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USA TODAY Sports Lee Westwood of England watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2014 PGA Championship Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

PGA Championship: Birdie splurge propels Westwood

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky ­­— Lee Westwood stormed into a share of the PGA Championship lead with five birdies in his last six holes on Thursday as four-times winner Tiger Woods ended the opening round a distant nine shots off the pace.

Englishman Westwood, long regarded as one of the best players in the game who has yet to clinch a major title, fired a six-under-par 65 on a calm, muggy day at Valhalla Golf Club to finish joint top with Americans Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer.

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