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Page last updated at 00:43 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 01:43 UK

USPGA Championship first round as it happened

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By Ben Dirs

0203: Right, I won't keep you any longer - intriguing first day, just a shame about the fog. Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari hold the clubhouse lead, but there are plenty of men, both in the clubhouse and with first rounds to complete, within striking range. In particular Ernie Els looks in splendid nick, he could have been far better than four under, while Matt Kuchar, with eight top-10s this year, also looks dangerous. Good to see Darren Clarke making some putts, too, and what about that fightback from McIlroy - three over after four, -1 through 12, don't take your eyes off him. Night - AND YES, I KNOW SHANE LOWRY'S IRISH!

0155: Not great news for fans of Ross Fisher - he went out in 41, although he's made five straight pars coming home. Cracking saver from Els at 14, that will make his dreams that much sweeter - and there's the hooter, no more play today...

0152: They haven't been pulled in yet and Darren Clarke won't want to go anywhere - three under and he's just stiffed his second to within six feet at 13. Mickelson parachutes a wedge to within a couple of feet at 11, he'll have that to get back into the red. Clarke missed that birdie chance, that would have put him in a share of the lead.

0147: No sign of everyone's favourite cigar chomper Miguel Angel Jimenez, but he's putting a pretty safe round together - one birdie, nine pars, one under through 10. Simon Khan's going well, the Chingford man two under through six, and two-time major winner Angel Cabrera has found some form, he's out in 34.

0143: The sun has just about jacked it in for the evening, we can't have much more golf this morning. Talking of Shane Lowry - from Offaly, the Republic of Ireland (not the UK) - he's steadied his round after that bogey at 15 with successive pars and is two under through eight. McIlroy with his tee shot at the short par-three 12th and he's sandy. Some recovery though, he should make par.

0137: Dewy greens pulling everything up short as McIlroy slides yet another birdie putt a whisker by at 11. Mickelson back to level after another miraculous recovery at 10 and a 20-foot putt. Justin Rose is out in 36 and here's Kuchar with a long-range birdie putt at four, but it comes up short. Els for birdie at 13 from the prow of the hill but it breaks too soon. You can't say he's not giving himself the chances.

0132: Not sure how much more play we're going to get tonight, the sun is disappearing fast. Mickelson's missed the fairway at 10, McDowell, who's +2, has bombed his straight down the middle. All in shadow now as Ernie stiffs his second at 13 to within 15 feet. Here's Kuchar with four iron into the fourth and everything's coming off the middle for the man from Florida.

It's good news for a Briton
It's good news for a Briton
It's bad news for a United States player
0127: Before I tell you what's been happening since we shut down for 20 minutes - I KNOW SHANE LOWRY ISN'T FROM THE UK! I WAS ON A BREAK! Many thanks to my colleague for the hospital pass. What else did he tell you while I was away, that Padraig's from Peckham? Apologies. Well, it's all been happening - Ernie Els joined a four-way tie for the lead with birdie at 11, Matt Kuchar narrowly missed a long-range birdie attempt at three to grab the outright lead, McIlroy's ballsy fightback continued with another birdie at 10 - and Mickelson fluffed a sitter nine to drop back to +1. Oh, and Darren Clarke is three under after birdies at 10 and 11.

0101: Stricker leaves his birdie putt shy at nine but he's out in nine pars. McIlroy with a curly one after that storming second at eight and that's almost another birdie, but it just grazes the right-hand side. Allo, allo, allo, what have we here? It's Craig Stadler lookalike Kris Blanks with his trousers rolled up and calf deep in drink. He nudges it forward into more drink before finally slopping it onto the fifth green. McIlroy seems to have got rid of that hook, he smashed his tee shot straight down the middle at nine. Right, we're going to take a break for 20 minutes or so while our bods do some fixing, see you two in a bit...

It's good news for a Briton
0050: Well done Clarkey, he snaps a run of eight pars with a birdie at nine to move to -1. Every time you see Ernie he's putting for birdie but he leaves one low of the cup at 10. Oosthuizen sprays his tee shot right at eight but what a shot that is from McIlroy - another pull off the tee but he's stuck it to within a few feet from behind a hillock.

It's good news for a Briton
It's bad news for a European
0046: McIlroy's ironed out his early wrinkles, he's just stuck another birdie putt down the pipe at eight and is back level. Life's not getting any easier for Henrik Stenson - other than that tie for third at the Open, it's been a pretty ordinary year for the Swede, and he's +6 through seven. He kicked off today with a double and a triple. Oosthuizen for birdie at seven and he pushes it slightly to stay two under. Kuchar slides his birdie effort wide at the first, he stays two under, and Mickelson drains a 10-footer on seven to remain level.

It's good news for a European
Ball in rough
0040: Many thanks Oli, Ben Dirs back in the seat again - only for 20 minutes or so, though as we've got the maintenance men moving in for 15 minutes at 0100 BST. Lowry up to -3 after another birdie at 14. Oosthuizen at seven with that compact swing of his and what a shot that is, birdie chance for him. Mickelson misses the putting surface again and here's Matt Kuchar with his second at the first, and that's another pearler.

0034: Louis Oosthuizen, the Open champion, records back-to back birdies to be two under and Hunter Mahan sinks an eagle to get back to level par. Now here's Ernie Els aiming to join the leaders at four under, but that's a big breaking putt from left to right and the South African has under-borrowed.

0030: Montgomerie misses his par putt and is two over, could be a tough last nine for him, while Darren Clarke is short with a longish birdie putt. Shane Lowry is three under through five which makes him the top UK player as things stand.

0027: Mickelson plays a lovely chip on the sixth, that should be close enough for him to save par and stay at level par. Els takes a nine-iron to the second (his 10th) to set up a birdie opp and McIlory slides a birdie chance just past the hole.

0024: Shaun Micheel has a long putt to grab a share of the lead but leaves it well short, and still has five left for par. Monty has reached the 18th (his ninth) and is likely to remain one over. Oh bad news for Micheel of the US, three putts, bogey and back to two under.

