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.
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.
Matt Kuchar is quietly making his way up the leaderboard at the moment. He’s three under par through his first five holes today now at -2 for the tournament. Spieth Rose and Rahm all hit nice wedges to set up good birdie opportunities on No. 11.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Spieth makes his putt at 7 to capture his first birdie of the day. He moves to +1. Rose gets up-and-down for par to remain at -1. Kooooooooch gets into red numbers with a birdie at 10. -1. Spieth nearly holes out for eagle at 7. His ball spun back into the hole but bounced out and settled to 2 feet. Should be a birdie for Jordan at least.
GOLF mag cover boys Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka now tied at seven under. Both two back of the leaders. Another birdie for Adam Scott and he’s six under. One to play. He hasn’t made a bogey today.
“Distance is not so important here as you might think” Gary Player said after winning the 1965 U.S. Open at a 7200-yard Bellerive (the longest-ever U.S. Open at the time). Will that hold true this week?
The big hitters are jumping to the top of the leaderboard (except Kisner…). Woodland Koepka and DJ make three of the top four. Woodland also birdies 8 to tie Kisner at 10 under. He’s got one hole let to close out a spectacular 36-hole stretch.
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.