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Golf Dustin Johnson in control at Whistling Straits after US PGA Championship opening round

Dustin Johnson exorcised his Whistling Straits demons to take the lead after the US PGA Championship first round on Thursday.

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Dustin Johnson exorcised his Whistling Straits demons to take the lead after the US PGA Championship first round on Thursday.

The 2015 tournament is under way at the picturesque Wisconsin course, where Martin Kaymer won his first major in a play-off over Bubba Watson in 2010.

However, that edition of the PGA is more widely known for Dustin Johnson, now a hard-hitting 31-year-old, being given a controversial two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole that saw him miss the play-off.

This year's edition was a tale of two different stories in the first round, as the morning wave enjoyed calm conditions and made plenty of birdies.

But the wind picked up in the afternoon, and scores were significantly worse.

Dustin Johnson left all demons off the course on Thursday as he enjoyed the benign morning conditions to shoot a six-under 66 and take the early lead.

Johnson finished the day with five birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the par-five 16th to lead after 18 holes for the third straight major.

Swede David Lingmerth turned in the lowest score of the afternoon wave with a five-under 67 to be outright second.

Lingmerth birdied five of his first seven holes despite fighting through tough wind conditions.

Also featuring in the afternoon was the hyped grouping of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson and they did not disappoint.

McIlroy and Spieth went toe-to-toe and both shot one-under 71s.

Zach Johnson struggled throughout much of the day, but the reigning Open champion hung in there to shoot a 75.

Jason Day was on almost everyone's shortlist of favourites heading into the week, and he also impressed, leading a host of players at four under.

Day played alongside Dustin Johnson, and the two seemed to feed off of one another throughout the day.

Also in that group was Rickie Fowler who, to put it mildly, had an interesting day.

Fowler had six birdies, but also had a quadruple bogey on the par-three third hole, and played the par-threes in six over - en route to a one-over 73.

Matt Kuchar has uncharacteristically struggled throughout the majority of the season, but that did not stop him from firing a solid four-under 68 in the first round, including four birdies and no bogeys on his back nine.

Alongside Kuchar at four under are Americans Russell Henley, Harris English and J.B. Holmes, as well as Kiwi Danny Lee and Australians Day and Matt Jones.

Tiger Woods struggled to get anything going, and once again has a lot of work to do after shooting a 75.

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