Jordan just hit a magical Tigeresque shot from the woods to about 10 feet. He went from deep trouble to birdie opportunity. That was cool. Hot round of the day thus far belongs to Englishman Matt Wallace who is making the turn at -4 on the day which brings him to -3 for the tournament.
Birdie for Woods! He trickles that one down the hill and into the cup from 8-10 feet. Rory can’t match; his slides just past the top edge. Woods actually didn’t find the bunker; he was on a sideslope.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a look at Spieth’s near hole-out at 7: Dustin Johnson keeps on rolling… DJ makes a long birdie putt at 11 his fifth of the day. With that he joins Kyle Stanley at -3 just two shots behind Fowler’s lead.
Dustin Johnson in with a 66. He’s seven under and T3 right now three off the lead. Zach Johnson is another guy trying to lock down a Ryder Cup spot. He’s six under for the tournament and T5 right now.
It will favor bombers and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset take the guy with the hottest putter which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?
Rahm makes par! That was gutty stuff to stay at five under. Pumps his fist as it dropped. Top of the leaderboard taking shape. Koepka in the house at eight under. DJ one back at seven under. Saturday gonna be fun.
Well in the end these three all ended up about where they started. Thomas will feel disappointed after a closing bogey left him at one-under 69. McIlroy never quite got it going in an even-par 70. And a finishing two-putt par leaves Woods at 70 as well. He should be pleased given that start. It’ll be interesting to hear his post-game remarks; he really salvaged this round.