71. He sent instructor Hank Haney home, thinking that after last week's dominant performance, he was more than all right. Haney's cell phone was undoubtedly ringing or at least vibrating.

Shot of the day: Daly's tee shot at the par-four 18th, where he took what some said was a foolish chance to drive the ball between two cross bunkers some 320 yards off the tee with no more than 10-15 yards between them.

Shot of the day, Part II: Woods' 290-yard 3-wood that reached the 653-yard, par-five fifth hole in two. His eagle putt just slid by the hole for an tap-in birdie.

Hole of the day: The 200-yard, par-three sixth. It would be fairly nondescript, except that Angel Cabrera, the U.S. Open champion, made a 10, one of the most bizarre scores seen in a logn while. From the tee, he hit two balls over the green, one unplayable and the other, out of bounds. His fifth shot found the water to the left of the green. He finally reached the green with his seventh and promptly three-putted. He shot 81.

Quote of the day: "I had been playing pretty badly, to be honest," said Storm of his run-up to the PGA Championship.

A look ahead to Friday

Don't be surprised if... Graeme Storm shoots a round of 70 or better on Friday. He will go off in the first group of the day at 7:30 a.m. local time paired with Scott Herbert and Brandt Snedeker. It's likely this group will play in front of almost no gallery until the last two or three holes. No pressure plus no expectations equal another good round.

Don't be surprised if... (Part II) John Daly shoots no better than 75 in the second round. The only thing more useless than an ex-president is a first-round leader.

Don't be surprised if... (Part III) Someone from the back of the pack shoots another 65 on Friday. There are likely to be at least one score like that per day.

What I can't wait to see: Whether Woods gets off to a fast start Friday afternoon and post a score enough under par to get him in sight of the leaders. Another 71 in the second round would force him to shoot something really low on Saturday to get into the chase.

Group to watch: Sergio Garcia, Tom Lehman and Geoff Ogilvy go off at 1:20 p.m. local time. If Garcia, who started with an even-par 70, can get a round under par, he is right in the hunt. And, Ogilvy - last year's U.S. Open champion, is tied for sixth at one-under-par.

Hole to watch: the 465-yard, par-four 18th. It takes a high approach from a downhill lie to hold one of the most sloping, difficult greens at Southern Hills. It will be a place where good rounds are squandered and championships are won and lost. The players had better drive the ball into the fairway or else bogey or worse is brought into play.

You might think I'm crazy, but... Woody Austin will still be on the first page of the leaderboard at day's end on Friday. In fact, if he shoots another 68 in the second round, that would put him at four-under-par and just might lead the championship.

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