I’m surprised anyone was watching what with the live stream coverage of Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour. I’m actually surprised scoring wasn’t *lower*. Conditions were perfect. Looks like Bellerive will offer a bit more of a test than we thought which is a welcome development.
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.
Rory hits a beautiful approach setting up a short birdie try of about six feet. TW hits a pitching wedge that refuses to spin back toward the hole leaving him with about 15 feet for birdie. JT also hits a solid approach to about 15 feet away from the hole.
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!
Back to our featured group. Jordan is in trouble on the par-5 17th after hitting it into the water but he almost holes his fourth shot to set up a potentially epic par from inside of five feet. Kisner and Woodland are three shots clear of the field.
Our trio is now playing their second par 3 of the day the 224-yard 16th. All three find the green and will have nice looks at birdie. Adam Scott is putting a quietly excellent round together. He’s four under at the turn and only three shots behind Kisner.
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.
Tiger hits a lovely shot from the bunker to give himself about six feet for par. JT is not happy with his chip but he only has maybe 8-10 feet to convert for his par. 178 left for Rory and he’s safely on the green pin high but not super close. Before him Tiger hit low shot from the left rough that ended up in the front right greenside bunker.
The sheer number of red numbers on the leaderboard was a pleasant surprise. Rickie ZJ DJ JDay all in the mix on the first page. That’s all we want in a major championship isn’t it? Well that and Tiger contending. But even he isn’t so far off that it’s out of the question.
Spieth makes his fourth par in a row at 5 after his opening double-bogey. He’s still stuck at +2. Yang drops his first shot of the day at the 15th. He’s now at -2. Patrick Reed who is also playing in the major champ group with Koepka and Molinari hit the green with his tee shot. But a three-putt earns him a bogey and moves him down to +2.
That’s now back-to-back birdies for Rose who gets to five under for the week and is five back. Rahm also made birdie to get to four under. Spieth made par on the 2nd. Whoa! Ted Potter Jr just holed out for eagle on 14 to get to five under. He’s one under for the tournament.
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.