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.
Woods swinging two-iron at No. 7 and that’s nice and smooth right down the middle. JT joins him in the fairway. Up ahead Rickie Fowler moves to five-under with another birdie! He’s got a two-shot lead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GREAT putt for TW for his second birdie in a row. He’s back to +1 on the day. JT taps in for par to stay at -3. Rory’s birdie attempt ends up just short and he taps in for par.
The biggest surprise is just how few surprises there were! The leaderboard seems to be going according to plan. The top 7 players in the world are all under par in stark contrast to the superstar carnage at the U.S. and British Opens. The best players appear to be playing the best. Bring on the weekend!
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.
A near miss for Rory’s birdie and Tiger follows suit coming up just short. JT also comes up short from the fringe and taps in for par. So ho-hum on No. 3 for our trio. No. 3 is playing 153 yards today. TW hits a safe shot to about pin high 20 feet from the cup. JT takes a more aggressive line and ends up just off the green on the fringe. And Rory hits a safe shot like Tiger also 20-25 feet from the hole.
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.