LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, - England's Lee Westwood and Americans Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer have taken the lead after the opening round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
The trio each carded six-under rounds of 65 to set the pace, with Westwood finishing with a flurry, making five birdies in his last six holes.
The Englishman, formerly world No.1 but now ranked 34th, has spent the past six years full of near misses and is without a win in 66 major starts in his career.
He was third in the 2009 PGA Championship, 2009 and 2013 British Opens, 2008 and 2011 US Opens and 2012 Masters in addition to runner-up efforts at the 2010 Masters and British Open.
"I played well, hit a lot fairways, putted nicely, obviously which you need to do if you are going to shoot a low score," Westwood said.
World No.1 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, No.4 Henrik Stenson of Sweden, American veteran Jim Furyk, England's Chris Wood and Edourdo Molinari of Italy shared fourth just one shot off the lead.
McIlroy, winner at the British Open and WGC Bridgestone Invitational in his past two starts was just one back despite a double bogey and bogey in successive holes at the turn thanks to eight birdies.
Australia's tilt was led by Matt Jones with the New South Welshman signing for a 68 to be tied 11th just three shots back.
Jason Day and Geoff Ogilvy sit poised to make a run at the leaders after solid two-under 69s.
Day, coming into the event off the back of a withdrawal in Ohio, hit the ball solidly and made three birdies.