Fowler bogeys the first. Not the start he wanted…but hey Gary Woodland bogeyed the first Thursday. Thomas Pieters (BOMBER) joins the names near the top of the leaderboard at seven under. Fowler launched his approach long but makes a great pitch up to the hole. Will have a short par clean up from there.
Rose hits a beautiful drive into the center of the fairway but Spieth and Rahm lose their drives way to the left. Tough par 4 now. No. 15 is 499 yards long. Need to hit it in the fairway to really have a chance.
Patrick Reed (+2) stops the bleeding with a birdie at 9. 52-year-old John Daly is off to an impressive start. He’s made one birdie and two bogeys to go +1 on his first nine.
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.
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.
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.
Brooks Koepka just birdied No. 1 to get to -4 on the day and -5 for the tournament — only four shots back of the lead. My goodness Kevin Kisner is a man on fire. He’s made six birdies on his front nine to make the turn in 29 strokes. Currently at -9 for the tournament and one shot clear of Gary Woodland.
Jordan just hit a magical Tigeresque shot from the woods to about 10 feet. He went from deep trouble to birdie opportunity. That was cool. Hot round of the day thus far belongs to Englishman Matt Wallace who is making the turn at -4 on the day which brings him to -3 for the tournament.
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?
Tiger tossed in a great approach into the 2nd green and cashed the 14-foot birdie putt. 1 under for the week. This is Ben Kern. Need him on the weekend. Also Tony Finau promptly triple bogeyed the 6th hole.
Lots of waiting for the green to clear before JT swings away from over 300 yards out. He comes up short and left but draws a good lie at the edge of the fairway setting up a tricky chip.
Welp no birdie conversions for our trio so we move on to No. 14. Hey watch out — British Open champ Francesco Molinari is having a nice start today. He’s two under through four holes to get to -4 — only three shots back of the lead.