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.
Middle of the green for Tiger after a too-safe approach with a wedge. Rory does a little better but JT’s was by far the best; he’s inside 10 feet for birdie. More like 25-30 for Woods.
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.
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.
Okay let’s take stock of the leaderboard shall we? Rickie Fowler just wrapped up a presser in which he was understandably upbeat after opening with a five-under 65. There’s nobody at four-under but there’s a whole squad at three-under: Cook Poulter Perez Day and Gay all posted rounds of 67 and three more — Cink Grace and Schniederjans — are on their 18th hole. Scores aren’t insanely low as some predicted but there are a bunch of guys in red figures.
Brooks Koepka just birdied No. 1 to get to -4 on the day and -5 for the tournament — only four shots back of the lead. My goodness Kevin Kisner is a man on fire. He’s made six birdies on his front nine to make the turn in 29 strokes. Currently at -9 for the tournament and one shot clear of Gary Woodland.
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.
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.
DJ does it again. Another great putt at 12 leads to yet another birdie. He’s now in sole possession of second place at -4 just one behind Fowler. Here’s a look at DJ’s long birdie make at 11: Check out what our own Alan Shipnuck had to say about the morning’s featured group of Tiger/JT/Rory:
Patrick Reed has made back-to-back bogeys to fall to +3 through 7 holes. No one seems to be going really low this afternoon. Spieth saves par at 6 with a clutch putt. He really needed that to keep from really going off the rails.
Jon Rahm stepped on his ball (in the rough) on the par-5 8th. That’s a penalty folks! He wasn’t thrilled that it wasn’t marked by a course marshal. It was just a bit off the fairway.
You can keep up with all the action on Thursday below. That’s all for us today folks. Join us tomorrow to follow the second round in another edition of the PGA Championship Live Blog.