CHASKA, Minn. - Three straight birdies put John Mallinger atop the leaderboard at the PGA Championship.
Mallinger made the turn at 3-under Thursday, sharing the lead with Robert Allenby at the year's last major.
Paul Goydos, Rory McIlroy and four others were at 2-under before the last of the morning groups had even teed off.
Tiger Woods and defending PGA champion Padraig Harrington, paired again after last weekend's entertaining duel at Firestone, were both at 1-under.
Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont., was 1-over through five,
Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink, winners of the year's first three majors, tee off together Thursday afternoon, as does Phil Mickelson and Stephen Ames of Calgary.
Paul Casey, the world's No. 3 player, withdrew because of a rib injury and was replaced by Tim Petrovic.
Woods has won at least one of the majors for four years in a row, but he's running out of time to extend that streak. Then again, he can play Hazeltine National, closing with four straight birdies seven years ago to finish one shot behind winner Rich Beem.
Of course, Hazeltine measured what now seems like a quaint 7,360 yards the last time it hosted the PGA, just seven years ago. Now it's a whopping 7,674 yards, the longest course in major championship history.
Most of Hazeltine National's new length comes on the par 5s, three of which are 600 yards or longer. The thinking is that No. 7, at "only" 572 yards, will be the lone par-5 that players can still reach in two.
But players will find a way to get their birdies, they always do. Mallinger made three straight on Nos. 6, 7 and 8 to move to the top of the leaderboard, and Allenby also birdied the seventh.
Scoring conditions were perfect when the first groups teed off, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures. But the heat and humidity were rising by mid-morning, and a stiff wind had kicked up.
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