0020: Matt Kuchar, who bears a slight resemblance to Marcus Trescothick, nails a seven-foot par putt to stay at three under in the big group tying for third place.

0016: With live pictures a bit thin on the ground, a reminder of where we are at. Francesco Molinari and Bubba Watson are joint leaders at four under, while top of the UK contingent are Shane Lowry and Martin Laird at two under.

0012: Lake Michigan is almost the size of England and hovers menacingly on the side of a fair number of these holes, but I'm not sure anybody has quite smacked one into the water yet. There's still time.

0010: As we move into Friday 13th (in the UK anyway), it's Oliver Brett on text commentary duty for a bit, taking over from Ben, to see Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy register back-to-back birdies to go back to one-over. Still some work to do for him.

0006: McDowell with one of those shots every hacker loves to see - the US Open champion tops his attempted escape from the turf sloping into a bunker and nudges his ball into the sand. Great bunker escape though. Every time I see Leftie he's in full-on Houdini mode - here he is digging out of another bunker at five...

It's good news for a European
It's good news for a United States player
It's good news for a United States player
0002: The burly Shane Lowry should feel right at home here - the man from County Offaly birdied two and is one under through three. Shaun Micheel, winner in 2003, is putting a string of pearls together - birdies at 12, 13 and 14, he's three under. Els comes close to joining Watson and F Molinari on four under but his long-range effort at seven misses by a whisker. Matt Kuchar's got a cookie swing but seven top-10s this year says it works - lucky off the tee at the par-three 17th, he got back to -3 with a birdie at 16.

It's bad news for a United States player
It's good news for a Briton
2355: Not entirely sure how Charles Howell 'Three Sticks' escaped with a par at the last but he did - he's in with a 69. A lot of putts coming up short today and that's a shot gone for Mickelson at four - "oh no!" cries somebody greenside, as if he's just learnt his entire family have been mauled by lions. McIlroy makes that birdie, he's back to +2.

2351: Oosthuizen is all over the pin with his second at four, he'll have a makeable birdie putt. McIlroy for eagle at five - complete misread, never looked like turning right. Justin Rose of England is level through three, as is Oliver Wilson of England, although he went off the 10th.

It's bad news for a Briton
2346: Ross Fisher of England is being chewed up down the front nine - bogeys at two, three and four, he's also +3. Els with a 12-footer for birdie at six... hit it Ernie, hit it... McIlroy with his second at five and that's a fine recovery from where he was - looks to me like he's developed what I've got, a snap hook off the tee. Nope, I've got no idea how to get rid of it either.

It's good news for a United States player
It's bad news for a Briton
2341: Ernie Els at six, bang centre of the fairway, and he gives himself a decent birdie chance. Boo Weekley, the man who thinks his driver is a horse (wasn't that a book?), has birdied 13 and 14 for -2 overall. Double-bogey for McIlroy at four, he's +3.

It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a United States player
2336: Mickelson just misses with his pitch at three as Nick Watney rolls in for birdie at two to move to two under. Gregory Bourdy of Bordeaux leaves his birdie putt just high at his last hole but that's a very handy round of 70. McDowell pushes his par putt at three, the Portrush man drops to one over par. Shot gone for Kuchar at 15, he slips back to -2.

It's good news for a Briton
2330: Mickelson's missed the dancefloor at the par-three third but he should get up and down from there. Bump and run from Ernie at five, I believe that's another short birdie attempt. Early leader Charles Howell III is on his final hole, the ninth, and he's cut his approach into some drink. All credit to Ian Poulter, he did very well to regain control of his round after that triple on 15, his sixth hole - four birdies subsequently, he's in with a level-par 72.

World number one Tiger Woods: "I got off to a good start today. I hit the ball pretty good, I felt like I had control of the ball for most of the day, especially my trajectory, which was nice - it felt good to control that. I've just got to continue to improve every day, just need to solidify. I felt I had good speed on the greens, if anything a bit slow with the putts. The greens were a bit slower than they looked."

2323: Mickelson with a solid saver at two, he stays one under par. McIlroy playing with Stricker and Adam Scott, one of many players before McIlroy who "without a doubt will win a major" - but hasn't. Darren Clarke for birdie at four and he leaves it low to stay level par. Clarke is playing well lately, and he's looked wonderfully happy about it.

2317: Ernest Els is on the charge, he drains a biggun at four to move to two under. Shot gone for England's David Horsey at 15, he drops back to -1. Rhys Davies, the sole Welshman in the field, is one under with one to play. Mickelson in trouble at the par-five second and he's sprayed his third shot miles right. Not a bad recovery though, that should be par. McIlroy tugs his long-range birdie putt left at three, he stays one over.

It's good news for a European
2310: The sun is beginning to set on Lake Michigan and there are 30-odd players still to go out. Stricker with that languid swing of his and he's safely on at the par-three third. Francesco Molinari for a share of the lead at the ninth... in it goes, he joins Bubba on -4 and a share of the clubhouse lead. Par for Ryan Moore, that's a round of 69 for a man who looks like he's come straight from delivering pizzas.

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Michael, Leicester, via text: "Nice to see a golfer looking like he cares for once, if there weren't people like Sergio in the game it would be worse off in my opinion. I'm sure he will be back better."

2304: Mickelson hitting within himself so far, he's safely away at the second. Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen escaped with pars at the first, and McDowell finds the middle of the fairway at two. Good round from Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, in with a 70, and Colin Montgomerie is one of three Scots under par after a birdie at 13, his fourth.

It's bad news for a Briton
2300: Did I tell you I've got money on Matt Kuchar? No? He's just stuck a short iron in for two at the par-four 13th to move to -3. Mickelson sinks a 10-footer for birdie at the first, McIlroy made bogey at the first. Woods with a six-footer for birdie at the last, he's in with a 71. Still think his odds were too short?

