Updates from Oak Hill's PGA Championship: Eric Cole leads before play suspended (2023)

UPDATES:Friday's action at Oak Hill's PGA Championship can be found at this link

The one thing the stewards of the PGA of America were concerned about heading into the PGA Championship this week was Rochester’s early-morning weather.

And sure enough, the 105th playing of the tournament - which was traditionally played in August until its move to May in 2019 - was delayed by nearly two hours because of frost, and even when it started, it was still amid pretty cold temperatures, at least for golf.

This on the heels of a somewhat frigid Wednesday when players went through their final preparations for the season’s second major championship.

To follow along with all the action from the East Course, come back here throughout the day for continual updates.

Eric Cole leads before play suspended due to darkness

PGA Tour rookie Eric Cole was at 5-under-par through 14 holes when the first round was suspended due to darkness about 8:30 p.m. Cole had six birdies and one bogey. He was in the fairway on the par-4 No. 6 when play was stopped.

Eric Cole has joined the fray at the top

Playing in the last group of the day, Cole has birdied Nos. 2 and 3 and is now at 4-under. Rochester golf fans will certainly know of his parents. His mother is former LPGA Tour player Laura Baugh, and his father is former PGA Tour player Bobby Cole.

At age 14, while playing high school golf, Cole became a friend of Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer. Cole also got to know Palmer, and the three of them played golf at Palmer’s home clubs, Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Florida and Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania. Cole also caddied for Saunders at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour in later years. Cole owns 54 Minor League Golf Tour wins and has played on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2017. Now 34, this is his first PGA Championship.

Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott join Bryson DeChambeau

Johnson has played 14 holes without a bogey and he has mixed in four birdies in his last seven holes to get to 4-under. Scott has been just as steady as he has five birdies against a lone bogey so they’re both tied atop the leaderboard with DeChambeau.

Scott still has three holes to play, Johnson has four, so they both have a chance to take over the top spot alone.

Afternoon contenders creeping up

Most of the afternoon groups have now finished nine holes of play and are hoping to get the first round completed before darkness falls over the East Course. It’s going to be close for those who teed off after 4 p.m.

Adam Scott has moved to 3-under as he birdied the 10th hole. He has four birdies and one bogey thus far which puts him one stroke off Bryson DeChambeau’s clubhouse lead, tied with Scottie Scheffler and Corey Conners.

Justin Rose just holed out from a bunker at No. 7 for the fourth birdie of his round, but he also made a double bogey at No. 5 so he’s at 2-under. Hayden Bradley, Sepp Straka, Thomas Pieters and Eric Cole are also at 2-under at various stages of their round, so currently there are 18 players under par.

New leader: Bryson DeChambeau in with a 66

When DeChambeau won the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, he shot 6-under on one of the hardest courses anyone had ever seen for a major championship. So hard that he was the only player who finished under par.

(Video) Highlights | Round 2 | 2023 PGA Championship

So it wasn’t a great surprise that the long hitter had the game to muscle the East Course. He started on the back nine and turned in 1-under, but then birdied No. 1, 4 and 6 giving him six birdies for the day and signed for a 4-under 66.

And one of the players closest to him is Keegan Bradley, who was one of his playing partners. Bradley had quite a rollercoaster day. He birdied three of his first holes, fell back to even thanks to a double bogey at 15 and a bogey at 17, birdied four of his next seven, but closed with two bogeys on his final three holes for a 68.

Scottie Scheffler leads with an early 67

The world’s No. 2 player did what he has so often done during the 2022-23 PGA Tour season. Scottie Scheffler played a simple, steady as a rock and as a result, he made three birdies and 15 pars to get in with a 3-under 67.

That puts up at the top of the leaderboard which is nothing new for the player who has finished top 12 or better in 12 straight tournaments, including two victories. When Scheffler finished at 3:10 p.m., he was in a four-way tie for the top spot with Corey Conners, Keegan Bradley and Bryson DeChambeau.

‒ Sal Maiorana

Masters champ Jon Rahm is fading fast

The Spaniard came to Oak Hill as the betting favorite, not to mention as the No. 1 player in the world, but Oak Hill is handing him his lunch.

