TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. — Rickie Fowler raced to a two-stroke clubhouse lead at the P.G.A. Championship on Thursday as he bid to win his first major. Fowler, 29, has finished second three times at Grand Slam events.
Fowler shot a five-under-par 65 with six birdies and a bogey, including birdies on two of his last three holes to pull away from the field.
“If you hit fairways and greens, it’s not hard,” he said.
Among those who finished at 3-under were Austin Cook, Pat Perez, Jason Day and Ian Poulter.
Tiger Woods got off to a poor start at Bellerive Country Club, falling to 3-over after two holes, but rallied. He finished at even par.
Woods, who has been playing as well as he has in years in recent weeks, was considered to be a contender in the event after a promising British Open last month.
He started on the 10th hole and bogeyed it, after a trip to deep rough off the tee. He found rough again on 11, leading to a double bogey.
A birdie on 12 was canceled by a bogey on 16. But a strong approach to 4 feet on the 18th hole got him another birdie, and a nine-hole score of plus-2.