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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Golfweek Staff Writer

PGA Championship 2023 live updates: Opening rounds at Rochester’s Oak Hill Country Club

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The 2023 PGA Championship is underway at Oak Hill Country Club, the fourth time the course has hosted the championship.

Although Tiger Woods is not in the field, some of golf’s biggest names are teeing off Thursday morning, including 16 players from LIV Golf. There are 156 players in the field, and they will play the first two rounds Thursday and Friday in groups of three.

Golfweek, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and USA TODAY Sports will provide the latest news, updates, analysis and more throughout the day.

Remembering Jack Nicklaus' win at Oak Hill in 1980

Jack Nicklaus, who led the PGA at the end of the third round, blasts out of the sand on the seventh hole of the Oak Hill Country Club during fourth round of the PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., Sunday, Aug. 10, 1980.

When Jack Nicklaus came to Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course in 1980 for the 62nd playing of the PGA Championship, he had already reclaimed his spot on a pedestal atop the golf world.

After failing to capture a single PGA Tour win during the 1979 season, marking the first time that had happened since he joined the Tour in 1962, there were whispers that the game had passed the Golden Bear by. Many were looking to a corps of younger players that included Fuzzy Zoeller and Seve Ballesteros, both of whom captured majors during the ‘79 campaign, to dominate the game’s mantle.

But Nicklaus ended any premature talk about his demise when he posted an impressive victory at Baltusrol in the U.S. Open during the spring of 1980. And after securing his first major of a new decade, Nicklaus came to Oak Hill, a course he had long appreciated, with a chance to secure a fifth PGA Championship and a 17th major.

But to understand the origins of his passion and desire to win the Wanamaker Trophy, one needs to step back 30 years earlier, when the 1950 PGA Championship was held at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, where the Nicklaus family had a membership.

Here’s the rest of the story.

— Tim Schmitt, Golfweek

Good news as Rochester weather for Friday looks fantastic; first round complete

After Thursday’s start of the first round was delayed by nearly two hours due to early morning frost, the forecast for Friday should be much improved.

Off and running in the second round

Newcomer Eric Cole becomes sole leader after three straight birdies

Eric Cole, Luke Donald and Jon Rahm chat on the tee box on hole 15 as they wait to tee off.

Play was suspended due to darkness at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, with a surprise name sitting atop the leaderboard.

Eric Cole, a newcomer to the PGA Tour in 2023, sits in first at 5-under.

Bryson DeChambeau, who sits right behind Cole at 4-under, will be attempting to be the first player from LIV Golf to win a major. He is among the 16 players from the Saudi-backed tour playing in the PGA Championship. There are 156 players in the field, and they will play the first two rounds Thursday and Friday in groups of three.

Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Dustin Johnson trail DeChambeau at 3-under.

The delayed start to play Thursday resulted in play being suspended due to darkness at 8:30 p.m. ET. There are 11 groups that still need to finish their first rounds. PGA Championship organizers said play would begin again at 7 a.m. ET and that the second round “will start on time as originally scheduled.”

Cole has made 66 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and doesn’t have any Tour wins and has appeared in just one previous major, the 2021 U.S. Open, in which he missed the cut. He has missed nine of 20 cuts this season but has a pair of top-5 finishes, including a runner-up showing at the Honda Classic, where he lost in a playoff.

His parents are professional golfers Bobby Cole and Laura Baugh. Bobby Cole won the 1977 Buick Open on the PGA Tour, and Baugh was the 1973 LPGA Rookie of the Year.

— USA Today

Justin Rose chips in, afternoon starters get rolling

Justin Rose has had an eventful opening, but he seems to be getting back on track.

After two birdies on the first three holes, Rose had a setback on the par-3 5th hole, struggling with the putter and resulting in a double bogey. But when things looked to turn worse, he recovered with a birdie on 6th. The back-and-forth beginning seemed to be headed toward another bogey, but Rose chipped in a bunker shot from over 57 feet to save birdie and find his way back into the top five.


Meanwhile, Australia’s Adam Scott has played a mostly clean first round at 3-under-par through the No. 10 hole, currently in second. He has four birdies and one bogey so far.

