Only six men have successfully defended the PGA Championship. Keegan Bradley is looking to become the seventh at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.
Bradley is off to a good start, opening with 4-under 68 to trail Carl Pettersson by two shots after Day 1.
The reigning PGA champion dropped three shots on the day, but made an eagle and five more birdies to get into early contention for a second major title.
Bradley took advantage of benign conditions on Thursday morning, but said the Pete Dye course could still get a player who is not on their game.
"It's very playable if you hit the ball well," he said. "If you hit the ball in the fairway, you can make a lot of birdies. If you don't, you're going to struggle, and you've got to play these par 3s as best you can, and today I did that."
A year ago, Bradley had come to Atlanta Athletic Club as a rookie boasting a surprising win. He walked out with the Wanamaker.
Coming off of a surprising win last week at Firestone that practically assured him a spot on the Ryder Cup team, Bradley may be freed up to put another exclamation point on his season.
"I went from having a decent year to struggling a little bit and then I win and I'm back up here, up top," he said. "It could change in one week; it did for me on the Hooters Tour and that's what brought many here."