It was just 10 years ago this week, August 1 to be exact, that Topekan Gary Woodland won a three-way playoff to capture the 2008 Southwest Kansas Pro-Am.
The victory was Woodland’s first professional title and earned him a check for $17,500. The win came one year after he left the amateur ranks and a successful career that included being an NCAA All-American at the University of Kansas and a two-time Kansas Amateur champion (2005/2007).
Thursday, Woodland continued his rise on the PGA Tour with a brilliant 6-under-par 64 to grab the opening round lead of the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.
Woodland’s round provided him with a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and two shots clear of Brandon Stone and Zach Johnson.
After an opening-hole bogey, Woodland recorded birdies at the eighth and ninth holes to turn in 1-under 34, then birdied the 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th holes for a sizzling 5-under 30 on the incoming nine.
Woodland, who played in the afternoon portion of Thursday’s first round, will tee off at 8:10 a.m. from the No. 10 tee with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner.
It is the first time that Woodland has led any round of a major championship.
The tournament continues through Sunday.