It's bad news for a United States player
2255: Brian Davis bogeyed 18 for a round of 71. He's been based in the States since 2006 but is yet to win over there - he won much praise for calling a two-shot penalty on himself during a play-off against Jim Furyk at the Verizon Heritage in April, a gesture that cost him the win. Ryan Moore let a shot go at seven and he's just muffed a par putt at eight - he's now three under, leaving Bubba out ahead on his own.

2249: Mickelson sweeps one down the middle at the first - well within himself - before US Open champion McDowell yanks his tee shot well left and Open champion Oosthuizen clumps one down the right. The announcer paused dramatically before reaching his surname, before getting it magnificently wrong... Villegas with a peach off the tee at seven and he taps in for birdie and -1.

It's good news for a European
2245: Did I say Padraig's hitting his straps? Well, he's not - dribbly putt at the last, he's in with a disappointing 75. Par for Stricker at one, no idea what happened to McIlroy, I'll let you know. Bordeaux's Gregory Bourdy is involved in a real arm-wrestle with the Straits down his back nine, the course's front nine - birdie at six, he's back to three under.

It's good news for a European
It's good news for a European
2240: Luke Donald needs to shell out on some sun cream, he looks like he's been welding without a mask on. Edoardo Molinari gets back to -1 with birdie at 17 as brother Francesco curls one in for birdie at seven, he's up to three under par. Phil Mickelson makes his way to the first tee, ever popular.

2236: Michael Sim of Australia at 18 but he leaves his birdie putt short - he'll be in with a 70. Francesco Molinari cosies his tee shot up towards the hole at seven just as Retief Goosen pitches in for the second time today at seven - that was beach-bound, but he's now back to +4.

It's bad news for a European
2232: Edoardo's lost another shot, nervy little par putt at 16, the Italian back to even. Brian Davis - out of London, resident of Florida - is grinding Whistling Straits into the ground - 15 pars and two birdies through 17, two under for his round. Ross Fisher of England has parred the first, Stricker safely on in two at the first.

It's bad news for a United States player
2228: Here's Steve Stricker on the first tee - big old cheer, he's a Wisconsin boy - and he gets his round under way with a silky smooth drive. He's playing with Rory McIlroy - the heavily-backed Rory McIlroy - who sends his tee shot left. Woods makes a good four at seven, dropping back to level par and five off the lead. Ryan Moore at seven and he leaves himself a hefty birdie putt. Whistling Straits is whistling, the wind's getting up...

It's bad news for a United States player
It's bad news for a European
2223: Chucky 'Three Sticks' - that's Charles Howell III to you and me - has bogeyed three and four to slide down to two under. The Molinaris have finally been separated, and not in a good way - Edoardo has bogeyed 15 to drop back to -1. Here's Woods with an awkward stance off the green at seven and it's a choppy effort, he's left himself a longun for par. Casey with a right-to-lefter from range at eight - didn't hit it, he stays -1. Donald for birdie at nine, his 18th, but it stays high and he's in with a round of 72.

It's bad news for a European
2216: Michael Sim of Australia for par at 17 and he gives it a wallop... lip out, he drops back to -2. Gregory Bourdy of France has bogeyed three and four to slip back to two under par, Jim Furyk and Kyung-tae Kim are in with 70s. Woods on tee at the 221-yard seventh and he tugs a six iron left. Ernie at the first and he drains a 10-footer for birdie.

It's good news for a United States player
2212: Righto, thanks Oli, Dirs again. Ryan Moore has birdied the fifth to join Bubba on four under just as Bubba pops in a short one at 18 for a round of 68 and the clubhouse lead. Ryan Moore has just snatched the outright lead at the sixth, his 15th, landing a putt from the fringe to move to -5.

2208: Ryan Moore finds the fringe on the sixth (his 15th), while fellow leader Watson's approach from just off the green on the last is pretty good - he should finish on four under for the day.

2206: The top European in the clubhouse is Scot Martin Laird. He says of his round of 70 (two under): "I played very well all day. I drove well, that's the key to this golf course. It's quite breezy but there are some downwind holes to make your score on and that's what I did."

2202: Some sort of gremlin has attacked Ben's computer so it's back to Oliver Brett for the time being. Howell III's putting has gone a bit awry and he sees another shot go. Bubba Watson is playing his second onto the 18th. He made his par on 17, and that's on the fringe. Two from there will give him the clubhouse lead on four under, a score shared by Ryan Moore, who has four to play.

2150: Many thanks to Oliver Brett there for filling in, Ben Dirs is back in the chair. Simon from Crystal Palace (see below) - tells it like it is. Or perhaps isn't. Here's Woods with a saver at the fifth - out of a pond and in for par, the world number one stays two under. Watson in strife on 17 but that's a cute chip up the hill, he could save par.

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Simon from Crystal Palace via text: "I have no sympathy for Garcia. Never seen such a petulant, childish 30-year-old. Have a bit of dignity and humility and simply try to handle better the fact you'll never win a major."

2145: We're catching up with Woods's problems on the fifth. It appears he had to take a drop out of a pond, and his third is just a let's-get-this-back-on-the-fairway type recovery. The fourth is knocked in nice and close and that should be an eventful par for him. Bourdy bogeys - and that drops him back to three under. Jason Day completes a 69 for the clubhouse lead at three under, and Charles Howell has ALSO bogeyed a shot, so that leaves only Watson on four under, and he's in trouble as well, at the 17th.

2140: Bubba Watson completes his colourful birdie to make it a four-way tie at the top with Day (Aus), Bourdy (Fra)and Howell III (US).

2138: Scotland's Stephen Gallacher has finished his round (71, one under): "I'm playing good, things seem to be going well for me. I've not played in the United States since 2005 but I like it over here."

2136: Nice touch from Bubba Watson, whose recovery has set up a 10-foot birdie opportunity. Replays now of that Woods tee shot. He got rid of that driver like it was a red-hot poker or something at the top of his follow-through. Casey's birdie effort slides quite far to the left, but he's still in decent shape at two under with three holes of his round to go.

