I’m surprised by the variety of big and short hitters at the top. DJ Rickie Woodland Day … and ZJ Gay and Kisner? Looks like Bellerive is more than a bomb-and-gouge setup which is what you want at a major.
Jon Rahm’s ball hit a spectator’s head and actually got a favorable bounce into the first cut. The man is being tended to by medics but wished Rahm well on his round. An already very sweaty Jon Rahm loses his drive to the right-side rough and Rose finds the fairway. We’re off!
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.
From the hot start department let’s check out Matt Dobyns! The head pro at Fresh Meadows in New York is currently low club pro after a three-birdie start.
Middle of the green for Tiger after a too-safe approach with a wedge. Rory does a little better but JT’s was by far the best; he’s inside 10 feet for birdie. More like 25-30 for Woods.
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.
It’s gotta be tough just starting your round now; it means looking UP on the leaderboard. The top 12 players have already finished their second rounds. For those of you on “low club pro” watch Texan Ben Kern is currently low man. He’s +1 and will need a bit of good fortune to make the cut.
A really good look from Tiger comes up just a couple rotations short of falling at No. 7. Rory scares the hole as well and JT slow-mo horseshoes his putt. More importantly Rickie Fowler just finished up at 18. He’s in the house with a five-under 65 and is the clubhouse leader by three.
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.
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!
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.
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.