The sheer number of red numbers on the leaderboard was a pleasant surprise. Rickie ZJ DJ JDay all in the mix on the first page. That’s all we want in a major championship isn’t it? Well that and Tiger contending. But even he isn’t so far off that it’s out of the question.
A near miss for Rory’s birdie and Tiger follows suit coming up just short. JT also comes up short from the fringe and taps in for par. So ho-hum on No. 3 for our trio. No. 3 is playing 153 yards today. TW hits a safe shot to about pin high 20 feet from the cup. JT takes a more aggressive line and ends up just off the green on the fringe. And Rory hits a safe shot like Tiger also 20-25 feet from the hole.
Leaderboard update: Gary Woodland just birdied No. 11 (his second hole) to get to -7 two shots clear of Rickie Fowler Kevin Kisner and Brandon Stone. Kisner birdied his first two holes today while Stone just birdied the par-3 16th. All three players opt to lay up and find the fairway with irons off the tee.
Rory hits a beautiful approach setting up a short birdie try of about six feet. TW hits a pitching wedge that refuses to spin back toward the hole leaving him with about 15 feet for birdie. JT also hits a solid approach to about 15 feet away from the hole.
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!
Back to our featured group. Jordan is in trouble on the par-5 17th after hitting it into the water but he almost holes his fourth shot to set up a potentially epic par from inside of five feet. Kisner and Woodland are three shots clear of the field.
The big hitters are jumping to the top of the leaderboard (except Kisner…). Woodland Koepka and DJ make three of the top four. Woodland also birdies 8 to tie Kisner at 10 under. He’s got one hole let to close out a spectacular 36-hole stretch.
Well in the end these three all ended up about where they started. Thomas will feel disappointed after a closing bogey left him at one-under 69. McIlroy never quite got it going in an even-par 70. And a finishing two-putt par leaves Woods at 70 as well. He should be pleased given that start. It’ll be interesting to hear his post-game remarks; he really salvaged this round.
I’m surprised by the variety of big and short hitters at the top. DJ Rickie Woodland Day … and ZJ Gay and Kisner? Looks like Bellerive is more than a bomb-and-gouge setup which is what you want at a major.
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.
Spieth makes his putt at 7 to capture his first birdie of the day. He moves to +1. Rose gets up-and-down for par to remain at -1. Kooooooooch gets into red numbers with a birdie at 10. -1. Spieth nearly holes out for eagle at 7. His ball spun back into the hole but bounced out and settled to 2 feet. Should be a birdie for Jordan at least.
Here’s a look at Spieth’s near hole-out at 7: Dustin Johnson keeps on rolling… DJ makes a long birdie putt at 11 his fifth of the day. With that he joins Kyle Stanley at -3 just two shots behind Fowler’s lead.