Woods swinging two-iron at No. 7 and that’s nice and smooth right down the middle. JT joins him in the fairway. Up ahead Rickie Fowler moves to five-under with another birdie! He’s got a two-shot lead.
Adam Scott is two under through five holes today currently five shots back of Woodland’s lead No. 12 is a 459-yard par 4. Spieth and Rahm find the fairway but Rose ends up in the fairway bunker. Jordan is the only member of this featured trio to convert his birdie putt so he heads to No. 12 at even par for the tournament.
A near miss for Rory’s birdie and Tiger follows suit coming up just short. JT also comes up short from the fringe and taps in for par. So ho-hum on No. 3 for our trio. No. 3 is playing 153 yards today. TW hits a safe shot to about pin high 20 feet from the cup. JT takes a more aggressive line and ends up just off the green on the fringe. And Rory hits a safe shot like Tiger also 20-25 feet from the hole.
Molinari just birdied No. 14 — his third birdie in five holes — to get to -5 for the tournament. Only two back of the lead! No. 144 is a 422-yard par 4 and Spieth hammers a fairway wood into the fairway. He’s swinging very well today. Rahm opts to go with driver and finds the right-side fairway. Rose also goes with driver and hits one into the center of the fairway.
Fowler bogeys the first. Not the start he wanted…but hey Gary Woodland bogeyed the first Thursday. Thomas Pieters (BOMBER) joins the names near the top of the leaderboard at seven under. Fowler launched his approach long but makes a great pitch up to the hole. Will have a short par clean up from there.
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.
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.
Dustin Johnson is currently even through his first hole today so he remains at -3 — three shots back of leader Gary Woodland. Good morning! Jess Marksbury here. It’s a lovely sunny day in St. Louis and I’m looking forward to following the early action at Bellerive.
Gary Woodland makes it back-to-back birdies on 2 and 3 and he’s now the solo leader at 10 under. Four under through the day. Rose birdies the 2nd and he’s to four under now. Spieth and Rahm make pars on 2. Projected (early) cut is even par.
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.
The biggest surprise is just how few surprises there were! The leaderboard seems to be going according to plan. The top 7 players in the world are all under par in stark contrast to the superstar carnage at the U.S. and British Opens. The best players appear to be playing the best. Bring on the weekend!
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.