He started the day at No. 10 and made birdie, but he has now bogeyed five of his last six holes and his 4-over as he goes to the par-5 fourth. That puts him in a tie for 49th place at 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Canadian Corey Conners has taken over first place at 4-under as he has made three birdies in last four holes heading to No. 16. He is followed by Norwegian Viktor Hovland who is at 3-under thanks to five birdies since he began the round 2-over through three. He’s at the sixth hole, his 15th of the day.

‒ Sal Maiorana

Jason Dufner’s scoring record may be safe

The revamped East Course is flexing its muscles early and if this continues, the 63 that Dufner shot in the second round in 2013 probably won’t be approached. Remember, scores aren’t low so far Thursday, and the rough will not be trimmed the rest of the week so it should theoretically get tougher. At 1:35 p.m., only seven players are under par with the leaders at -2.

Dufner’s 63 is tied for the lowest score in PGA Championship history as well as the lowest score ever at Oak Hill. It broke the mark of 64 shared by Ben Hogan (1942 Times-Union Open), Curtis Strange (1989 U.S. Open), and Webb Simpson (2013 PGA)

In 2013, Dufner set the all-time 72-hole scoring record at Oak Hill with a 10-under 270. He was the only player to play the par’3s (-2), par-4s (-4) and par-5s (-4) under par. By the way, Dufner withdrew from the tournament last week and is not here.

‒ Sal Maiorana

Rory McIlroy plays a poor first nine

The two-time PGA champion has not started well as he just finished the back nine at 3-over. McIlroy struggled at the Masters and missed the cut and he’s still searching for his form. He began his round with five pars, but he bogeyed Nos. 15, 17 and 18.

(Video) Highlights | Round 1 | 2023 PGA Championship

Sahith Teegala has made a nice charge after bogeyed his first hole, No. 1. Since then he has birdies at 4, 8, 9, and 11 and is now tied for the lead at 3-under with Kazuki Higa and Keegan Bradley. His birdie at the ninth came on a chip in from behind the green.

Jon Rahm, the No. 1 player in the world, is heading to his eighth hole, the 17th, at even par after a birdie at No. 10 and a bogey at No. 16.

World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler also started on the back and he has played steady one birdie and nine pars.

And defending champion Justin Thomas is also cruising along as he just turned to the front nine at 1-under after making a birdie and then eight straight pars.

‒ Sal Maiorana

Higa, Bradley tied atop leaderboard early on at Oak Hill

The conditions right now at Oak Hill are spectacular. It’s comfortably cool because the sun is shining, and there’s very little wind for the players to contend with.

Kazuki Higa has leveled off since his quick start and has made six pars and a bogey, so as he plays his 13th hole, he’s at 3-under-par. He also has company on that number atop the leaderboard as Keegan Bradley has opened his round on the back nine with birdies at Nos. 10, 12 and 13.

Bradley, who is the nephew of former LPGA great Pat Bradley who Rochester golf fans are well aware of, won the PGA the first time he played it back in 2011. He beat Jason Dufner in a playoff, the same Dufner who win the tournament two years later at Oak Hill.

But Bradley has struggled in recent years, though he did break a four-year victory drought when he won the Zozo Championship last October.

‒ Sal Maiorana

Golfer presents gift to fan after hitting him

Forget the leaderboard, Joel Dahmen is already a winner in our book.

Dahman, who was featured on Netflix’s Full Swing, is a good dude, according to Charles Curtis, a writer at USA TODAY’s For The Win.

A fan at Wednesday's practice round at Oak Hill tweeted that Dahmen hit him in the calf.

“He proceeds to ask me how much a beer costs at the tourney and I tell him $17 a pop,” said Caleb McGuire (@YourPalCal_ on Twitter). “He then pulls out a crispy $100 bill and says ‘I got your beers today.'”

(Video) Michael Block 'thrilled' with Rd. 3 play at Oak Hill | Live from the PGA Championship | Golf Channel

Dahmen is still waiting to tee off on Day 1 at the 2023 PGA Championship.

