Chaska: Robert Allenby led the way for the Australian contingent at the US PGA Championship on Thursday, thoroughly enjoying his first round 69 and refusing to let a double bogey dampen his mood at Hazeltine.
Allenby, who tied for second at last week`s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, capitalised on some efficient putting with a new cross-handed grip to post five birdies on the longest layout to host a major.
"Pretty much all day I hit the ball well. I putted well," he told reporters.
"I felt comfortable all day. I even felt comfortable as I was making my double bogey."
Allenby was four under until his stumble at the par-five 15th, but he bounced back with a birdie at 16.
"You`re going to make some mistakes, I guess," he said. "As long as I can keep them to a minimum. I mean, the whole game, it`s all there."
Tied with Allenby, two shots behind first-round leader Tiger Woods, was compatriot Mathew Goggin.
Goggin, who had a bogey at the par-four 12th but hit back with birdies at 16 and 17, also spoke of finding a comfort level at Hazeltine.
"I just felt comfortable, holed out well from inside 10 feet and that`s where most of my birdie opportunities were from," said Goggin.
"I didn`t really make anything long but made a couple of nice par putts inside 10 feet and four good birdie putts."
Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy shot one-under 71, overcoming two bogeys in his first five holes.
"If you told me after five holes I was going to be under par after the end of it, I would have been happy," he said.
"If you miss the fairways out here it`s really hard because the rough is really thick. I missed a couple fairways, made a couple of bogeys."
It was not all sweetness and light for the Australians, as Adam Scott struggled to a 10-over 82 that left him tied for 151st.