— USA Today

The Garbage Plate is one of the early-round stars with an ESPN appearance

The Garbage Plate was featured on ESPN coverage of the PGA Championship. (Photo: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

A little after 11 a.m. during a brief break in the action, Rochester’s culinary claim to fame made a brief appearance, when the broadcast aired footage of a Garbage Plate being assembled at Nick Tahou Hots.

ESPN host Scott Van Pelt didn’t miss a beat: “Garbage Plate, give me some,” he said. “I’ll destroy one immediately. Somebody bring me a Garbage Plate, I beg of you.”

“Make it two,” David Duval said.

Later, ESPN+ aired a full Garbage Plate segment in which they quizzed players about the messy entrée:

Had they ever heard of it?

“Nope,” said Brooks Koepka.

“Uh, you got some context?” asked Scottie Scheffler, at which point a narrator rattled off the list of components.

Said Brit Matt Fitzpatrick: “That’s America in one long sentence right there.”

After being handed a photo of the dish, Shane Lowry said, “I’m afraid to look.”

Examining the same image, Xander Schauffele said, “I mean, I’ll take a bite before I knock on it. Is that egg under there?”

Justin Thomas said he’d try it, too. But, “I’m taking the afternoon off if I’m having that.”

Said Jordan Spieth: “Yeah, I’ll eat that. Probably not before the night I play in the PGA this year. But maybe, like, Monday.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, McIlroy said, “I’ve only had one Garbage Plate in my life. I haven’t went overboard with that.”

— Marcia Greenwood, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Jon Rahm's 76 puts him in a tough spot at Oak Hill

Crowds were thick around the green on the 13th hole with people wanting to see Jon Rahm.

Coming in as one of the two favorites, Jon Rahm said during his press conference leading up to the 105th PGA Championship that he was looking to “ride the wave” of recent success, hoping to follow a pair of recent wins at the Genesis and the Masters with similar success in Western New York.

But the wave fizzled out on Thursday at Oak Hill Country Club.

Through a chilly morning in Rochester, Rahm saw the wheels fall off on the Donald Ross-designed track.

He sat at a comfortable 1 under through the first six holes, starting on the back nine. But consecutive bogeys on 16, 17 and 18 and then more dropped shots on Nos. 2 and 3 put him in a difficult position. Another bogey on No. 5 and then a double on 6 will force the Spaniard to go low on Friday if he wants to make the cut.

He finished with a 6-over 76, a full 10 shots behind leader Bryson DeChambeau when he finished. He was originally scheduled to tee off on Friday at 1:58 p.m.

— Tim Schmitt, Golfweek

Morikawa finishes with 71, here's what he's wearing

May 18, 2023; Rochester, New York, USA; Collin Morikawa tees off on the 15th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa shot a 71 on Thursday in the opening round and while the focus of the PGA Championship is on the players’ skills, their attire also plays a crucial role in the tournament, with many of them expected to wear clothing that combines performance, comfort and style.

Golf fashion is always changing as some players adopt a modern look and others stay traditional.

Golfweek rounded up what all your favorite players will be wearing this week from brands like FootJoy, TravisMathew, Ralph Lauren, Adidas and more.

Here’s a look at what we learned.

‒ Averee Dovsek, Golfweek

Joel Dahmen hit a patron during practice round, then bought his beers for the day

Forget the leaderboard, Joel Dahmen is already a winner in our book. Dahmen, who was featured on Netflix’s Full Swing, is one good dude.

A fan at Wednesday’s practice round at Oak Hill tweeted that Dahmen hit him in the calf.

“He proceeds to ask me how much a beer costs at the tourney and I tell him $17 a pop,” said Caleb McGuire (@YourPalCal_ on Twitter). “He then pulls out a crispy $100 bill and says ‘I got your beers today.’”

Dahmen struggled on Thursday, coming into the final hole of the day at 4 over.

‒ Charles Curtis, For the Win

Rory McIlroy plays a poor first nine

The two-time PGA champion has not started well as he just finished the back nine at 3-over. McIlroy struggled at the Masters and missed the cut and he’s still searching for his form. He began his round with five pars, but he bogeyed Nos. 15, 17 and 18.

