“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?
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.
Bubba Watson has reached -2 early as well: Look out Dustin Johnson is making a run. He birdies 8 to move to -2. That’s three birdies in a row for the top-ranked player.
Not off to a great start? Jordan Spieth. He’s got about 50 feet for par at his very first hole of the day after a wayward tee shot. You can add Dustin Johnson to that list as well; he’s one over. Say it with me: “Lot of golf left.”
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.
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.
Tiger will have some 25 feet left to finish out his round at No. 9. Tiger finds the fairway at No. 9; not so much for his playing partners who spray it left and right. For the first time since he teed off Woods is at even par. How will he finish?
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.
Tiger Woods is only three weeks removed from a thrilling performance at the British Open. He will be joined by two other PGA Tour stars: Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Thomas is the defending champion this week and will look to capture his second major title and second-straight win at Bellerive. McIlroy will look to get back in the major winner’s circle and put a third Wanamaker trophy on his shelf.
Bubba Watson trending downward while Adam Scott is cruising. He’s five under on the day with two remaining and five under for the tournament. Bubba Watson is SEVEN over today with just a few holes to play. He’s heading home.
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.
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.