2133: Horrible three-putt from next to nowhere from Marc Leishman sees him go from three under to two under, while Tiger Woods at the par-five sixth drops his club after his tee shot - and that seems to have gone quite far left into some very thick, wet stuff.

2129: With a sun-kissed Lake Michigan on his left, Bubba Watson of the USA, three under with three to play, lines up his second with a three-wood on par-five, but it crashes onto a path and into some rough way out to the right. He wanted a driver, his caddie persuaded him to go three-wood, and Bubba's not very happy at all.

It's good news for a European
2126: Paul Casey leaves himself a decent enough birdie ipportunity to go to three under with a neat approach at the sixth (the 14th hole of his round) while Frenchman Gregory Bourdy birdies the par-five second (his 11th) to make it a three-way tie at the top.

2122: Aussie Jason Day sinks a 15-footer for a birdie, swinging from right to left, and that gives him a share of the lead once again at four under.

It's good news for a Briton
2118: As the earliest starters approach the end of their rounds, it's Charles Howell III who leads on his own at four under, with a whole host of golfers on three, two and one under. Marc Leishman has a short par putt to stay at three under, but given that he's playing the very birdieable par-five 11th that'll be a bit disappointing perhaps. Donald makes his birdie - he's one under now.

2115: Oh that's a lovely approach from Luke Donald, who has a chance for a birdie to move to one under. He's played typically steady, unspectacular golf so far.

2111: Just a note that Ben Dirs is on a break so it's Oliver Brett bringing you a few holes of this tournament. John Merrick of the USA bogeys the 15th to slip to two under while Tiger Woods' birdie effort at the third (his 12th) just fall short, keeping him to one under. Not too many birdies on the course at the minute, the players are just holding their rounds together it seems.

2105: Ryan Moore for a share of the lead at the par-five second but it stays high. Woods on the par-three third, the pin right on the back, and he's come up well shy. Martin Laird's birdie effort at the 15th lips out, he stays two under, before Brian Davis pokes his birdie effort wide at 12. Funky old set-up, funky result. Edoardo Molinari for birdie from 15 feet at 11 but he leaves it low.

2101: Martin Laird of Scotland is holding things together - bogey at one but he's picked up three shots since then and is two under through 14. Woods using the putter from the fringe again but that one got caught in his apron, bogey at two and he's back to two under. Bubba - I like saying that - very nearly makes it three birdies on the spin at 14 but his ball takes a peak over the precipice and bottles it. Bubba's favourite breakfast on game day? An English muffin with peanut butter, yogurt and cereal. No Lucky Charms for Bubba. Brian Davis of England at the par-three-12th and that's very nearly an ace - took a look before hopping back again. He's one under.

2052: One or two scribes were tipping Bubba to win this thing and at 125-1 before the start of play, he wasn't bad odds - self-taught, but he hits it a mile and managed a win at the Travelers in June, his maiden title. He's wild, but here's a piquant stat - he ranks first on the PGA Tour category for hitting the green in regulation after missing the fairway. Unbelievable from Casey at four - I think - chipping in to save par. How to make three into five from Kyung-tae Kim - he drops back to -2 after 14.

It's bad news for a European
2046: Kyung-tae Kim of Korea, looking to follow up YE Yang's triumph last year, is three under through 13 and Ryan Moore of the States moves into a share of third on three under with a birdie at the first. Marc Leishman joins him with a birdie at the par-four ninth, and Bubba Watson's -3 as well courtesy of a 10-footer at 13. Sergio demonstrating exactly why he needs a few weeks off - trouble again at the third after that bogey at the second and he starts slinging his toys about following a pretty mediocre sand escape. It's actually quite painful watching him play, I feel like crying.

2039: Casey with a very solid looking save at the third to stay one under, that's the sort of putt that champions are made of. Rotherham's Danny Willett, with five top-10s this season on the European Tour, is one under through seven. He's only 22, the son of a preacher man and he's interested in football, music and pool. Good up and down for Jason Day at six to stay four under but his compatriot Appleby lets another one go at five and is now level par.

2032: Did I tell you that Jason Day of Australia has joined Charles Howell atop the leaderboard after a birdie at five? Well, I have now. Only 22, is Day, but he was the winner of the Byron Nelson in May, so he's got pedigree. Here's Tangerine Dream John Daly with a scorching second at two, bending one in from the rough, he's three over. Merrick with a chance to join the leaders at 13 but his 15-footer stays right. Defending champion YE Yang is level through 10, Woods makes his par at the first, his 10th.

2025: David Horsey, who pipped Ross Fisher to the BMW International Open in Munich earlier this year, is two under through five. Luke Donald doing what he does - birdie at his first, 11 pars since. Garcia with a bit of magic round the green at the first and he escapes with a par. He's two over, though, and he says he'll put his feet up for two months if he doesn't finish top three.

2020: Leishman, the man from Warrnambool, Victoria, lets a couple go at seven to drop back to two under. The 507-yard par-four eighth and the 500-yard par-four 18th are the only two holes yet to be birdied today, but there are teeth all over this course, make no mistake. Casey with a double-breaker at the first, his 10th, and that's a good effort, he'll tap in to stay -1.

2014: John Merrick, of Long Beach in California, stiffs one stone dead to within a couple of feet at 13, he should knock that in to move to three under. We've got two Molinaris on two under - Francesco through eight, Edoardo through seven. Here's Woods at 18, he was all over the flag with his second, a five iron - he squeezes his birdie attempt just wide to stay two under, out in 34. Kyung-tae Kim of Korea rolls in a birdie putt at the colossal 618-yard 11th before draining one at the short 143-yard 12th to move to -3.

