Rickie Fowler matched the best major round of his career with a five-under par 65 to seize the lead

St. Louis (AFP) - American Rickie Fowler saw his clubhouse lead trimmed but remained atop the leaderboard late in Thursday’s opening round of the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Fowler matched the best major round of his career with a five-under par 65 to seize the lead, but a handful of afternoon starters are challenging him for the top spot.

South African Brandon Stone, winner of last month’s Scottish Open on the European Tour, fired a four-under 66 to stand second in the clubhouse, ahead of a pack of seven players who are two strokes off Fowler’s pace.

Two Americans are on the course at four-under – Gary Woodland after 15 holes and two-time major winner Zach Johnson after 13 holes.