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.
Alright next up on 62 watch is Charl Schwartzel! 7 under through 16 and playing a par 5. Kisner bogeys the 9th and Gary Woodland makes par. Woodland -10 Kisner -9 Koepka -8 DJ -7. Might be the last two tee times tomorrow.
Spieth sticks his approach into the 9th green well inside of his playing partners. He’ll have a good look at another birdie from about 10 feet. It seems like the afternoon wave is starting to kick it into gear after a rough start. Birdies are dropping.
Not a terribly easy shot and he hits an okay one but it carries too much pace and he’ll be left with about 8 feet for birdie. Thomas is putting for birdie from the fringe and Rory has a little work left for birdie too.
Woods pures his birdie putt into the center of the cup. Now two under for the championship. On the par-3 132-yard 3rd hole Tiger tosses in a dart to five feet. Will have that for two straight birds. Meanwhile not much else happening with the leaderboard. Fowler remains at five under just as he started.
Brooks Koepka AND Francesco Molinari just dunked their tee shots at the par-3 6th. Not good. Tommy Fleetwood can’t convert a mid-range birdie at 6. He’s at +1 so far. John Rahm a popular pick to win this week is -1 after going birdie-par-par to open his round.
Brutal three-putt from Spieth at the opener. Tiger had an early double too of course but that’s a rough start. Greens aren’t getting any smoother. Cool bit from Rickie on wearing yellow in honor of the late Jarrod Lyle. The outpouring of support has been great to watch.
It will favor bombers and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset take the guy with the hottest putter which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?
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.
Dustin Johnson in with a 66. He’s seven under and T3 right now three off the lead. Zach Johnson is another guy trying to lock down a Ryder Cup spot. He’s six under for the tournament and T5 right now.
Tiger’s next and seems to like it but doesn’t get the kick he wanted — looks like that one found the bunker greenside. Rory finds the left greenside bunker pin-high. The lie will dictate this next shot.
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.