FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Brooks Koepka began defending the PGA Championship title with a record-breaking lap that left Tiger Woods and everyone else behind.
Without making a birdie on the par 5, Koepka still broke the course record on Thursday with a rain-softened Bethpage Black with a score of less than 63, making him the first player to score 63 consecutive during major championships.
Koepka also shot 63 times last year at Bellerive in St. Louis to win a two-shot win over Woods. It was the 17th round of the 63 PGA Championship and Koepka became the first player to do it twice.
In addition, he is only the third golfer with 63 innings in the history of the major leagues – joining Greg Norman and Vijay Singh.
Koepka had a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood among the starters in the morning. Only five others managed to break the par.
"It's a crazy day," Koepka said.
Koepka had a 40-foot birdie putt right in front of the green in 10th position to start his round, and he needed only twice to run at normal speed, making 4-foot and 10-foot putts.
And he still did not seem completely satisfied.
"Seven cents are not going to come every day," Koepka said. "I missed both by 5. I missed a 5 x 11. It could have been a hell of a set, but it was great, I would take it every day."
Fleetwood was a finalist last time he played a major role on Long Island, finishing with a 63 at Shinnecock Hills to finish a shot behind Koepka at the American opening last summer.
Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1, was among those who played in the afternoon. But on a clear day, on a challenging golf course, seeing a 63 on the board was a daunting target.
Associated Press contributed to this report.