2008: Villegas - what was that I said about his putting? - rattles in another monster at 16 and is now -3. Appleby let a shot go at three and here he is in a pickle four, splashing out from a bunker cut into the hills. So painstakingly authentic is this course, you'd think that bunker was created by goat burrowing for shelter. In actual fact, it was created by a JCB some time back in the late 1990s...

It's bad news for a European
It's bad news for a Briton
1957: Harrington's in trouble again at 18 and I'm afraid to say he's out in four-over 40. Ryo Ishikawa, the young Japanese phenomenon, is having a shocker - out in 41, he's five over through 12. An update on Poulter - you know I thought he made bogey at 15? It was actually a triple, the Englishman is three over. South Africa's Retief Goosen was two under after three but doubles at 13 and 14 have bumped him down to two over.

It's good news for a Briton
1954: Another Australian, Jason Day, stays three under through 13 after sinking a fine saver at four. Scotland's Martin Laird is two under after a birdie at 10. Woods from miles out at the par-three 17th - bang on line, but it runs out of puff. Good clutch putt from Howell at 15, he stays four under. Luke Donald putting for par at the first, his 10th, and that's a smart saver from range.

It's bad news for a Briton
1947: No-one touch Poulter's putter, you'll get frostbite - he prods a tiddler wide at 15 to drop back to one over. Appleby has a chance to join Howell atop the leaderboard with a 10-footer at 11 but it stays left. Marc Leishman of Australia pops in his birdie putt at six - to be honest, it dragged its feet a bit - to join Howell on four under. Here's a Charles Howell stat attack: he's an Augusta native and is 31. He has two wins on the PGA Tour, but none since 2007. His favourite musician is Kenny Chesney and the person he'd most like to meet is George W Bush.

It's bad news for a European
1936: The par-three 17th is dubbed 'Pinched Nerve' and Padraig Harrington is in the process of explaining why - he tugs his tee shot left before leaving his second down in the rocks. On in three, but that's at least a shot gone - it was a double, the three-time major winner falls back to two over. Woods' eagle attempt at 16 lipped out and he's missed the shorty coming back - he stays two under. Camilo Villegas is on the prowl - not much of a putter, the Colombian, but he's just drained a monster at 15 to move to two under par.

It's good news for a United States player
It's good news for a European
1932: Kaymer's birdie attempt misses left at 16 - he only needed two blows to reach the green from 560 yards. Woods looks pumped - he's also just off the front in two. Frenchman Gregory Bourdy is off to a flyer, he's two under through four. Jason Day of Australia drains one from distance at the par-three third to reach three under and Charles Howell has just reeled off his fourth straight birdie at 14 to snatch the outright lead.

It's bad news for a United States player
It's bad news for a United States player
1922: Appleby with a par at the first, he'll take a four after that errant drive. Shot gone for Watson - Bubba, that is - at eight, he drops back to one under and Woods leaks one at 15 after a rank mishit with his first putt. Union Jacks all over the leaderboard - four Aussies two under or better.

It's good news for a European
It's good news for a Briton
1918: Francesco Molinari's made a decent start - birdies at 11 and 12 and he's currently two under through four. Defending champion YE Yang lets one go at 15 and is one over. Bubba Watson with his third at eight and he's fatted it, he'll be lucky to make par from there. Casey with his second at 17 - tricky, foot up on a green-side mound... he's stuck it in, he moves to two under. Harrington with a short one for birdie at 16 - prodded wide, he stays level par...

It's good news for a United States player
It's bad news for a European
1909: Just got the bets on - Rory and Matt Kuchar - eight top-10 finishes so far this season, he's got the look of a USPGA champion. Appleby rams home his par putt and is out in 33. Kaymer's dropped one at 15, he drops back to two under. Charles Howell III - whatever happened to him? He was on computer games and everything. Well here he is, bending in a second successive birdie at 12 to get to two under.

1903: The official scorecard is more than a little behind play at the moment, but I believe Tiger Woods saved par at 14 to remain three under. Here's the funky Rickie Fowler, looking like a blueberry Mr Freeze, stiffing his approach to within a few feet at the first. Appleby with a 20-footer for birdie at 18... slides by, and there's chicken on that bone. On the plus side, Kaymer's got a lovely view of Lake Michigan from that vantage point, on the downside, the ball's up by his waist... decent little chop on, he'll have a similar putt to Harrington for par at 15.

1903: The official scorecard is more than a little behind play at the moment, but I believe Tiger Woods saved par at 14 to remain three under. Here's the funky Ricky Fowler, looking like a blueberry Mr Freeze, stiffing his approach to within a few feet at the first. Appleby with a 20-footer for birdie at 18... slides by, and there's chicken on that bone. On the plus side, Kaymer's got a lovely view of Lake Michigan from that vantage point, on the downside, the ball's up by his waist... decent little chop on, he'll have a similar putt to Harrington for par at 15.

It's good news for a Briton
It's good news for a European
1857: Martin Laird of Scotland is one under through five after birdies at three and five and here's Harrington into the 15th... peach of a third, could make par at the mammoth 518-yard 'Grand Strand', whatever that means. Yes he can! Brilliant four from 25 feet from the 2008 champion. Second at the Irish Open a couple of weeks back, he looks like he's hitting his straps...

It's good news for a European
1852: Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark made birdie at 15 and is in the group on two under. Woods with his second out of the trap at 14 but there's too much grip on that, it ends up yo-yoing back towards the front of the green. Luke Donald of England for birdie at 16 but it dies on him and he stays one under. Apologies, not sure what I was looking at there - KJ Choi is actually one under, not two...

1845: Tiger urging his ball to "get in the bunker" off the tee at 14, not something you'll hear the average hacker coming out with. Kaymer after that sweet second into the 14th but he slides his birdie effort wide to stay three under. KJ on seven and what a tee shot that is, seeking out the elusive pin back right. Choi pops in for birdie and he's two under.

It's good news for a United States player
1839: Evening all and many thanks to Mark Mitchener. Bit of an odd shift this but then I'm watching golf for 10 hours, so can't really complain. Tiger Woods has just rolled one in for birdie at 13 - he's three under through four, tied for the lead.

