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.
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.
Brooks Koepka AND Francesco Molinari just dunked their tee shots at the par-3 6th. Not good. Tommy Fleetwood can’t convert a mid-range birdie at 6. He’s at +1 so far. John Rahm a popular pick to win this week is -1 after going birdie-par-par to open his round.
Spieth sticks his approach into the 9th green well inside of his playing partners. He’ll have a good look at another birdie from about 10 feet. It seems like the afternoon wave is starting to kick it into gear after a rough start. Birdies are dropping.
Who has that afternoon charge in them? Jason Day begins his afternoon with a par on the first. He’s in a good spot at three under. Tricky thing about the afternoon times is that these soft greens tend to get a bit stomped down by players throughout the day. Greens might not roll as true as players hope.
Tiger tossed in a great approach into the 2nd green and cashed the 14-foot birdie putt. 1 under for the week. This is Ben Kern. Need him on the weekend. Also Tony Finau promptly triple bogeyed the 6th hole.
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.
Rose makes a beautiful stroke with his birdie putt at 8 and sinks it to move to -2. Rahm drops his short one to get to -1. Spieth settles for another par.
Andrew Landry is going low early too. He’s six under through 11 and three under for the tournament. Currently T17. Lots of guys at six under right now. Stone Scott Schwartzel ZJ. And lots more guys to tee off in the next two hours. Could be a handful of 64s today.
If Tiger is going to get back to even-par for the day this is where he’ll want to strike. Nice tee shot down the left side at the 610-yard par-5 8th. He hit that one 312…but he’s 25 yards behind Rory.
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.
Kyle Stanley is the only player on the course at -3 after a birdie at 1. DJ fails to make it four in a row at 9. He taps in for par to remain three shots behind Fowler at -2.