Chappell ties for PGA lead at 65

Kevin Chappell of Fresno posted a bogey-free 6-under-par 65 and was tied with Lee Westwood of England and Ryan Palmer for the lead after the first round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

The 28-year-old Chappell, who won the 2008 NCAA individual championship while at UCLA, carded three birdies on each nine, including a 75-foot hole-out from a greenside bunker on the 10th hole.

“I guess I was in a good rhythm out there,” said Chappell, whose only pro victory came in the Fresh Express Classic at TPC Greenbrae on the Tour, and has only one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season.

“Drove the ball well. Hit a lot of greens and gave myself some opportunities and I was able to take advantage of it, something that hasn’t happened a lot for me this year.”

Westwood, who has 40 victories in his pro career and has finished in the top three eight times in majors without winning, double bogeyed the first hole but collected nine birdies.

Palmer, who has three PGA Tour victories with the last coming in the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii, made five birdies on the front nine and had the lead at 7-under before taking his only bogey on the eighth hole while finishing on the front nine.

Rory McIlroy, who took the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings by winning the Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in his last two outings, bounced back from a double bogey on the 10th hole with five birdies down the stretch and shot 66 to tie for fourth with Jim Furyk, Edoardo Molinari of Italy, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Chris Wood of England.

Tiger Woods, who withdrew from the Bridgestone in the final round last week because of a back injury, made only one birdie while shooting 74 to tie for 109th, while Phil Mickelson was tied for 20th after a 69.

Defending champion Jason Dufner was 8-over after making a triple-bogey on the 10th hole and withdrew because of two bulging disks in his neck.


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