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PGA Championship no monster in the early going

August 13, 2009 |  9:58 am

Tiger Hazeltine National, site of the PGA Championship and a course that can play more than 7,600 yards, isn't turning out to be as difficult a challenge as some might have thought.

Michael Bradley and Alviro Quiros are the early first-round leader, both still on the course,  at four under par after , and as of about noon Central time, there were 23 players under par.

Lurking one stroke behind? Tiger Woods, who has steadily moved through the field, just getting his third birdie on his 11th hole (he started on No. 10).

Woods, of course, has not won a major championship this year and were he not to win this weekend, it would be his first season without a major victory since 2004.

With this start, though, he could change that. He's golf's best front-runner ever, particularly in majors.

-- Mike James

Photo: Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker and onto the 15th green during the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday. Credit: Tannen Maury / EPA