Sahith Theegala has made a nice charge after bogeyed his first hole, No. 1. Since then he has birdies at 4, 8, 9, and 11 and is now tied for the lead at 3-under with Kazuki Higa and Keegan Bradley. His birdie at the ninth came on a chip in from behind the green.

Jon Rahm, the No. 1 player in the world, is heading to his eighth hole, the 17th, at even par after a birdie at No. 10 and a bogey at No. 16.

World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler also started on the back and he has played steady one birdie and nine pars.

And defending champion Justin Thomas is also cruising along as he just turned to the front nine at 1-under after making a birdie and then eight straight pars.

‒ Sal Maiorana

How good is Oak Hill? It's high on our Golfweek's Best rankings

The Oak Hill clock at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. (Photo: Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

Oak Hill’s East Course in Rochester, New York – site of this week’s PGA Championship – originally was designed by architectural legend Donald Ross and opened in 1926. The layout was revised several times over the decades, most recently as Andrew Green put much of the Ross flavor back into the East.

Oak Hill’s East will play to 7,394 yards with a par of 70 for this week’s major championship.

The East ranks No. 12 in New York on Golfweek’s Best list of private courses in each state. It also comes in at No. 42 on Golfweek’s Best ranking of all classic courses in the United States.

— Jason Lusk, Golfweek 

Scheffler off to strong start in return to Rochester

Scottie Scheffler hits onto a green during a practice round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Scottie Scheffler made the turn at 1 under on Thursday, using a single birdie on No. 14 to put himself in solid early position. It’s not the first time he’s been to the region.

Back while playing at the University of Texas, Scheffler made a trip to Rochester to compete in the storied Monroe Invitational, an amateur event that takes place just a few miles to the southeast of Oak Hill at Monroe Golf Club.

The Monroe has crowned some big names as champions through the years, with Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley capturing the title in 1976 and subsequent winners including PGA Tour players Jeff Sluman (1981), Chris DiMarco (1988), D.J. Trahan (2002), Dustin Johnson (2007) and Taylor Pendrith (2014).

Scheffler’s roommate in Austin was Gavin Hall, who hailed from the Rochester area and invited him to make the trip to Western New York for the 2016 Monroe, where the weather can be wildly unpredictable.

“We came up, stayed at his house,” Scheffler said. “I woke up with a big crick in my neck and it was really cold here and I played the first round
and I’m never one to withdraw. I’ll limp in. I want to finish
and I want to compete.

“But my dad … he was here, and he ended up calling my coach, and Randy (Smith) called me on the phone and was like, yeah, you really just need to be mature here and come home. It was like 50 degrees, the wind was blowing 20, and I had the U.S. Open next week. I listened to Randy.”

— Tim Schmitt, Golfweek 

Higa, Bradley, Theegala tied atop leaderboard early on at Oak Hill

The conditions right now at Oak Hill are spectacular. It’s comfortably cool because the sun is shining, and there’s very little wind for the players to contend with.

Kazuki Higa has leveled off since his quick start and has made six pars and a bogey, so as he plays his 13th hole, he’s at 3-under-par. He also has company on that number atop the leaderboard as Keegan Bradley has opened his round on the back nine with birdies at Nos. 10, 12 and 13.

Bradley, who is the nephew of former LPGA great Pat Bradley who Rochester golf fans are well aware of, won the PGA the first time he played it back in 2011. He beat Jason Dufner in a playoff, the same Dufner who win the tournament two years later at Oak Hill.

But Bradley has struggled in recent years, though he did break a four-year victory drought when he won the Zozo Championship last October.

Sahith Theegala also sits at 3 under through 11.

— Sal Maiorana, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

Hole of the day (No. 7): The ideal tee shot is a draw, but starting at the creek

The seventh hole at Oak Hill Country Club is tricky from tee to green and offers several examples of the challenges players will face at the 2023 PGA Championship.

A cluster of large trees guards the left corner of this slight dogleg left par 4, but players who hit their tee shot to the right side of the fairway to avoid those oaks bring a creek into play. The ideal tee shot is a draw, but that means starting your drive at the creek, which makes many golfers uncomfortable.

