Joined The Augusta Chronicle in 1996 after spending nine years at The Aiken Standard. Served as copy editor, South Carolina bureau chief and Metro Editor before being named Sports Editor in April 2000.
Posted August 9, 2012 12:46 pm

PGA update: Who is Joost Luiten?

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C.  -- Play in the 94th PGA Championship is under way, and three golfers share the early lead at 5-under-par on The Ocean Course.

You've heard of Rory McIlroy. Probably heard of Carl Pettersson if you follow golf at all. But who is Joost Luiten?

For starters, here's how you pronounce his first name: It rhymes with toast.

The golfer from The Netherlands is 26, has one European Tour victory and enjoys long walks on the beach. OK, I made that last part up, but Luiten does seem to be enjoying Pete Dye's creation along the Atlantic.

Starting on the 10th, he birdied that hole and Nos. 11 and 14 and added an eagle at the par-5 16th.

Conditions are favorable for scoring so far. Tiger Woods got off to a shaky start, but he birdied Nos. 18, 1 and 2 and is currently 2-under with four holes left.

Even John Daly, who won the 1991 PGA, is in the mix. The long hitter is 3-under thru 15 holes.

Luiten is a former ski jumper who gave that sport up in favor of golf when he was 10 after taking a nasty spill. According to his bio, his big breakthrough came in 2011 when he won the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.