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.
I’m surprised by the variety of big and short hitters at the top. DJ Rickie Woodland Day … and ZJ Gay and Kisner? Looks like Bellerive is more than a bomb-and-gouge setup which is what you want at a major.
Kevin Kisner has birdied three of his first four holes to get to -6 for the tournament — one shot back of Woodland’s lead. A bogey for DJ on No. 15 drops him to -2 for the tournament. No. 13 is a 172-yard par 3 that requires a full carry over a ravine. All three players are safely on the green but Rahm has the best look at birdie.
Tiger drains his par save and Rory taps in for par as well. On to No. 5 a par 4 playing 475 today. JT misses his par putt to drop his first shot of the day. He falls to -2 one shot back of the lead.
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.
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.
Rahm makes par! That was gutty stuff to stay at five under. Pumps his fist as it dropped. Top of the leaderboard taking shape. Koepka in the house at eight under. DJ one back at seven under. Saturday gonna be fun.
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!
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.
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.
Zach Johnson. Sneaky long. Tiger Woods post-round with reporters ready to talk golf till the cows come home. The town. St. Louis is the greatest baseball town in the country. But the enthusiasm for this event is off the rails.
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!