Rose hits a beautiful drive into the center of the fairway but Spieth and Rahm lose their drives way to the left. Tough par 4 now. No. 15 is 499 yards long. Need to hit it in the fairway to really have a chance.
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.
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.
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.
The sheer number of red numbers on the leaderboard was a pleasant surprise. Rickie ZJ DJ JDay all in the mix on the first page. That’s all we want in a major championship isn’t it? Well that and Tiger contending. But even he isn’t so far off that it’s out of the question.
Add Brooks Koepka to the list of players making a statement this morning. He’s three under through his first eight holes four shots back of the lead. Ah finally a birdie for Jordan! Brings him to -1 for the tournament. Pars for Rose and Rahm.
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.
Patrick Reed has made back-to-back bogeys to fall to +3 through 7 holes. No one seems to be going really low this afternoon. Spieth saves par at 6 with a clutch putt. He really needed that to keep from really going off the rails.
The big hitters are jumping to the top of the leaderboard (except Kisner…). Woodland Koepka and DJ make three of the top four. Woodland also birdies 8 to tie Kisner at 10 under. He’s got one hole let to close out a spectacular 36-hole stretch.
DJ misses a birdie chance that would have been fourth straight. Settles for par. Dustin Johnson has made three straight birdies and he’s now five under with four to play. T5
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.
Justin Rose converts his first birdie of the day to get to -4 only two shots back of the lead. Rahm and Spieth miss and settle for pars. Our featured group meanwhile has three nice looks at birdie on No. 14. Gary Woodland just bogeyed No. 14 so there’s now a three-way tie for the lead at -6: Woodland Kisner and South Africa’s Brandon Stone.