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Molinari, Watson take early lead at PGA

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Italian tied for the lead at PGA
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney also 4 under but didn't finish opening round
  • NEW: World number two Phil Mickelson ends the day at 1 under
  • World number one Tiger Woods also well-placed with one-under 71
  • Woods needs a top-15 finish or higher to boost bid for automatic Ryder Cup slot on U.S. team

(CNN) -- When play resumes Friday, Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari's names will be atop the leaderboard after having each opened the first round with a four-under 68 at the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Soggy conditions suited the big-hitting Watson of the United States, while Italy's Molinari relied on accuracy to share the early lead, according to PGA.com.

Late starters Ernie Els of South Africa and Americans Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney were also 4 under but were unable to finish the opening round because of a more than three-hour fog delay caused by early morning fog.

Tiger Woods' name had topped the leaderboard briefly Thursday after carding a one-under 71 with two consecutive birdies -- the first time in more than a year, according to PGA.com.

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Woods showed typical fighting qualities after a horrid drive on the fifth saw him find the lake but he salvaged a par.

It was cause for celebration, consider he had come into the final major of the season after his worst performance as a professional at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

Woods needs a top-15 finish or higher to boost his bid for an automatic Ryder Cup slot on the United States team.

World number two Phil Mickelson of the United States also ended the day at 1 under with two consecutive birdies until hit by the fog delay on the 11th, according to PGA.com.