‒ Charles Curtis

Frost delay not much of an issue for fans at Oak Hill

Terry Cotton, 71, of Victor on the chilly forecast not being an issue: “I was just more alert to watch for the updates,” he said, referring to the frost that delayed the start of the first round. “You just have to have the right clothes. I carry extra clothes with me anyway until the end of (the lacrosse season). They’re in my trunk.”

‒ Bob Chavez

Japan Tour member off to hot start

Kazuki Higa, who is playing in his first PGA Championship, is off to a blazing start and through his first six holes he’s 4-under-par.

The 28–year-old parred his opener, No. 10, then reeled off four consecutive birdies before making a par at No. 15. Higa has been on the Japan Tour in 2017 and he has four career victories. He has made three starts on the PGA Tour this year and missed the cut in two including the Masters.

‒ Sal Maiorana

We have our first eagle of the PGA Championship

Scott Stallings began his round on the 10th hole which, most golf analysts believe, will play as one of the easiest of the week on the East Course. Stallings proved that as he striped a drive down the middle at the 430-yard par-4. With 128 yards left to the flag, Stallings likely hit some type of wedge and he two-hopped it into the hole for an eagle-2.

The 38-year-old is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, the last in 2014. He has said that if he wasn't a professional golfer, he'd be a pediatrician. Stallings has struggled this season as he has no top-10 finishes in 16 starts.

‒ Sal Maiorana

8:55 a.m. update: Players are on the course at Oak Hill for the PGA Championship

Frost delayed the start by nearly two hours, but at 8:50 a.m. Shaun Micheel teed off to start the tournament. Micheel won the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, and while this may be the last time you see a note on Micheel, he parred his starting hole, No. 1.

7: 45 a.m. update: Tee times revised after frost delayed start of PGA Championship

The practice facilities and putting green are now open and the first players teed off at 8:50 a.m. on the first tee and 8:55 a.m. on the 10th. Starting times are pushed 1 hour and 50 minutes from the originally posted times.

RIT provides interpreters to make PGA Championship more accessible

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the PGA of America have teamed up to make the PGA Championship more accessible to Deaf spectators.

American Sign Language interpreters from RIT/NTID are stationed at information booths at the Main Spectator Entrance and Kilbourn Gate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday, ready to interpret answers for spectators who are Deaf or hard of hearing. More than two dozen interpreters are sporting special shirts, co-branded with PGA, to make them easier to spot.

(Video) Bryson DeChambeau Shoots a 4-Under 66 | Round 1 | 2023 PGA Championship

And for the first time in PGA of America’s history, ASL interpreters will also be on site at the PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy presentation on Sunday, May 21.

Rochester has a sizable Deaf community as well as an active Deaf golf league organized through the U. S. Deaf Golf Association.

‒ Tracy Schuhmacher

Frost delays start of PGA Championship 2023 at Oak Hill

The PGA announced Thursday morning that the first tee times at Oak Hill have been delayed because of frost on the course. To protect the course, no one was allowed on the grass and gates did not open until the frost cleared. At 6 a.m., the temperature in Pittsford was 29 degrees. Today's high is expected to reach the mid-60's however.

RPO to be featured during Sunday coverage of PGA Championship 2023

This week, CBS Sports, which is airing the final two rounds of the PGA, visited the RPO to film the orchestra for a brief opening segment, on the Sunday broadcast. The segment will compare the dedication and drama of golfers at the PGA Championship to the RPO musicians as they perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

‒ Gary Craig

The last practice round for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill was a chilly one

PGA Championship 2023 at Oak Hills: The guide for fans

What to know about:Parking and getting there|Merchandise available|The weather|How to watch|Where the players stay|Other things to do in Rochester|Where to eat, drink|Thursday's tee times

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(Video) Best Shots | Round 1 | 2023 PGA Championship

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Brooks Koepka with a par on the 18th hole for the fifth major championship of his career. He's one of six men to win three PGA Championships, and he's back on top of the golf world for the first time since 2019. “He's all the way back. Koepka conquers the PGA at Oak Hill.”

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