Former US Open winner Rory McIlroy took advantage of ideal morning conditions to charge into an early tie for the lead in Thursday's opening round of the PGA Championship.
In dazzling sunshine with light breezes coming in off the ocean at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the Northern Irishman birdied four of his first 11 holes to get to four under in the season’s final major.
McIlroy, who won last year's US Open by a staggering eight shots, sank a 12-footer to birdie his opening hole, the 10th, and also picked up shots at the 14th, 16th and second to join Swede Carl Pettersson atop the leaderboard. Pettersson, who won his fifth PGA Tour title at the Heritage Classic in April, reached the turn in a flawless four-under 32 on the ultra-long, 7,676-yard Ocean Course after starting at the first.
Dane Thomas Bjorn, Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and long-hitting American Gary Woodland were among a group of six players knotted at three under while four-times champion Tiger Woods lurked a further stroke back.
Bjorn had completed 12 holes, Ishikawa and Woodland were each through 11 and Woods had eight remaining.