Tiger’s next and seems to like it but doesn’t get the kick he wanted — looks like that one found the bunker greenside. Rory finds the left greenside bunker pin-high. The lie will dictate this next shot.
It will favor bombers and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset take the guy with the hottest putter which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?
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.
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.
Bubba Watson has reached -2 early as well: Look out Dustin Johnson is making a run. He birdies 8 to move to -2. That’s three birdies in a row for the top-ranked player.
I’m surprised anyone was watching what with the live stream coverage of Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour. I’m actually surprised scoring wasn’t *lower*. Conditions were perfect. Looks like Bellerive will offer a bit more of a test than we thought which is a welcome development.
“Distance is not so important here as you might think” Gary Player said after winning the 1965 U.S. Open at a 7200-yard Bellerive (the longest-ever U.S. Open at the time). Will that hold true this week?
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.
Tiger tees off first and overcooks it over the green on the left. Rory is safely on the green but it’s a long putt for birdie. JT finds the edge of the green right up against the first cut. Here we are at No. 6 a par 3 where there’s a holdup on the tee as they wait for the green to clear.
Here’s a look at DJ’s chip-in on 6: Here comes Dustin Johnson… DJ chips in for birdie on the par-3 6th to get back to even par. Justin Rose reaches red numbers with a beautiful birdie putt at 3. Spieth taps in for par. Meanwhile 1991 champion John Daly is back to even par after a birdie at the 14th.
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.
Charl Schwartzel misses his chance at 62…but he makes a 4-footer for 63 which is a record folks. 63s don’t come around often…but they are today. Rickie Fowler tees off five shots back. Scoring conditions are RIPE today. Course average is under par.