If, as you are reading this story, you happen to stumble into a sandy patch of land, fear not. You've just encountered one of the several million* bunkers that blanket Whistling Straits. And that makes you just like pretty much every single golfer in the first round of this week's PGA Championship.
(*-Possibly an exaggeration. Possibly not.)
Play concluded on Thursday at the PGA with a not-uncommon result: Dustin Johnson leading the way with a 66. Right behind him: David Lingmerth, one stroke off the lead. They'll have eyes on them come Friday, but they won't be the only stories. Here's what to watch for as Day 2 rolls around.
1. Morning/Afternoon, Afternoon/Morning. Except for Lingmerth, every one of the players on the first page of the leaderboard teed off on Thursday morning. Will this be a British Open situation, where your tee time determines your fate? The wind is expected to remain fairly constant, but thunderstorms could roll in midafternoon on Friday. That means trouble for the Thursday morning crew, which will be on the course then. Anyone who takes early advantage on Friday could see a strong score stand up heading into the weekend.
2. Weekday DJ or Weekend DJ? Seeing Dustin Johnson atop a leaderboard in a major isn't a rare occurrence. Seeing him atop the leaderboard on a Sunday is a little more infrequent. Johnson has plenty of knocks against him, but if he's able to quell the demons that have sabotaged multiple majors, he'll quiet his doubters and vault himself to the next echelon of golf.
3. Bunker Busting. Virtually every golfer spent time in the bunkers on Thursday, and more than a few required sideways, mountain-goat-esque stances to get their shots back into playable position. You've probably heard five hundred times about how bunkers cost Johnson a shot at a playoff here in 2010. Will a bunker cost someone a shot at making the weekend on Friday? It's likely.
4. Golfbros. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 and No. 2 golfers in the world, played together Thursday, as they will Friday, and carded identical 71s. Every great golfer needs a great rival, and these two are poised to carry golf for the next two decades. (No pressure, guys.) McIlroy showed no ill effects from the injured ankle that kept him out of the British Open, and Spieth finished strong despite having a wobbly game throughout. They'll be paired together on Friday morning, and possibly on Sunday afternoon too.
Round 2 begins at 6:45 a.m. Central Time. Get your coffee!
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