Rory hits a decent approach to the left fringe about pin high. JT hits his shot to about 20 feet from the first cut and Tiger sticks another good one to about 10 feet for birdie. Tiger goes with driver — and finds the fairway! Woo! Rory follows suit and JT finds the first cut on the right.
Rahm just misses his birdie try on 1. He’s run a lot of putts close today. Par for him Rose pars too. Spieth lips his birdie try. He stays at one under. Jordan Spieth sticks it on the 1st hole his 10th of the day and he’ll have a look at birdie to get to two under.
Tiger cleans up his par there; that’s a nifty save. Man these greens look bumpy though. I don’t envy the afternoon groups. Three 3s for the featured group at 6.
Here comes Jordan off of No. 10. It’s a great start in the fairway with the driver. One of this morning’s featured groups of Jordan Spieth (+1) Justin Rose (-3) and Jon Rahm (-2) tees off at 9:12. Spieth was grinding on the range until late last evening. The other featured group of DJ (-3) Bubba (E) and Adam Scott (-1) is already through the second hole.
Is right on the rope line. Not the worst line in the world but you know fairway is nicer. He smoked his 4-iron from here to the front edge of the green. Great shot. While you’re here watch this new show from GOLF.com: The Drop Zone
Tiger tees off first and overcooks it over the green on the left. Rory is safely on the green but it’s a long putt for birdie. JT finds the edge of the green right up against the first cut. Here we are at No. 6 a par 3 where there’s a holdup on the tee as they wait for the green to clear.
Kevin Kisner making a run at a Ryder Cup spot. He could auto qualify with a good week at the PGA or put himself in the hunt for a captain’s pick. After a six-under opening nine he birdies 7 and is 10 under and the solo leader.
Justin Rose hits a good bunker shot to give himself a decent look at birdie from the fringe but he ends up settling for par. Rahm also misses his birdie attempt. Spieth gave it a nice run but alas must also settle for par. On to No. 13.
Your 2018 Open champions Koepka and Molinari both finish with double bogeys after rinsing their tee shots at 6. Koepka falls to +2 Molinari to +3. Y.E. Yang is making things happen early in Round 1: Dustin Johnson makes a second-straight birdie at 7 to get to -1. That’s more like it.
Rose makes a beautiful stroke with his birdie putt at 8 and sinks it to move to -2. Rahm drops his short one to get to -1. Spieth settles for another par.
I don’t know Bellerive from Bel Air. (In fact I’m not sure how to pronounce it.) But I’m told the fairways are wider than traditional bomb-and-gouge tracks like Firestone. That means well-placed shorter drives should be rewarded with better lines to attack the greens. Don’t count the Zachs out just yet!
The biggest surprise is just how few surprises there were! The leaderboard seems to be going according to plan. The top 7 players in the world are all under par in stark contrast to the superstar carnage at the U.S. and British Opens. The best players appear to be playing the best. Bring on the weekend!