SAN FRANCISCO — Jason Day took his first step toward a return to the spotlight in the majors Thursday at the PGA Championship.

Brooks Koepka never seems to leave.

Day took advantage of a TPC Harding Park that never felt this accommodating during the practice rounds. With only a mild breeze and a welcome appearance by the sunshine, he finished his bogey-free round of 5-under 65 with an approach to 6 feet for birdie on No. 9, the toughest hole on the course at 518 yards.

That allowed him to break out of a large pack one shot behind, a

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It’s been a weird, tough year – including for organizers of the PGA Championship.

In 2019, the longstanding final major championship of the season was moved to be played in May going forward, becoming the second major on the calendar. Due to COVID-19, however, the PGA Championship has been moved back to its old spot on the calendar, in August, and for 2020 it will be the first major of the year.

Got all that?

Regardless, after the longest in-season break for the PGA Tour since World War II, it’s nice to have major-championship golf back again. And with that,

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Brooks Koepka will be looking to become the first golfer in over 90 years to claim three straight PGA Championship titles when he tees off this week at this year’s edition of the tournament as the +1000 betting favourite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Koepka led from start to finish at last year’s PGA Championship, defending the title he narrowly won in a duel with Tiger Woods in 2018. The 30-year-old American is now poised to join 11-time major tournament winner Walter Hagen as the only other golfer to claim three straight wins at this event with Thursday morning’s opening-round

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SAN FRANCISCO — John Daly and Vijay Singh were the latest players to withdraw from the PGA Championship next week at TPC Harding Park, making 12 players either exempt or offered invitations who have chosen not to play.

Daly, the surprise winner in 1991 at Crooked Stick when he began the week as the ninth, cited health concerns to the PGA of America. Singh, a two-time PGA champion at Sahalee in 1998 and Whistling Straits in 2004, cited an injury.

That makes five major champions who have withdrawn — Daly, Singh, Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang and Francesco Molinari.

The PGA

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Danielle Kang was away from the LPGA Tour for six months during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not to suggest she was without competition.

She lost track of the games she played with her brother, Alex, who has spent two seasons on the Korn Ferry Tour, and boyfriend Maverick McNealy, in his rookie year on the PGA Tour. She played the back tees and forward tees, moved about to different courses in Las Vegas and felt her game improving.

It paid off Sunday when Kang closed with a 2-under 70 and held on for a one-shot victory

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Winning a World Golf Championship event easily would be the biggest victory of Brendon Todd’s career.

He has a recent reminder of how to best protect a lead in the final round — even if that memory is a bit painful.

Todd had a two-stroke lead going into the final round at the Travelers Championship in late June only to shoot a 75 and tie for 11th. He shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of this World Golf Championship event.

“What I

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Danielle Kang went more than six months without competing and looked as though she had never been away, playing bogey-free at Inverness Club for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship.

The LPGA Tour’s much-awaited return from the COVID-19 pandemic brought an immediate sense of its new world. Kang had no idea where she stood after a closing birde.

“There aren’t any leaderboards on the golf course,” Kang said.

Inverness, where Paul Azinger beat Greg Norman in a playoff at the 1993 PGA Championship, is hosting the Solheim Cup next year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Brooks Koepka has been working hard to fix his game even with an injured left knee.

He put everything together Thursday.

The defending champ matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd after the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

A week after missing the cut in Minnesota in the 3M Open, Koepka had nine birdies and a bogey on a windy day at TPC Southwind in the World Golf Championship event. He credits all his work with coaches Claude Harmon and Pete Cowen

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