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.
Tiger drains his par save and Rory taps in for par as well. On to No. 5 a par 4 playing 475 today. JT misses his par putt to drop his first shot of the day. He falls to -2 one shot back of the lead.
Okay let’s take stock of the leaderboard shall we? Rickie Fowler just wrapped up a presser in which he was understandably upbeat after opening with a five-under 65. There’s nobody at four-under but there’s a whole squad at three-under: Cook Poulter Perez Day and Gay all posted rounds of 67 and three more — Cink Grace and Schniederjans — are on their 18th hole. Scores aren’t insanely low as some predicted but there are a bunch of guys in red figures.
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.
Jordan Spieth birdies 5 to get to two under. Another birdie coming in and he will have a chance to make a little run on Saturday. Woodland and Kisner still on top at nine under with four to play. Koepka is seven under with three left.
Ben Kern birdies his last hole to shoot 69 and sit at even for the event. Hoping he makes the cut! Tiger is in the fairway with another iron off the tee. Tony Finau has birdied all five of his holes to start today. Is that good? Meanwhile Tiger makes his par.
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.
Well folks Kevin Kisner is your new outright leader. He’s four under par though six holes today now at -7 for the tournament. Jon Rahm meanwhile finds the right greenside bunker from the left rough and Justin Rose overshoots the green going long right. Who would have though Jordan would be closest to the pin after where his tee shot ended up?
Okay folks Dylan Dethier here to take you through the next couple hours. Reporting live from the media center here at Bellerive and Tiger just hit a high soft chip from the collection area that grabbed and sat about five feet short.
Woods pures his birdie putt into the center of the cup. Now two under for the championship. On the par-3 132-yard 3rd hole Tiger tosses in a dart to five feet. Will have that for two straight birds. Meanwhile not much else happening with the leaderboard. Fowler remains at five under just as he started.
Welp no birdie conversions for our trio so we move on to No. 14. Hey watch out — British Open champ Francesco Molinari is having a nice start today. He’s two under through four holes to get to -4 — only three shots back of the lead.
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!