Woods swinging two-iron at No. 7 and that’s nice and smooth right down the middle. JT joins him in the fairway. Up ahead Rickie Fowler moves to five-under with another birdie! He’s got a two-shot lead.
JT has 226 left to the green and comes up a little short but he’s in the fairway and it’s not bad. No. 4 is a par 4 playing over 500 yards today. TW hits it a little left and JT loses his in the rough to the right. Rory smokes it right down the middle.
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.
Woods fans his approach just a touch finds the green but will have 30 feet left for birdie. Alright the man you’ve been waiting to hear about. Tiger Woods (!!) hits the fairway on the first.
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.
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.
Patrick Reed (+2) stops the bleeding with a birdie at 9. 52-year-old John Daly is off to an impressive start. He’s made one birdie and two bogeys to go +1 on his first nine.
Tiger Woods is only three weeks removed from a thrilling performance at the British Open. He will be joined by two other PGA Tour stars: Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Thomas is the defending champion this week and will look to capture his second major title and second-straight win at Bellerive. McIlroy will look to get back in the major winner’s circle and put a third Wanamaker trophy on his shelf.
So far only two players in the afternoon wave are taking advantage of the good conditions: Jason Dufner and Y.E. Yang. Both are -2 through 3. Both are former PGA Champions.
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.
Rory and JT go with irons off the tee with JT’s skirting past TW’s ball by about 20 yards. Tiger seems to be getting into a nice groove. Finds his third fairway in a row with the 3-wood off the tee on No. 2.
Add Brooks Koepka to the list of players making a statement this morning. He’s three under through his first eight holes four shots back of the lead. Ah finally a birdie for Jordan! Brings him to -1 for the tournament. Pars for Rose and Rahm.