Westwood in lead

Westwood in lead

Lee Westwood stormed into a share of the early lead with five birdies in his last six holes at the PGA Championship on Thursday as four-times winner Tiger Woods struggled in the opening round.

Englishman Westwood, long regarded as one of the best players in the game who has yet to clinch a major title, fired a six-under-par 65 on a muggy day at Valhalla Golf Club to finish joint top with American journeyman Kevin Chappell.

Westwood rebounded from a double-bogey at the par-four first, his 10th hole of the day, with birdies at the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth to end his round with a spectacular flourish.

Chappell, who missed the cut on his PGA Championship debut at Oak Hill last year, recorded three birdies on each nine as he and Westwood set the early pace in the year's fourth and final major.

Dutchman Joost Luiten and Englishman Ian Poulter opened with 68s in relatively calm conditions at Valhalla but Woods, who pronounced himself pain-free on Wednesday after suffering a back scare on Sunday, struggled on the way to a terrible three-over 74.Huge galleries

Watched by huge galleries after teeing off from the 10th in a high-profile grouping with former champions Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington, Woods looked rusty as he mixed four bogeys with a lone birdie and totalled 30 putts.

Fan favourite Mickelson, who clinched the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, fought back from a poor start with three late birdies to card a 69 while Australian world number two Adam Scott opened with a 71.