JT also misses his birdie attempt. And WOW Rory horseshoes out of the hole and he can’t believe it. That was painful. Tiger hits a pretty nice putt but it’s a big slider from left to right and he ends up just short. Will be an easy tap in for par.
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:
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.
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.
Andrew Landry is going low early too. He’s six under through 11 and three under for the tournament. Currently T17. Lots of guys at six under right now. Stone Scott Schwartzel ZJ. And lots more guys to tee off in the next two hours. Could be a handful of 64s today.
Here comes Jordan off of No. 10. It’s a great start in the fairway with the driver. One of this morning’s featured groups of Jordan Spieth (+1) Justin Rose (-3) and Jon Rahm (-2) tees off at 9:12. Spieth was grinding on the range until late last evening. The other featured group of DJ (-3) Bubba (E) and Adam Scott (-1) is already through the second hole.
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.
Rose makes a beautiful stroke with his birdie putt at 8 and sinks it to move to -2. Rahm drops his short one to get to -1. Spieth settles for another par.
Tiger tossed in a great approach into the 2nd green and cashed the 14-foot birdie putt. 1 under for the week. This is Ben Kern. Need him on the weekend. Also Tony Finau promptly triple bogeyed the 6th hole.
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.
Justin Rose hits a good bunker shot to give himself a decent look at birdie from the fringe but he ends up settling for par. Rahm also misses his birdie attempt. Spieth gave it a nice run but alas must also settle for par. On to No. 13.
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!