Okay folks Dylan Dethier here to take you through the next couple hours. Reporting live from the media center here at Bellerive and Tiger just hit a high soft chip from the collection area that grabbed and sat about five feet short.
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.
Rory and JT go with irons off the tee with JT’s skirting past TW’s ball by about 20 yards. Tiger seems to be getting into a nice groove. Finds his third fairway in a row with the 3-wood off the tee on No. 2.
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.
Rose and Spieth find the fairway. No. 18 is a 457-yard par 4. Dogleg left. Rahm is first to play and he finds the fairway bunker on the right. Rahm drains his first birdie of the day on No. 17 to get to -3 for the tournament. Jordan converts his par putt (wow) and Rose makes his birdie to get back to -4 for the tournament.
I don’t know! But I thought it was interesting. The name of the game appears to be 1. Fairways and 2. Distance control with the irons. Sticking with Tiger but I think there’ll be plenty of variety among the leaders.
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.
From the hot start department let’s check out Matt Dobyns! The head pro at Fresh Meadows in New York is currently low club pro after a three-birdie start.
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.
Leaderboard update: Gary Woodland just birdied No. 11 (his second hole) to get to -7 two shots clear of Rickie Fowler Kevin Kisner and Brandon Stone. Kisner birdied his first two holes today while Stone just birdied the par-3 16th. All three players opt to lay up and find the fairway with irons off the tee.
Jordan Spieth birdies 5 to get to two under. Another birdie coming in and he will have a chance to make a little run on Saturday. Woodland and Kisner still on top at nine under with four to play. Koepka is seven under with three left.
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.