2010 PGA Championship: Thursday Play Called With 81 Players On Course

Play has been halted in the first round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. 81 players still have some portion of their first round that needs to be completed tomorrow before the second round can begin, with a few groups just seven holes into their round.

There are five players in a tie for the lead at -4. Three of them are on the course: Ernie Els, Nick Watney, and Matt Kuchar. Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari are in the clubhouse with 68 and with the advantage of having their rounds done.

Of the leaders on the course, Els appears to have the most momentum. Though discouraged by a lost opportunity at the US Open, Els appears to enjoy Whistling Straits. He is rolling the ball well and hitting the most precision iron shots of the players atop the leaderboard.

Phil Mickelson completed play for the day on a high note. After a three-putt bogey on the ninth hole, Mickelson made a stunning birdie from he fescue on 10. Then in nearly complete darkness, he hit his approach at the 11th hole to two feet. Mickelson sank the birdie putt to get to -1 just after the alarm sounded to end play for the day.

The other impressive comeback story is Rory McIlroy, who Mickelson played with last weekend in Ohio. McIlroy got out to a +3 start, but crawled all the way back with four birdies in six holes to get to -1 overall. Five holes remain in his round.

Both are currently tied with Tiger Woods, whose 71 could have been much lower but left him pleased with his progress.

FIrst round play resumes in the morning, but there is an expectation that the fog which clouded play for three hours and 10 minutes today may again halt play tomorrow morning. If so, the PGA Championship could be looking at a Monday finish.

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