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!
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.
GOLF mag cover boys Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka now tied at seven under. Both two back of the leaders. Another birdie for Adam Scott and he’s six under. One to play. He hasn’t made a bogey today.
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.
Best quote from Tiger’s post-round presser? “I just sweat a lot.” He changed shirts after just the second hole. To be fair we’re in Missouri in August. Everyone’s sweating a lot. But I haven’t seen many others employing the two-shirt method. More on that here!
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.
Brooks Koepka is on fire. Makes the turn in three under on the day and then birdies three straight to begin his second nine (the front) and is now seven under and in solo second. Woodland and Kisner both still tied at nine under through 11 holes.
Ben Kern birdies his last hole to shoot 69 and sit at even for the event. Hoping he makes the cut! Tiger is in the fairway with another iron off the tee. Tony Finau has birdied all five of his holes to start today. Is that good? Meanwhile Tiger makes his par.
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.
Leaderboard update: Gary Woodland just birdied No. 11 (his second hole) to get to -7 two shots clear of Rickie Fowler Kevin Kisner and Brandon Stone. Kisner birdied his first two holes today while Stone just birdied the par-3 16th. All three players opt to lay up and find the fairway with irons off the tee.
Rahm just misses his birdie try on 1. He’s run a lot of putts close today. Par for him Rose pars too. Spieth lips his birdie try. He stays at one under. Jordan Spieth sticks it on the 1st hole his 10th of the day and he’ll have a look at birdie to get to two under.
Kevin Kisner birdied his first hole (No. 10) to get to -4 for the tournament. Justin Rose is the only one to find the green on No. 1 as Spieth and Rahm come up short. Tournament leader Gary Woodland is even par through his first hole today to remain -6.