By Mark Mitchener

1835: Defending champion YE Yang just misses a birdie putt and remains at level par. Right - that's me done. Mr Dirs will be your genial guide to the rest of the day/night's play.

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From JRB, via text: "Could 16/1 have been bet of the year for Woods? Beware the wounded Tiger."

1832: Ben Dirs is in the house, and my time on this text commentary is drawing to a close soon. Nice putt from Appleby, wearing a Luke Donald-style visor, brings him his fourth birdie of the day and restores his share of the lead. Sergio Garcia is in steady Eddie mode, starting with three pars.
-3 Appleby, Kaymer -2 Day, Appleby, Kjeldsen, Furyk, Sim, Woods, Leishman

It's good news for a Briton
The sun is out
1824: It's now clear skies and bright sunshine at Whistling Straits - and Appleby drops a shot to leave Kaymer on his own in front. Ian Poulter starts with a par, Paul Casey sneaks a birdie to move to one under. (We're aware there's a slight problem with the auto-refreshing text - please keep manually refreshing for now).

It's good news for a European
Tigger
1819: You can't write him off, can you? A second birdie for Tiger. More birdies mean there's a rash of players one shot behind long-time leader Stuart Appleby - while Germany's Martin Kaymer has fired the first eagle of the day at the 11th, before a birdie at the 12th takes him level with the Aussie.
-3 Appleby, Kaymer -2 Day, Kjeldsen, Furyk, Sim, Woods

Get involved on 606
From all you've got to do is score a goal on 606: "My tip for this week is Donald, my reasoning for this is that he's in good form, ie good finish at the Open."

It's bad news for a European
It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a United States player
1801: Some famous names down at the bottom of the leaderboard - John Daly has double-bogeyed the 11th, while David Toms - whose career has been largely downhill since winning this tournament in 2001 - is two over after starting with a pair of bogeys. In European news, Brian Davis starts with a par while Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington both dropped a shot at the 11th.
-3 Appleby -2 Flinton, Labritz -1 Day, Van Pelt, Kjeldsen, Lamely, Furyk, Choi, Marino, Donald, B Watson, Love, Sim, Barnes, E Molinari, Woods

Tigger
1754: Tiger watch: As Iain Carter tweets below, Mr Woods has begun his round with a birdie at the 10th. The other two players in his group - former world number one Vijay Singh and defending champion YE Yang - both started with a par.

Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter on Twitter: "Woods has just birdied his first hole - my producer thinks this means he will win the tournament. He holed from ten feet."

It's bad news for a United States player
1749: The 19 US PGA club professionals taking part in this event are having a mixed time - Kyle Flinton and Rob Labritz are in the top three, while Keith Ohr props up the leaderboard on three over after taking a double-bogey six at the fourth.
-3 Appleby, Flinton -2 Labritz -1 Day, Lamely, Kjeldsen, Furyk, Choi, Marino, Donald, B Watson, Sim, Barnes, E Molinari

It's good news for a Briton
1742: Our blogger Martin Laird moves back to level par with a birdie at the par-three third hole, the second shortest hole on the Wisconsin course.

John Daly's trousers during practice on Wednesday
1737: More Europeans out on the course as Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington both start with a par - as does the flamboyant John Daly who's in Harrington's group. And Kyle Flinton moves to share the lead on three under after four.
-3 Appleby, Flinton -2 Lamely, Labritz -1 Day, Leonard, Kjeldsen, Choi, Marino, Schwartzel, Donald, B Watson, Sim


Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter on BBC Radio 5 live: "We had a six-minute interruption when the first group reached the third tee and couldn't see the hole. But the fog has cleared and Tiger Woods is out soon."

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From Adam, Jersey, via text: "Really impressed with Poulter's outfit collection, I reckon he could have a good show so just popped a tenner each way on him, great if we get another Brit winner of a US major event. See you at Celtic Manor."

1732: Apologies to Stephen Gallacher fans, that should have read "a double bogey at the third left him two over". He's been joined at the back of the field by Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, who's gone bogey-bogey at 12 and 13.

It's bad news for a Briton
It's bad news for a Briton
1730: Not a great start for the Scots - Stephen Gallacher is in last place after a double bogey at the third left him two over, while Martin Laird is in the group of 10 players who are just ahead of him on one over. Their compatriot Colin Montgomerie tees off at 2145 BST.

Get involved on 606
From TemplePatrick on 606: "With all the fog, I think Luke Donald could win... 'cos even he's now hitting the ball out of sight!"

1723: Crikey, that's three holes and three birdies for Stuart Appleby at the 10th, 11th and 12th as he moves to three under. (And I don't even have an Aussie "up arrow" - what would you suggest? A picture of Shane Warne?) On the charge behind him are American duo Derek Lamely and Kyle Flinton, who are both two under after three.
-3 Appleby -2 Lamely, Flinton -1 Van Pelt, Leonard, Choi, Kjeldsen, Labritz, Furyk, Donald, B Watson

It's bad news for a United States player
1718: I often get accused of "the commentator's curse" on cricket live text, as typing the words "Kevin Pietersen's looking in great form" normally precedes KP losing his wicket with an agricultural mow across the line. It clearly works on golf, too - having described Rickie Fowler as "exciting" at 1639, he's bogeyed the last two holes and joins a crowd of players on one over. Time for a mini-leaderboard:
-2 Appleby -1 Van Pelt, Leonard, Lamely, Choi, Flinton, Kjeldsen, Labritz, Furyk, Donald, B Watson

It's bad news for a Briton
It's good news for a Briton
1711: Stuart Appleby strikes a blow for Australia, moving ahead of the field with his second successive birdie. The first Englishman on the course, Luke Donald, also starts with a birdie at the 10th, where the 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy begins his round with a par. Meanwhile, Scotland's BBC blogger Martin Laird has bogeyed the first.

