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KEEP THAT CARD

Tommy Fleetwood: It took him a little while to warm up starting on the back nine — he was 1 over through five holes — before the English golfer who learned the game by sneaking onto the Royal Birkdale course at night to practice with his father carded back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16. He got as low as 4 under before finishing with a 3-under 67, four shots behind leader Brooks Koepka and three behind Danny Lee.

TOSS THAT CARD

Brian Gay: His 81 wasn’t the worst score of the day — Andrew Filbert claims that distinction with a birdie-free, 14-over 84 — but Gay won’t have a second round. He withdrew from the tournament because of a knee injury.

ON THE COURSE WITH …

Tiger Woods: The Masters champion hit his first competitive shot since that momentous April victory, and he hit it far right into some wet, shaggy grass. The tee shot was a sampling of Woods’ play during a 2-over 72. “It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it, for sure,” he said. “Got it back under par for the day, and let a couple slip away with a couple bad putts and a couple mistakes at the end.”

PGA MOMENT

John Daly: The 53-year-old 1991 PGA champion was allowed to use a cart because of an arthritic right knee, but he saw no advantage in it. “It’s very awkward,” he said. “It’s to a point where it’s almost embarrassing. But I love the PGA, and I’m a past champion. There’s no way I could walk it.” Daly shot a 5-over 75, sporting some Yankees-themed golf pants for the New York crowd.

CHIP SHOTS

• Sixteen players broke par, the fewest after the opening round of the PGA Championship since 2008 at Oakland Hills.

• Nine players have opened a major with a 63, and only two of them went on to win — Jack Nicklaus at Baltusrol in the 1980 U.S. Open and Raymond Floyd at Southern Hills in the 1982 PGA Championship.

KEY HOLE

Par-4, 502-yard No. 10: Only seven players birdied the hole Thursday. Of course, Koepka — playing it as his first hole of the day by starting on the back nine — was one of them.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I never had that kind of injury before, so I was freaking out and was telling my wife, ‘OK, are we going to open up a Korean barbecue restaurant now?’ And she’s like, ‘Hell no!’ ”

— Danny Lee, who came back from last year’s neck injury to shoot 64 in the first round.

TWEET OF THE DAY

“Good job I wasn’t allowed to play in a buggy today else I’d have driven in at some point.”

— English golfer Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie), commenting on his difficulties at Bethpage Black during a first-round 76.

DAY 2

Koepka called the course “brutal,” but he was one of the few to tame it and impress Woods, his playing partner, in the process. He continues his quest for back-to-back PGA Championship titles with a 12:49 p.m. tee time, joined by Woods and Francesco Molinari. Coverage is from noon-6:30 p.m. on TNT.

STAFF REPORTS