Dustin Johnson is currently even through his first hole today so he remains at -3 — three shots back of leader Gary Woodland. Good morning! Jess Marksbury here. It’s a lovely sunny day in St. Louis and I’m looking forward to following the early action at Bellerive.
Patrick Reed has made back-to-back bogeys to fall to +3 through 7 holes. No one seems to be going really low this afternoon. Spieth saves par at 6 with a clutch putt. He really needed that to keep from really going off the rails.
DJ does it again. Another great putt at 12 leads to yet another birdie. He’s now in sole possession of second place at -4 just one behind Fowler. Here’s a look at DJ’s long birdie make at 11: Check out what our own Alan Shipnuck had to say about the morning’s featured group of Tiger/JT/Rory:
Middle of the green for Tiger after a too-safe approach with a wedge. Rory does a little better but JT’s was by far the best; he’s inside 10 feet for birdie. More like 25-30 for Woods.
Zach Johnson. Sneaky long. Tiger Woods post-round with reporters ready to talk golf till the cows come home. The town. St. Louis is the greatest baseball town in the country. But the enthusiasm for this event is off the rails.
Jon Rahm stepped on his ball (in the rough) on the par-5 8th. That’s a penalty folks! He wasn’t thrilled that it wasn’t marked by a course marshal. It was just a bit off the fairway.
Some guys are really making moves today. Kisner at the top at nine under still Woodland at eight under and Stone and Koepka at six. Rose has a tester left for par on 18 while Rahm and Spieth have looks for birdie.
Matt Kuchar is quietly making his way up the leaderboard at the moment. He’s three under par through his first five holes today now at -2 for the tournament. Spieth Rose and Rahm all hit nice wedges to set up good birdie opportunities on No. 11.
It will favor bombers and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset take the guy with the hottest putter which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?
No. 11 is a driveable par 4 playing 298 today — but it’s super dangerous with water in front of the green on the right side. It was the site of Tiger’s double bogey yesterday after he hit it in the water. Rose comes up just short on his birdie attempt while Rahm and Spieth have testers left for par. And they make them.
Tiger’s birdie never has a chance and he taps in for par. Rory putts to tap-in range for his par and JT misses his birdie attempt on the low side. Now it’s Tiger’s turn. Rickie Fowler birdied No. 7 to get to -4 with two holes to play. He’s the outright leader now with Stewart Cink hanging in at one shot back.
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!