Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox has lost his way after a strong start to the PGA Championship in North Carolina.

Fox moved into the top 10 early in his opening round after two birdies over his first nine holes but dropped six shots to finish with a four over par 75.

Fox's final nine started ominously with two straight bogies, before a bogey on the par-three fourth and a triple on the par-four fifth send him tumbling down the leaderboard. One final bogey on the seventh saw him sign for a 41, and finish his first round in a share of 80th.

He is a shot ahead of fellow Kiwi Danny Lee who shot a similarly wild five over par 76.

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Lee started his round with four pars, but quickly fell off the pace with three bogies before the turn. It was coming home where his round started to fluctuate, with three birdies, three bogies and a double bogey creating a colourful scorecard.

Lee only hit seven of the 18 greens in regulation, and only five of 14 fairways, leaving him requiring an under-par round tomorrow to make the cut, as will Fox.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and American Kevin Kisner are the leaders after the first round after both players carded four-under rounds of 67.