WASHINGTON: Americans Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak each matched Medinah’s course record of seven-under par 65 Thursday to share the lead after the opening round of the US PGA BM W
Championship. Both co-leaders complained of poor warmups for the opening round, then went out and ripped the rain-softened layout in suburban Chicago, while 15-time major winner Tiger Woods struggled to a 71, six strokes adrift.

A file photo shows Jason Kokrak of the United States teeing off at the 10th hole on the final day at the 2016 Northern Trust Open on February 21, 2016 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Photo: AFP
A file photo shows US golfer Justin Thomas teeing off from the third hole during the second round of the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 19. Photo: AFP

Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, made a bogey-free tour to equal the course mark shared by Woods, Skip Kendall and Canada’s Mike Weir. “I had probably the worst warmup I’ve ever had in my life this morning,” Thomas said.

“Fairways being this soft definitely played to my advantage.” Kokrak, seeking his first PGA title, fired six birdies and an eagle against a lone bogey. “Happy to be where I’m at,” he said. Woods, the 15-time major champion fighting for a chance to defend his title at next week’s season-ending Tour Championship, shared 50th after 18 holes on a course where he won the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships. – AFP