Toss that card
Angel Cabrera: The two-time major champion and winner of the Greenbrier Classic in July was awful Thursday. He carded four double-bogeys — back-to-back on the front nine and back-to-back on the back nine — to finish with an 82.
Keep that card
Kevin Chappell: Invited to the field less than two weeks ago by the PGA, he made the most of his opportunity with a bogey-free 6-under 65 to share the lead after Round 1. His round included a hole-out bunker shot for birdie from short of the green on the par-5 10th and three par putts from 8 feet.
On the course with ...
Bubba Watson: In the afternoon wave’s marquee group of Watson, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer, Watson was the only major champ of the bunch to save par on the 10th hole. And he needed a brilliant chip from heavy grass behind the green to do it. McIlroy, meanwhile, hit his second shot out of bounds on 10 en route to a double bogey and Kaymer made bogey.
Steve Flesch spent a few hours Thursday morning analyzing the PGA Championship on the Golf Channel, then was a crooked neck or rolled ankle away from making the field. When John Huh took Matt Kuchar’s spot Thursday morning, it left no other alternates on site at Valhalla. None, that is, until Flesch — No. 93 on the list. Informed he was next in line should another player drop out, Flesch rushed to get together some clubs and gear after finishing his television duties. He hit the driving range until shortly before the day’s last group all walked off the tee box, leaving him as an alternate. “This is the very last thing I ever thought I’d be doing,” he told the Golf Channel.
• Tom Watson shot 1-over 71 on Thursday in his 142nd major championship start. He might be forced to pick himself as a playing captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team with Kuchar and Jason Dufner out of the PGA Championship with injuries, Tiger Woods clearly battling and Dustin Johnson indefinitely on the shelf.
• PGA club pro Johan Kok rolled a 97-foot eagle putt from off the green on No. 10, his first hole of the day.
• Dave Tentis, head professional at Troy Burne in Hudson, shot 79 on Thursday.
500-yard, par-4 2nd: On a course some have said is too easy a setup for a major championship, the second hole at Valhalla showed its teeth. It played nearly a half-stroke over par Thursday, with 12 players making double bogey or worse. There were only four birdies.
Quote of the day
“Tired, shoulder tightness, numbness, dead arm, no feeling in my left hand.”
— Jason Dufner, the defending PGA champ, who withdrew Thursday after 10 holes, citing a lingering neck injury.
Tweet of the day
“Well. … That was by far my best round in America.. Ever.”
— Mikko Ilonen (@MikkoIlonen) after the Finnish golfer’s 4-under 67 put him in a tie for ninth.
Rain is in the forecast for Friday. TNT picks up coverage at noon.