Kyle Stanley is the only player on the course at -3 after a birdie at 1. DJ fails to make it four in a row at 9. He taps in for par to remain three shots behind Fowler at -2.
Your 2018 Open champions Koepka and Molinari both finish with double bogeys after rinsing their tee shots at 6. Koepka falls to +2 Molinari to +3. Y.E. Yang is making things happen early in Round 1: Dustin Johnson makes a second-straight birdie at 7 to get to -1. That’s more like it.
I don’t know Bellerive from Bel Air. (In fact I’m not sure how to pronounce it.) But I’m told the fairways are wider than traditional bomb-and-gouge tracks like Firestone. That means well-placed shorter drives should be rewarded with better lines to attack the greens. Don’t count the Zachs out just yet!
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.
Tiger tees off first and overcooks it over the green on the left. Rory is safely on the green but it’s a long putt for birdie. JT finds the edge of the green right up against the first cut. Here we are at No. 6 a par 3 where there’s a holdup on the tee as they wait for the green to clear.
Welp no birdie conversions for our trio so we move on to No. 14. Hey watch out — British Open champ Francesco Molinari is having a nice start today. He’s two under through four holes to get to -4 — only three shots back of the lead.
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?
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.
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.
Tiger’s birdie never has a chance and he taps in for par. Rory putts to tap-in range for his par and JT misses his birdie attempt on the low side. Now it’s Tiger’s turn. Rickie Fowler birdied No. 7 to get to -4 with two holes to play. He’s the outright leader now with Stewart Cink hanging in at one shot back.
Not a terribly easy shot and he hits an okay one but it carries too much pace and he’ll be left with about 8 feet for birdie. Thomas is putting for birdie from the fringe and Rory has a little work left for birdie too.
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.