Dustin Johnson
Johnson leads at six under. Getty

Dustin Johnson holds a one stroke lead the US PGA Championship after the opening round at Whistling Straits.

Johnson, who stormed to an early lead at last month's Open Championship before losing pace over the weekend, capitalised on his early start to finish his opening round six under.

Sweden's David Lingmerth briefly pulled level with the American but lost ground as winds grew stronger as the day went on.

J.B Holmes, Jason Day, Harris English, Matt Jones, Danny Lee, Russell Henley and Matt Kuchar share third place at four under.

Reigning champion Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, paired in Thursday's opening round with Open champion Zach Johnson, both finished the day five strokes off the lead at one under par.

McIlroy, featuring in his first competition since returning an from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the Open at St Andrews in July, enjoyed a solid if unspectacular round and was unfortunate to bogey on his final hole.

Masters and US Open champion Spieth meanwhile started his tournament with 10 straight pars in tough conditions.

Justin Rose endured a woeful start to his round and was two over par after four holes. The Englishman enjoyed a remarkable recovery however and holed five birdies in his next 11 to post three under 69.

But it was another dreadful day for Tiger Woods who is already at risk of missing the weekend cut after finishing his round nine shots behind leader Johnson. The 14-time major winner carded five bogeys and later admitted it was one of his worst putting rounds in "a very long time."