Get involved on 606
From TheBBCFan on 606: "I wonder if this suits the guys teeing off earlier or the guys who play later/won't get their round done. They'll have to play over 18 holes tomorrow but the guys playing early today may have to play Saturday."

1700: Jim Furyk is now one of the nine players one under par, while US club pro Keith Ohr is now tail-end Charlie after a double bogey seven at the second. He's two over. Al (below), I'm not sure when you cease to be "exciting" as a promising young player? For example, after more than a decade on the circuit and no majors won, I'd struggle to still describe Sergio Garcia as "exciting". But Rory McIlroy (who's out at 2225 BST under the new timings) still fits that bill.

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From Al, Rochdale, via text: "At what point do young golfers cease to be 'exciting'?"

1652: Also parring the first hole are a handful of players from around the world - Aussie Stuart Appleby, Korea's KJ Choi and Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen, along with American club professionals Kyle Flinton and Rob Labritz, for whom this event must be a career highlight.

It's bad news for a United States player
1648: Vaughn Taylor, who played in the 2006 Ryder Cup, takes a bogey six at the second and slips to the bottom of the leaderboard on one over. Meanwhile, the first European in action is Scotland's Stephen Gallacher (nephew of ex-Ryder Cup captain Bernard and cousin of TV's Kirsty), who has parred the first.

It's good news for a United States player
1639: Rickie Fowler, an exciting young American rather in need of a haircut, becomes the third player to start with a birdie. None of the first 12 players out on the course has dropped a shot yet.

Get involved on 606
From pedro01 on 606: "If Monty wins, and Clarke is runner-up we'll have two new players in the Ryder Cup team. And Bjorn already won one tournament this year, so he could get a wild card. Who knows, maybe McGinley will be left alone riding up and down in the buggy?"

It's good news for a United States player
1627: We finally have some scores to tell you about... two Americans, Bo Van Pelt (on the first) and Tim Petrovic (on the 10th) have both birdied their first hole - and sit at the top of the leaderboard, for a little while at least.

1625: The tournament's official website has a list of today's amended tee-off times on the leaderboard - add six hours for BST. So Luke Donald's out at 1650 BST, Harrington at 1710, Tiger at 1730, Monty at 2145, McIlroy at 2225, Rose at 2255 and the last groups will start at 2325 local time, but won't finish tonight.

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Jay Townsend: "There are probably 75 to 80 guys who could win this week - but if you're not on your game, this course can leap up and grab you."

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From Matt, Essex, via text: "In order to prevent the late finishers today having to play lots of holes tomorrow they should keep the scheduled start times and those that were delayed move to late tee times. They will be out later tomorrow and therefore have more time to complete their rounds. Hope you understand, not sure I do!"

1613: Right, while the first groups tee off, if you're wondering when your favourite player's due out, if you look at the original tee times, you should add three hours and 10 minutes. So, the first groups are out at 1610 BST rather than 1300, and Stephen Gallacher is the first Brit out at 1620 rather than 1310. Whether they can "make up" any time later... who knows.

Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter on Twitter: "Play starting at 10.10 local time - we're 6 hrs behind BST - so 3 hr 10 min delay. Fog lifted now."

1555: This is encouraging - according to the Reuters news agency, play will begin at 1610 BST. Bo Van Pelt, Scott Hebert and Vaughn Taylor, get ready to rumble.

Get involved on 606
From newport2 on 606: "Imagine (and I emphasise imagine) that Monty won it. Could he pick himself [for the Ryder Cup] as a wild card if he wanted to?"

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From Dave from Darlo, via text: "Why not send them out as fourballs, saving 13 tee-off times?"

1547: The tournament officials must be wringing their hands, not knowing when this fog is going to clear. Given that the players who are last out tonight are among the earliest scheduled second round starters tomorrow, what if they still haven't finished their first round tomorrow morning by the time their second round is due to start... oh, my brain just hurts trying to think about it!

Twitter
Oliver Wilson (due to tee off at 1935 BST on original timings) on Twitter: "Fog delay still going, can't see any from my hotel room! Tomorrow's starting to look like being a very long day."

Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter on BBC Radio 5 live: "The fog stubbornly refuses to lift - visibility is still not sufficient. As and when the fog lifts, play will begin half an hour later. So the first round definitely won't finish today."

1519: The other ongoing golfing chat over the last couple of days surrounds the Ryder Cup. On the European side, Cap'n Monty is still optimistic that Lee Westwood will be fit, despite missing the USPGA with a calf injury - while US captain Corey Pavin has become embroiled in a row with the Golf Channel, amongst others, over whether he would choose Tiger as a captain's pick for his team if he doesn't qualify automatically.

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From Anthony, Wirral, via text: "As a single figure handicapper, I can tell you golf is a game of confidence! For this reason Tiger has no chance of winning on a golf course where you have to be accurate off the tee."

1506: We've lost more than two hours of play now - and if you're bored of my ramblings, Ian Poulter's Twitter feed is virtually a text commentary of its own on the fog delay, with lots of pictures of players kicking their heels while we wait for the first round to begin.

Twitter
Former Open champion Stewart Cink on Twitter: "Looks like the fog delay at Whistling Straits will be over soon. Hour and fifteen minutes total. Or thereabouts."

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From Belgium's biggest golf analyst, enthusiast and fan, via text: "Golf is such a precise game, where it is so difficult to keep producing the goods consistently. And for this reason, I am backing the one man who has been head and shoulders above anyone else for the last 267 consecutive weeks! Yes you guessed it... Eldrick Tont 'Tiger' Woods. Guaranteed to protect his own, and not amused at the first time he has been quoted at double digit odds in the last 10 years."

1442: The Press Association reports that with more than 90 minutes lost to the fog, play looks set to be delayed "for at least another hour".

Twitter
1439: And how do players kill time during weather delays like this? If they're Ian Poulter, they get into the Wisconsin spirit by donning "cheesehead" hats and posting the evidence on Twitter...


Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter on BBC Radio 5 live: "The fog is slowly lifting, but we'll hopefully be under way within the hour."

Twitter
1424: Ian Poulter tweeted earlier that he didn't think the fog would delay play for long, but we're still waiting for the start. Officials said earlier that play would begin 30 minutes after they decide the fog has sufficiently lifted.

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From Dan in Bolton, via text: "I fancy Ryan Palmer and Carl Petterson to have good weeks, which will mean they both miss the cut! Got both at 150/1."

Bad light stops play
1413: If you're just joining us, the start of play has been delayed by thick fog at Whistling Straits. The first men out should have teed off at 1300 BST, but the longer we go on without play, the less likely it is that we'll complete the first round.

Get involved on 606
From Mr Gulbis on 606: "Whistling Straits is a course for the longer hitters so I wouldn't back someone like Donald. Probably better off with McIlroy or Fisher who have a bit more leverage."

1409: If you didn't hear the news on Tuesday evening, it was quite a shock to read Phil Mickelson revealing that he is suffering from psoriatic arthritis, although he insists the treatment is going well and "feels 90%". And Mickelson at 90% is still a match for many other players - he's setting his sights on deposing Tiger as world number one this week.

Tigger
1401: Tiger watch: That Eldrick Woods fellow has been out on the putting green while the players wait for the fog to clear. He's in a white polo shirt, black baseball cap and black trousers, while caddie Steve Williams is in shorts (as ever).

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From Tom, London, via text: "I have backed Adam Scott and Sergio in every major for six years now. It is getting embarrassing and expensive! Fortunately I have hedged by betting a mate that Ernie won't win another (non seniors) major. Anyone rate my chances? Brandt Snedeker got a pound at 300-1 too. Corking name."

1346: Of the later starters, Europe's Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie was originally due out at 1835 BST, the same time as England's Chris Wood, who is soon followed by Ross Fisher. Northern Ireland's interest will rise a little later when Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell all tee off within half an hour of each other. McDowell's group also includes the other two major winners this year, Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen. Then we've got England's Oliver Wilson and Justin Rose along with Ireland's Shane Lowry - while the last three Englishmen out on the course will be Ross McGowan, Simon Dyson and Simon Khan. Their technical tee-off time is 2015 BST, although we expect that to be a fair bit later because of this fog delay.

1340: As we're still talking amongst ourselves (as it were) while we wait for the fog to lift, I'll run through the other British and Irish names to watch out for. After the aforementioned Messrs Gallacher and Laird early on, Luke Donald will be the first Englishman on the course. (Technically he should be teeing off right now, but the fog has rendered the tee-off times largely academic). Then, we've got Paul Casey, who'll be starting at the 10th tee, as will Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who plays in the same threeball as John Daly and Davis Love III. After Brian Davis, Rhys Davies from Wales starts at the same time as Ian Poulter (though from different tees). David Horsey and Danny Willett are two less familiar Englishmen towards the end of the first half of the field.

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From Anonymous, via text: "Stensson, the man who propped up Tiger last week? Not for me. Back the Goose and watch him throw it away on Sunday."

1330: What can I tell you about Whistling Straits? It last hosted the USPGA in 2004 when Vijay Singh triumphed - it's already listed to host the USPGA again in 2015, as well as the 2020 Ryder Cup. The course sits next to Lake Michigan, lending some similarity to a British or Irish links course, with eight holes hugging the shoreline. And there are enough dangerous bunkers to keep you awake with dread.

1325: The practice range at Whistling Straits is remaining open for players to keep themselves in tune, even if they may not know when they're teeing off. But there's already speculation that any lengthy delay could mean we may struggle to complete the first round before nightfall, and a nifty little website informs us that the sun should set in Wisconsin at around 2000 local time (that'll be 0200 BST tomorrow morning). Get the cocoa in.

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From Anonymous, via text: "Henrik Stensson, 100/1... that's free money."

1312: More on the fog. With overcast conditions expected for the rest of the day, the first starters (US trio Bo Van Pelt, Scott Hebert and Vaughn Taylor) are not likely to tee off any time soon. "Once the fog has lifted and it is clear to play, the first starting time will be 30 minutes following that time," an official has been quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

Bad light stops play
1308: And here's the news you've been waiting for... thick fog has delayed the start. I haven't got a "thick fog" graphic, so I've purloined the "bad light" one I use on cricket.

Get involved on 606
From Pompeytillidie on 606: "I have a bet on Justin Leonard which I thought was a steal at 125/1 but I accidentally wrote Jason Leonard on the slip. Any chance England's most capped prop has a chance this weekend?"

1255: A quick scan of the tee-off times shows that our earliest British interest will come from Scotland's Stephen Gallacher, who's off at 1310 BST, with his compatriot Martin Laird heading out 20 minutes later. If you haven't already, you can read Martin's latest blog about how he's been preparing for the USPGA - while also on the BBC website, golf correspondent Iain Carter has previewed the event, while our man Ben Dirs has had a chat with young British hope Ross Fisher. Do have a read.

1245: Afternoon, everyone - and welcome to the fourth and final major of the golfing year, as a field of 156 bids to join Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen in the 2010 major winners' club. The first players are out at 1300 BST (a potentially chilly 0700 local time), with two threeballs starting at the first and 10th holes respectively.



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see also
Woods off to solid start at USPGA
12 Aug 10 |  Golf
USPGA day one photo gallery
13 Aug 10 |  Golf
Woods is not certain pick - Pavin
12 Aug 10 |  Golf
Woods eager to find form at USPGA
11 Aug 10 |  Golf
McDowell happy to be back in US
11 Aug 10 |  Golf
Mickelson coping with arthritis
10 Aug 10 |  Golf
Final round USPGA tee times
09 Aug 10 |  Golf
Woods draws holder Yang at USPGA
09 Aug 10 |  Golf
Injured Westwood to sit out USPGA
06 Aug 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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