By Mark Lamport-Stokes
JOHNS CREEK, Georgia (Reuters) - American Steve Stricker, who has yet to win one of golf's grand slam events, equalled the lowest round in a major as he charged into an early two-shot lead at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
The world number five fired a flawless seven-under-par 63 on a sweltering day at Atlanta Athletic Club to take control in the opening round of the year's final major.
Long regarded as one of the best putters in the game, Stricker birdied five of his first nine holes and picked up two more shots after the turn.
He came close to an eighth birdie of the day at the par-four ninth, his final hole, and a first-ever 62 in a major after hitting a superb approach to 12 feet but pushed his approach putt past the right edge of the cup and had to settle for a par.
(Editing by Simon Evans)