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.
Although guys aren’t exactly testing the major championship scoring record out here it’s an incredibly bunched leaderboard. Only two players of the 100-plus on course are worse than six over — in the current conditions Bellerive doesn’t have any crazy teeth. Hard to make birdies? Maybe. But no problem sticking around par for most of the field.
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.
Not off to a great start? Jordan Spieth. He’s got about 50 feet for par at his very first hole of the day after a wayward tee shot. You can add Dustin Johnson to that list as well; he’s one over. Say it with me: “Lot of golf left.”
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.
Jon Rahm stepped on his ball (in the rough) on the par-5 8th. That’s a penalty folks! He wasn’t thrilled that it wasn’t marked by a course marshal. It was just a bit off the fairway.
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.
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.
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?
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.
JT has 226 left to the green and comes up a little short but he’s in the fairway and it’s not bad. No. 4 is a par 4 playing over 500 yards today. TW hits it a little left and JT loses his in the rough to the right. Rory smokes it right down the middle.