Vic duo off to rare good start at US PGA

It might just be one round but for Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley it’s been a long time coming.

The Australian pair opened the US PGA Championship with bogey-free four-under par rounds of 68 to be just two shots from the lead held by Sweden’s Carl Pettersson after the first round in South Carolina on Thursday.

It equals the best-ever start to a major championship for the Victorians who were sitting in a group of eight players tied for sixth that includes compatriot Adam Scott.

It has been a long time since either man went low on the opening day of a major with Baddeley’s previous best a 68 at the 2008 Masters and Ogilvy having to go as far back as the 2004 PGA Championship when he carded the same score.

“To have both guys in contention after the opening round is just fantastic. It really was a great start from the boys,” Dale Lynch, who coaches both players, said.

“There is no question that the reality is both boys have been disappointing at the start of majors in recent times but to have them in the mix from the get go is great.”

Ogilvy has managed just one top 10 finish this season and while it came at the British Open last month, it was via a late flourish and he never really threatened the leaders.

Despite a disappointing year, the 2006 US Open champion says he’s playing better than ever and expects the low scoring will follow.

“I feel like every part of my game is better than when I was playing my best,” Ogilvy said.

“It’s just getting that extra up and down or making that extra putt that is the difference. If I was in contention with the game I’m bringing right now I’d be pretty confident.

“I have played well all year without getting anything out of it so it is nice to be amongst it but it’s just one round out of four.

“You really get amongst it with a late start on Sunday afternoon but I guess it’s hard to get there without a good start and my starts have been poor at the majors, so it’s nice to get off to a good start.

Baddeley has fared slightly better in 2012 with three top 10s, but having made just 10 of 27 cuts in major championship, his opening round at Kiawah Island Golf Club was timely.

“It would be pretty close to my best start in a major, if not my best,” Baddeley said.

“I scored very well, putted nicely, so four-under was a good start.

“It’s definitely nice to be a couple off the lead so you don’t feel like you have to press.

“I can just go out and shoot a good score early tomorrow and be in a good position for the weekend.”

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