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McIlroy and Spieth trail leaders

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McIlroy and Spieth trail leaders

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are both five shots off leaders Kevin Kisner and Thorbjorn Olesen after the first round of the US PGA Championship.

Spieth, 24, made two birdies in his last three holes to card a one-over-par 72 as he bids to become the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam.

McIlroy hit the same score despite reaching two under after 12 holes.

Grayson Murray, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, DA Points and Chris Stroud are all one shot off the lead.

World number 78 Olesen was among the early starters at Quail Hollow and hit six birdies, including one on the 18th hole which took him to four under and into the outright lead.

The Dane held that advantage until late in the day’s play when American Kisner also birded the 18th to complete a round of 67.

England’s Paul Casey is the best-placed British player, tied for seventh on two under par.
Despite being without a tournament win this season, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy was installed as the pre-tournament favourite at Quail Hollow, where he has won twice on the PGA Tour and holds the course record.

After two opening pars the 28-year-old brought his round to life by chipping in from the edge of the green for birdie on the par-four third.

McIlroy followed that with two bogeys in three holes, but birdies on seven, eight and 10 took him within two shots of the lead.

However, the round stalled when, after a bogey on the par-three 13th, McIlroy hit his tee shot into the water hazard on 14 and made a double bogey.

“If someone told me I would shoot one over par this morning I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but the course played tricky,” McIlroy said after recovering to finish with four straight pars.

“It would have been nice to shoot under par but I played a three-hole stretch on the back nine three over par. That was the only thing that derailed my round.”

McIlroy was playing with best friend Harry Diamond as his caddie after he split with long-term caddie JP Fitzgerald last month.

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