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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scot and African Pace PGA

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Welcome to Oklahoma. Introductions may be in order.


The first-round lead of the PGA Championship is shared by Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, who thinks Oklahoma was named after a Broadway musical, and Nick Price of Zimbabwe, who thinks an Okie is an old golf club.


Actually, after touring some of the state's finest golfing real estate in 67 strokes, 3 under par, Thursday, Montgomerie and Price clearly know quite a bit about Oklahoma, or at least about how to play golf in it.


Montgomerie, who participated in but lost a playoff for the U.S. Open championship, and Price, the British Open champion, are a shot ahead of the closest of 149 other golfers at Southern Hills Country Club, where the top scores belonged to some of golf's biggest names.


Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and Ian Woosnam finished the first round at 68.


The group at 69 is so crowded, it needs a traffic signal. Included in the mass of golfers are Fuzzy Zoeller, Loren Roberts, Tom Watson, Lanny Wadkins and Raymond Floyd.


Just about everyone had trouble figuring out Southern Hills, where the fairways are narrow and there is not much rough, but still plenty of challenge.


Start with the greens. They're on the smallish side, about the size of throw pillows, and nearly as soft.


The greens were a lot harder when Price finished his round in the early evening, but they were just as difficult to putt on.


"I think you've probably seen some goofy-looking putts," he said.


Hard greens hold spike marks, so by the time five or six dozen players had walked all over them, the greens here had so many marks on them, they looked as if they had chicken pox. "They're spiking up quite badly," Montgomerie said. "Some are quite fast and some are quite slow ... but they're obviously difficult to hole out."


Montgomerie's round featured three birdies, 15 pars and one mild case of sunburn. Actually, it wasn't nearly as hot Thursday as it was at the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Pennsylvania, where Montgomerie's face and neck turned roughly the color of boiled lobster.