If a player finds the fairway, it will be critical for his approach shot to stay below the hole because the green tilts from back to front. Hitting an approach shot too far past the flag will mean a lightning-fast putt for birdie, but a large bunker will swallow up any iron shot that comes up short. So, while the green is expansive, with Thursday’s hole location being in the middle-right portion of the green, a player who wants to make a birdie has to hit a very small area over the bunker but short of the hole.

— David Dusek, Golfweek

A pre-PGA Championship photo of Phil Mickelson and Collin Morikawa became a hilarious meme

We have seen so many Phil Mickelson memes over the years.

Now? We’ve got one from before the 2023 PGA Championship, starring Lefty and Collin Morikawa.

The situation: The pair were among the former winners of the major coming out of Tuesday’s PGA Champions dinner, and although there were others in the snap — Rory McIlroy and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan — the jokes were pouring in about what Lefty was saying to Morikawa (lots and lots of finance jokes ahead), especially while they were all dressed up.

— Charles Curtis, For The Win

Map of Oak Hill Country Club 

The first hole green and second hole tee box at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. (Photo: Gabe Gudgel/Golfweek)

Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course is regarded as one of top golf courses in America. It’s also one of the most challenging. The East Course is built around part of Allen Creek, which weaves a hazard through half of the holes. The par-70 course plays 7.394 yards. Here’s a hole-by-hole bird’s-eye view.

Hole by hole distances and par 

  • No. 1, 460 yards, par 4
  • No. 2, 405 yards, par 4
  • No. 3, 230 yards, par 3
  • No. 4, 615 yards, par 5
  • No. 5, 180 yards, par 3
  • No. 6, 503 yards, par 4
  • No. 7, 461 yards, par 4
  • No. 8, 429 yards, par 4
  • No. 9, 482 yards, par 4
  • No. 10, 430 yards, par 4
  • No. 11, 245 yards, par 3
  • No. 12, 399 yards, par 4
  • No. 13, 623 yards, par 5
  • No. 14, 320 yards, par 4
  • No. 15, 155 yards, par 3
  • No. 16, 458 yards, par 4
  • No. 17, 502 yards, par 4
  • No. 18, 497 yards, par 4

— Ryan Miller, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

Stallings makes first eagle of the week

Warren Little, Getty Images

Scott Stallings began his round on the 10th hole which, most golf analysts believe, will play as one of the easiest of the week on the East Course. Stallings proved that as he striped a drive down the middle at the 423-yard par-4. With 128 yards left to the flag, Stallings likely hit some type of wedge and he two-hopped it into the hole for an eagle-2.

Live Leaderboard: PGA Championship Tournament Scores, Schedules, Pairings and More

The 38-year-old is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, the last in 2014. He has said that if he wasn’t a professional golfer, he’d be a pediatrician. Stallings has struggled this season as he has no top-10 finishes in 16 starts.

— Sal Maiorana, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

A dozen major events. Which one was most memorable?

A flag flies during a practice round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports)

The first recognized major tournament at Oak Hill was the 1949 U.S. Amateur which, at that time, was considered every bit as important as the U.S. Open.

Charlie Coe of Oklahoma routed Texan Rufus King 11-and-10 in the 36-hole final as more than 15,000 spectators watched the action during the week.

Among the 210 contestants who started the tournament were Palmer, Dow Finsterwald, Julius Boros, Art Wall Jr., Willie Turnesa and Rochester’s own Sam Urzetta, who the following year would win the Amateur title in Minneapolis.

All told, a dozen major events have been held at the Donald Ross design. Here’s a look at each of them.

Who are the PGA Championship announcers?

Who are the PGA Championship announcers?

ESPN: Scott Van Pelt will anchor live coverage on ESPN and ESPN+ and will be joined for analysis by former world No. 1 golfer David Duval. Hole announcers are Curtis Strange, Bob Wischusen and David Fleming. On-course reporters will be Andy North, Billy Kratzert, Suzy Whaley, Ken Brown and John Maginnes.

CBS: Jim Nantz will host the network’s coverage from the 18th tower for the 33rd straight year and will be joined by analyst Trevor Immelman. Hole announcers are Ian Baker-Finch and Frank Nobilo. On-course reporters will be Dottie Pepper, Colt Knost and Mark Immelman. Amanda Renner will provide reports and conduct interviews.

— Ryan Miller, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

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