August 09, 2018: On a Sunbaked morning at the Bellerive Country Club, Shubhankar Sharma made a promising start to his PGA Championship week. The 21-year-old shot one under 69 in the first round after starting on the tenth tee. Rickie Fowler secured the early lead, sitting in the clubhouse with a satisfying 65. The afternoon groups will chase that number, with Jason Day, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Austin Cook in the hut with a 67.
Shubhankar played some solid golf to begin his campaign in his fourth major of the season. He shot a 168-yard approach shot to around four feet from the flag. It would be the first birdie of the day, at the twelfth hole.
But he soaked ball in the water on the par-5 17th hole. Despite taking a drop on the right fairway, Shubhankar managed to get on the green in four but needed two putts from about 18 feet to concede a bogey.
The seething young man responded in style. Shubhankar made fifteen footers for birdie at both the 18th and first holes as he went two under. That was good enough to slide him inside the top ten at the stage, but a late bogey, at the ninth meant that he closed out the day in T17.
Shubhankar found the right rough off the tee and then pulled it into the left rough with his second shot, eventually settling for bogey. But Shubhankar nearly made the par putt from around 50 feet, falling short by a mere two feet.
Anirban Lahiri was still 90 minutes away from the start of his round when Shubhankar finished his duties for the day.
Fowler also started his round on the 10th hole, making two birdies and a bogey off his first nine holes. But he played a near-perfect second nine, making four birdies to coast home in style.
Austin Cook was even through twelve holes but made two consecutive birdies there before adding another on the 18th hole to sign on a 67.
Perez also started his round on the back nine, making two birdies on his out and one on his way back in. Australian Jason Day made a couple of late birdies to end the day at three under.