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PGA Championship 2015 scores: Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth make late runs up leaderboard

Whistling Straits presented two totally different challenges from the morning to the afternoon on Thursday, but all the big names, save for Tiger Woods, are in fine position after 18 holes.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first round of the final major championship of the season is in the books and the names we expected near the top of the leaderboard are there. Perhaps the least surprising development of the day was Dustin Johnson setting the early pace and going to bed with the 18-hole. It's a spot he's enjoyed all summer at the major championships, and he was always going to be in it at this PGA on a venue where he's succeeded.

Johnson immediately challenged every hole at Whistling Straits off the tee, telling his coach Butch Harmon he planned to "send it all day." He used his length to cut corners and push the limit that other players can't touch. He opened with two straight birdies and then poured in an eagle at the 16th to go out in 32 on his first nine. When DJ has it working, Rory McIlroy is really the only player out there with the talent to keep up with him. The issue for Johnson, of course, is putting it together for 72 holes and keeping it together on Sunday. The tee-to-green game will be there all weekend -- it has been all summer. But if his putter is steady, and he can roll in a couple bombs like that eagle, he'll get his first major championship.

Harmon told Golf Channel that DJ felt like this course "owed him one" and maybe that's how this will work out over the next three days. We've learned not to get too hyped about the first 18 holes with DJ, but here he is again.

It became pretty clear that Johnson's 6-under 66 would hold up in the afternoon. The wind picked up off Lake Michigan and the marquee tee time of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson all played through the toughest conditions of the day. The McIlroy-Spieth duel was the main event of the day, the first two rounds and maybe the next 20 years. But it was slow-going early on as both struggled to get into the red.

McIlroy admitted he was very nervous on the first tee, making his return after a 53-day layoff due to that nasty ankle injury. He started with a sloppy bogey but after that, he'd settle in nicely for an even-par 36 on the front nine. The stretch included a remarkable par save from a water hazard, but not before Rory slipped and fell on a hill climbing out of the drink. The par was one of the highlights of the day and it was clear by the turn that his ankle had gotten the test it needed and was good to go for the championship.

Rory found his groove on the inward nine and got all the way to 2-under which, given the circumstances, was pretty remarkable. The swing looked as pretty as ever and despite a bogey at the last, he's right there and inside the top 25 after his comeback round.

The expectations were a little higher for Spieth. He wasn't coming off a long injury layoff and there was the added pressure of facing the world No. 1 in the same group. Until the back nine, it was a grind for Spieth. He started with 10 straight pars. Some of them were saves and a few others he said he was surprised "didn't catch a lip and fall in." So there was definitely some frustration for Spieth, who caught the tougher end of the draw. After a disappointing bogey at the par-5 11th, Spieth woke up and responded with his first birdie of the day. He didn't need his putter to do it.

He added another red number at the 16th, which he characterized as "stealing a couple birdies" down the stretch. A couple huge saves at the 15th and 17th ensured he would post an under-par round in tough conditions and maybe with his C+ game. Both McIlroy and Spieth getting in the house in the red just reaffirmed their talent -- some improved conditions early Friday morning might have them pushing DJ before lunch.

One player who was out on Thursday in the favorable conditions but could not take advantage was Tiger Woods. The four-time PGA Championship winner was not as awful as the preceding two majors, but his putter went ice cold. He missed birdie after birdie chance while younger talents like DJ, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama started to outpace and run away from him. Tiger's 3-over 75 puts him on the wrong side of the cut line and if he gets a windy course on Friday afternoon, it's likely we watch his last round of the season on the PGA Tour.

After DJ is David Lingmerth, who may have had the round of the day posting his 5-under during the afternoon. Lingmerth said the wind and course were brutally tough until the last 30 minutes or so of his round, but he's sitting pretty after 18 holes. Here's where the full field is at heading to Friday at Whistling Straits:

