A bizarre Thursday at the PGA Championship left the impression that Baltusrol Golf Club was playing much more difficult than it actually was.
After being questioned as a major championship venue earlier in the week by Australian Marcus Fraser who said, “(Baltusrol) doesn’t feel like a major championship course. Not the way it is playing or set-up,” the course proved it had some teeth. Some of the top players in the world struggled mightily, making first-round leader Jimmy Walker’s opening round 65 all the more impressive.
Walker’s 5-under par mark was five strokes better than Jordan Spieth’s opening 70, six strokes better than Phil Mickelson’s 1-over par 71, nine strokes better than Rory McIlroy’s opening 74 and 12 shots better than reigning U.S. Open Champion Dustin Johnson could muster.
It wasn’t just the top guys who had trouble, though. Frustration boiled over for many, including PGA Tour rookie Patton Kizzire who shot a respectable first-round 71, although you wouldn’t know it by seeing how he treated his putter.
— PGA.COM (@PGAcom) July 28, 2016
Some weather is predicted to hit the New York/New Jersey area on Friday, which could soften up the course or make it that much more confounding.