Kevin Kisner has birdied three of his first four holes to get to -6 for the tournament — one shot back of Woodland’s lead. A bogey for DJ on No. 15 drops him to -2 for the tournament. No. 13 is a 172-yard par 3 that requires a full carry over a ravine. All three players are safely on the green but Rahm has the best look at birdie.
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.
Spieth makes his fourth par in a row at 5 after his opening double-bogey. He’s still stuck at +2. Yang drops his first shot of the day at the 15th. He’s now at -2. Patrick Reed who is also playing in the major champ group with Koepka and Molinari hit the green with his tee shot. But a three-putt earns him a bogey and moves him down to +2.
Tiger hits a lovely shot from the bunker to give himself about six feet for par. JT is not happy with his chip but he only has maybe 8-10 feet to convert for his par. 178 left for Rory and he’s safely on the green pin high but not super close. Before him Tiger hit low shot from the left rough that ended up in the front right greenside bunker.
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.
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.
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.
Alright next up on 62 watch is Charl Schwartzel! 7 under through 16 and playing a par 5. Kisner bogeys the 9th and Gary Woodland makes par. Woodland -10 Kisner -9 Koepka -8 DJ -7. Might be the last two tee times tomorrow.
Rory Rahm Gary Woodland. Not Zach Johnson. Nor Zach Johnson. Everyone! They’re gonna tear this place to shreds. If it does rain on the weekend I could see 20 under winning. Rory was my pick to win before the rain and the soft conditions only make me like his chances more. Bring on the red numbers!
Rahm makes par! That was gutty stuff to stay at five under. Pumps his fist as it dropped. Top of the leaderboard taking shape. Koepka in the house at eight under. DJ one back at seven under. Saturday gonna be fun.
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.
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.