Place Player Score Round 1
1 Dustin Johnson -6 66
2 David Lingmerth -5 67
T3 Russell Henley -4 68
T3 Matt Kuchar -4 68
T3 Harris English -4 68
T3 J.B. Holmes -4 68
T3 Jason Day -4 68
T3 Danny Lee -4 68
T3 Matt Jones -4 68
T3 Scott Piercy -4 68
T11 Brendan Steele -3 69
T11 Thomas Bjorn -3 69
T11 James Morrison -3 69
T11 Justin Rose -3 69
T15 Hideki Matsuyama -2 70
T15 Charles Howell III -2 70
T15 Robert Streb -2 70
T15 Paul Casey -2 70
T15 Martin Kaymer -2 70
T15 Anirban Lahiri -2 70
T15 Emiliano Grillo -2 70
T15 Y.E. Yang -2 70
T15 Marcel Siem -2 70
T24 Rory Sabbatini -1 71
T24 Brian Gaffney -1 71
T24 Brandt Snedeker -1 71
T24 Ernie Els -1 71
T24 Tony Finau -1 71
T24 Branden Grace -1 71
T24 Francesco Molinari -1 71
T24 George McNeill -1 71
T24 Steve Stricker -1 71
T24 Webb Simpson -1 71
T24 Sangmoon Bae -1 71
T24 Rory McIlroy -1 71
T24 Jordan Spieth -1 71
T24 Jason Dufner -1 71
T24 John Senden -1 71
T39 Sergio Garcia E 72
T39 Louis Oosthuizen E 72
T39 Bubba Watson E 72
T39 Hunter Mahan E 72
T39 Lee Westwood E 72
T39 Mikko Ilonen E 72
T39 Morgan Hoffmann E 72
T39 Marc Warren E 72
T39 Brendon de Jonge E 72
T39 Soren Kjeldsen E 72
T39 Justin Thomas E 72
T39 Bernd Wiesberger E 72
T39 Kiradech Aphibarnrat E 72
T39 Luke Donald E 72
T39 Phil Mickelson E 72
T39 Billy Horschel E 72
T55 Chesson Hadley 1 73
T55 David Howell 1 73
T55 John Daly 1 73
T55 Charl Schwartzel 1 73
T55 Bill Haas 1 73
T55 Ryan Moore 1 73
T55 Vijay Singh 1 73
T55 Jim Furyk 1 73
T55 Rickie Fowler 1 73
T55 Tyrrell Hatton 1 73
T55 Kevin Chappell 1 73
T55 Rafa Cabrera-Bello 1 73
T55 Graeme McDowell 1 73
T55 Brooks Koepka 1 73
T55 Kevin Streelman 1 73
T55 Nick Taylor 1 73
T71 Pat Perez 2 74
T71 Thongchai Jaidee 2 74
T71 Geoff Ogilvy 2 74
T71 Matt Every 2 74
T71 Adam Rainaud 2 74
T71 George Coetzee 2 74
T71 Shaun Micheel 2 74
T71 Steven Bowditch 2 74
T71 Daniel Berger 2 74
T71 Cameron Smith 2 74
T71 Shawn Stefani 2 74
T71 Troy Merritt 2 74
T71 Danny Willett 2 74
T71 Kevin Na 2 74
T71 Jason Bohn 2 74
T86 Boo Weekley 3 75
T86 Byeong Hun An 3 75
T86 Ryan Palmer 3 75
T86 James Hahn 3 75
T86 Tiger Woods 3 75
T86 J.J. Henry 3 75
T86 Bob Sowards 3 75
T86 Brett Jones 3 75
T86 Sean O'Hair 3 75
T86 Jimmy Walker 3 75
T86 Ian Poulter 3 75
T86 Camilo Villegas 3 75
T86 Patrick Reed 3 75
T86 Zach Johnson 3 75
T86 Tim Clark 3 75
T86 Kevin Kisner 3 75
T102 Ryan Helminen 4 76
T102 David Hearn 4 76
T102 Matt Dobyns 4 76
T102 Victor Dubuisson 4 76
T102 Stephen Gallacher 4 76
T102 Ross Fisher 4 76
T102 Keegan Bradley 4 76
T102 Carl Pettersson 4 76
T102 Brent Snyder 4 76
T102 Brendon Todd 4 76
T102 Martin Laird 4 76
T102 Alex Cejka 4 76
T102 Charles Frost 4 76
T102 Chris Wood 4 76
T102 Ben Martin 4 76
T102 Rich Beem 4 76
T102 Adam Scott 4 76
T102 Henrik Stenson 4 76
T102 Padraig Harrington 4 76
T102 Miguel Angel Jimenez 4 76
T102 Ben Polland 4 76
T123 Grant Sturgeon 5 77
T123 Johan Kok 5 77
T123 David Toms 5 77
T123 Steven Young 5 77
T123 Tommy Fleetwood 5 77
T123 Hiroshi Iwata 5 77
T123 Alexander Levy 5 77
T123 Russell Knox 5 77
T123 Omar Uresti 5 77
T132 Colin Montgomerie 6 78
T132 Brian Harman 6 78
T132 Darren Clarke 6 78
T132 Shane Lowry 6 78
T132 Nick Watney 6 78
T132 Cameron Tringale 6 78
T132 Eddie Pepperell 6 78
T132 Andy Sullivan 6 78
T140 Charley Hoffman 7 79
T140 Jamie Donaldson 7 79
T140 Jeff Olson 7 79
T140 Fabian Gomez 7 79
T140 Koumei Oda 7 79
T140 Ryan Kennedy 7 79
T140 Davis Love III 7 79
T140 Pablo Larrazabal 7 79
T140 Sean Dougherty 7 79
T140 Marc Leishman 7 79
150 Joost Luiten 8 80
151 Richard Ramsay 9 81
152 Austin Peters 10 82
153 Brian Cairns 11 83
154 Mark Brooks 12 84
155 Alan Morin 15 87
156 Daniel Venezio 17 89