LOUISVILLE — Jamie Broce’s first round in the PGA Championship could not have started much worse. And it could not have ended any better.
Broce, the University of Toledo men’s golf coach, opened with consecutive double bogeys and was 4-over-par after just two holes.
But he played the next 16 holes in 1-under, capped by an eagle at the par-5 18th hole at Valhalla Golf Club, to post a 3-over 74.
Broce recovered from his start with birdies at Nos. 4 and 9 to make the turn in 2-over. The back nine was an up-and-down affair with four bogeys and a birdie before he nailed an 18-foot putt for eagle on the last hole after reaching the green on the 545-yard hole in two shots.
“It was definitely a good way to finish my round,” Broce said. “Hopefully, my [UT] team sees how I played and realizes that you need to keep fighting even when you have a bad start. You never know when something good is going to happen.”
It was not good early. After hitting the fairway at No. 1, he found a bunker and eventually had a bogey putt lip out. Broce hooked his drive into a hazard at the second hole and missed a 12-footer en route to that double bogey.
“Starting out double-double is definitely not the way you want to begin a round,” said Broce, playing in his first PGA Championship. “I thought I drove the ball well and hit a lot of good shots today. But this golf course is tough if you don’t stay in the fairways and hit good approach shots.
“I’m teeing off on the back nine [Friday] afternoon and I’ll definitely have to shoot under par to make the cut.”