The 122nd-ranked golfer in the world had six birdies in just 14 holes before play was delayed due to darkness with 11 groups still to finish their opening rounds. If not for frost in Rochester, New York, which delayed the start of the competition by an hour and 50 minutes, players would have likely finished.
At five under par, Cole leads fellow countryman Bryson DeChambeau by one stroke after the latter fired a strong four under 66 to temporarily take the lead.
California-born Cole, who went pro in 2009, spent the majority of his time on the Korn Ferry Tour until being granted a PGA Tour card for the 2023 season. At The Honda Classic in March, he came agonisingly close to winning his first PGA Tour championship before falling to Chris Kirk in a playoff.
The 34-year-old is currently taking in the leaderboard on the first day of the PGA Championship, just his second major participation.
Cole told reporters, “I enjoy it a lot; it’s lovely.
You always want to compete to win when you play. I like to see my name there, so perhaps it will appear there more frequently.
Golfer Dustin Johnson, a member of LIV Golf, is one stroke behind DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner. The two-time major champion was on pace to tie DeChambeau for second place before making a double bogey on the last hole to fall behind.
Johnson shares the lead at three under par with Scottie Scheffler, No. 2 in the world, and Canadian Corey Conners. The build-up to the 105th edition of the tournament had been dominated by a potential Scheffler battle with Jon Rahm, the only player with a better 2023, but the April’s Masters champion made a terrible start to his quest for a second straight major title.
The Spaniard recorded six bogeys and a double bogey, dropping to six-over 76 and 11 strokes down of leader Cole. The top-ranked golfer in the world is attempting to become only the fourth player since Jack Nicklaus in 1975 to win both the Masters and the PGA Championship in the same calendar year.
Jordan Spieth, a three-time major champion, began with a three-over 69, so he will need a big comeback if he wants to become golf’s all-time greatest player on Sunday. Only six men’s golfers have won all four majors in the modern era, and the American is one PGA Championship victory away from joining that elite group.
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and two-time major champion Collin Morikawa are among those who are at one over par. The group leads Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka, who have won back-to-back PGA Championships in 2018 and 2019, by one shot.
DeChambeau is more luminous and light.
Big-hitting DeChambeau got the benefits of a heavyweight strategy in 2020, but at Oak Hill, “The Scientist” is a slimmer version of himself pursuing the lead.
In order to gain distance, DeChambeau packed on 40 pounds during the Covid-19 epidemic. This tactic was successful, as the US Open victory was the highlight of a string of top-10 finishes. However, he has been unsuccessful for more than two years due to injuries and subsequent operations, which led to a fall from the top.
These difficulties were made worse by significant dietary changes. The American lost significant weight, up to 18 pounds in 24 days over the course of one period, after learning that he was allergic to maize, wheat, gluten, and dairy.