Sport - Golf - Thomas Detry
Thomas Detry is four shots off the summit of the leaderboard Image Credit: Supplied

Thomas Detry led the way for the Dubai-based players at the 106th edition of the PGA Championship, with the Belgian carding an impressive five under par 66 at Valhalla Golf Club to sit in a share of fifth after the first round.

The 31-year-old, who has lived in Dubai since 2021, got off to a fast start in Kentucky.

He carded four birdies on the back nine, his first nine, to make the turn in 32 in his third outing at the second Major Championship of the season.

The 2018 World Cup of Golf winner, alongside Thomas Pieters, got to five under with another birdie at the second, before making his only bogey of the day at the fifth.

But he got that shot back at the seventh to finish his round with a 66, which is his lowest opening round in a Major Championship, beathing his first round 70 from the 2022 Open Championship.

“Obviously a very good round,” said Detry, who finished the day as the joint highest European alongside Rory McIlory and Robert MacIntyre.

“I had a glimpse on the leaderboard out there and I think this puts me inside the top ten, top five. So very happy.

“I was a bit nervous to start with, so it was nice to get off to a good start with a couple of birdies. I think I was 2-under after four holes. Didn't really put myself out of position all day to be honest. Just missed -- short-sided myself once on the back nine but that's about it.

“Really played some great golf. Made every single putt within ten feet, I want to say. It all looked very solid, so very pleased with the way I played.”

Detry has played predominantly on the PGA Tour since earning his playing privileges for the U.S. based Tour in 2022.

While he is without win on the circuit, or the DP World Tour for that matter, he came close to breaking his duck in March after finishing in a share of runner-up at the Texas Children's Houston Open.

If history is anything to go by, Detry is just one of 31 players who can get his hands on the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening, with 33 of the last 34 PGA champions all within six strokes of the leader after the first day of competition.

Detry currently finds himself four back of Xander Schauffele after the American’s flawless 62, which ties the lowest score in Major Championship history.

Ras Al Khaimah Championship winner Thorbjørn Oleson, who also lives in Dubai, signed for a two under par to sit in a share of 34th, while fellow Dubai residents Adrian Otaegui, Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Meronk carded 70, 72 and 74 respectively.