Tiger hits a lovely shot from the bunker to give himself about six feet for par. JT is not happy with his chip but he only has maybe 8-10 feet to convert for his par. 178 left for Rory and he’s safely on the green pin high but not super close. Before him Tiger hit low shot from the left rough that ended up in the front right greenside bunker.
“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?
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.
Bubba Watson trending downward while Adam Scott is cruising. He’s five under on the day with two remaining and five under for the tournament. Bubba Watson is SEVEN over today with just a few holes to play. He’s heading home.
That’s now back-to-back birdies for Rose who gets to five under for the week and is five back. Rahm also made birdie to get to four under. Spieth made par on the 2nd. Whoa! Ted Potter Jr just holed out for eagle on 14 to get to five under. He’s one under for the tournament.
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.
Zach Johnson. Sneaky long. Tiger Woods post-round with reporters ready to talk golf till the cows come home. The town. St. Louis is the greatest baseball town in the country. But the enthusiasm for this event is off the rails.
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.
Back to our featured group. Jordan is in trouble on the par-5 17th after hitting it into the water but he almost holes his fourth shot to set up a potentially epic par from inside of five feet. Kisner and Woodland are three shots clear of the field.
Here comes Jordan off of No. 10. It’s a great start in the fairway with the driver. One of this morning’s featured groups of Jordan Spieth (+1) Justin Rose (-3) and Jon Rahm (-2) tees off at 9:12. Spieth was grinding on the range until late last evening. The other featured group of DJ (-3) Bubba (E) and Adam Scott (-1) is already through the second hole.
Rose and Spieth find the fairway. No. 18 is a 457-yard par 4. Dogleg left. Rahm is first to play and he finds the fairway bunker on the right. Rahm drains his first birdie of the day on No. 17 to get to -3 for the tournament. Jordan converts his par putt (wow) and Rose makes his birdie to get back to -4 for the tournament.
Brutal three-putt from Spieth at the opener. Tiger had an early double too of course but that’s a rough start. Greens aren’t getting any smoother. Cool bit from Rickie on wearing yellow in honor of the late Jarrod Lyle. The outpouring of support has been great to watch.