<p>Rory McIlroy trails five points behind the lead group at the US PGA Championship </p>
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Rory McIlroy beat the leader group five points in the USA PGA Championship

(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy remains in contention for a third US PGA Championship at Oak Hill, but five points behind the leading group.

Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners held the under-five lead at midpoint. Bryson DeChambeau two more behind Brooks Koepka under three and McIlroy managed not to drag himself out after reaching par at age 69. Defending champion Justin Thomas made the cut, but John Rahm struggled and England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick missed it by a wide margin.

Scheffley and Conners reached two under 68 and Hovland 67, but Koepka’s 66 round is matched by first-round leader DeChambeau’s best game yet of the tournament. Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka was two-under with England’s Callum Tarren thanks to 66, which included four birdies in the last seven holes.

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Pars opening for McIlroy and Lowry

McIlroy E (1), Lowry E (1)

McIlroy easily made a mistake off the turf as his anchor ended on uneven terrain on the course. Fortunately, it’s a good lie and can get up and down on its own.

Lowry’s second ends in the bunker, but it’s the perfect wedge from the Irishman’s sand, and it’s a great par save to keep him level.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:58


Back-to-back boogers for Morikawa

Morikawa +1 (6), Scott +5 (6)

I’m afraid I may have brought Morikawa bad luck with these last few holes. Having said that he’s playing pretty well, he finds himself in the green side bunker and is more or less unable to stay on the same level. Above average for American.

Scott is also bogey and his bad start continues – he is now five years old for the tournament.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:56


Missed opportunity for Fleetwood

Fleetwood +1 (8), Reed +4 (8)

Fleetwood takes a regular iron hit to the eighth, but fails to hit the return for the bird and has to settle for par. If he can find a few birds on the way back, he’s equally good at it.

Reed knocks on the door for par and stays at four.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:51


McIlroy on Tee

Slowly but surely the contenders are starting to head to the tee box, and now it’s time for two-time PGA Champion McIlory and 2019 Open Champion Lowry to kick off. McIlroy takes a nice kick from rough terrain to turf but Lowry gives way to the left – he’ll be done for a par from there.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:45


Bogeymen for Morikawa and Fleetwood

Morikawa +1 (5), Fleetwood +2 (8)

The duo got off to a good start on their tour but were untimely bogeys for both. Morikawa misses a four-foot equal shot. Fleetwood makes five to seventh in par-four, but responds with par on the next and stays at two.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:40


Jaeger was the top ten

The German has won six times on the Korn Ferry Tour, but is currently making a statement at the PGA Championship. Birds on one and four make it two less than and even equal to ten for the day. Little signs of birdie chance there.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:34


Solid start for Morikawa

Morikawa E (4), Scott +4 (4)

It’s too early yet, but Morikawa is playing in all conditions except the good stuff. Right into the heart of the green three-fifths par, but after the 3-foot bird whistle has whistled, he has to make do with the par. Scott also equalizes and stays in fours.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:23


Launch party for Cantlay

Cantlay +1 (1), Pereira +1 (1)

Many dreamed that Patrick Cantlay would arrive this week, and the American is far from equal. It gives a good look at the birdie in the first one but it’s a par good there. Mito Pereira, who lost last year’s PGA Championship in the final edit pit, also opens with a par.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:19


Dustin Johnson on the way

Two-time grand champion Dustin Johnson is on the road and manages to find the fairway as the tee fades. The same cannot be said for the playmate, as Davis is making his way to the left of the tee.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:17


Monster kick for Fleetwood

Fleetwood +1 (6), Reed +4 (6)

Reed makes a bogey, but it’s all about Fleetwood, who takes a bird shot 70 feet (!) from the front of the course at par-four-sixth. This is a huge bonus for the Brit and is currently just one above average for the tournament.

Ben Fleming20 May 2023 18:10