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.
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.
Woods fans his approach just a touch finds the green but will have 30 feet left for birdie. Alright the man you’ve been waiting to hear about. Tiger Woods (!!) hits the fairway on the first.
Tiger’s next and seems to like it but doesn’t get the kick he wanted — looks like that one found the bunker greenside. Rory finds the left greenside bunker pin-high. The lie will dictate this next shot.
Charl Schwartzel is storming up the leaderboard now. He’s six under through 13 and six under for the week. Tied for fourth right now. Kisner now jumps back into a tie for the lead. He’s nine under along with Woodland. Both through 13 holes.
Charl Schwartzel misses his chance at 62…but he makes a 4-footer for 63 which is a record folks. 63s don’t come around often…but they are today. Rickie Fowler tees off five shots back. Scoring conditions are RIPE today. Course average is under par.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Tiger Woods is only three weeks removed from a thrilling performance at the British Open. He will be joined by two other PGA Tour stars: Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Thomas is the defending champion this week and will look to capture his second major title and second-straight win at Bellerive. McIlroy will look to get back in the major winner’s circle and put a third Wanamaker trophy on his shelf.
Jordan Spieth birdies 5 to get to two under. Another birdie coming in and he will have a chance to make a little run on Saturday. Woodland and Kisner still on top at nine under with four to play. Koepka is seven under with three left.